Some are suggesting that perhaps the Obama Administration is backing off the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
Could this be?
And if so, why?
Would those who have invested so much in it---Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ($2 million), ExxonMobil, Chamber of Commerce, etc., be willing to now simply walk away as the President moves on to his next progressive program?
Isn't this federalization of education too far down the road to change?
Here's what we know.
Before you read on, take a deep breath and watch this 2 minute "Happy song for Tax Day."Heritage Foundation put it out yesterday afternoon.
Both support for and opposition to Common Core is very strong. It also crosses the typical partisan lines, with opposition coming from some education groups, professors, some teachers unions, Tea Party members and Christian conservatives.
People on the Right and the Left oppose it. And people on the Left and on the Right (unfortunately) support it.
I personally strongly oppose Common Core for a number of reasons, both spiritual and political, none the least is because I believe it sets the stage for the final fatal step to federalizing education in America, while pretending to strive for excellence.
The whole concept is so flawed and inferior it could never be a path to excellence. It's a disaster.
Under the guise of assisting states in making their own decision about Common Core, the federal government is rewarding those who participate and not those who opt not to participate.
Common Core is an enormous over reach of government, not unlike Obamacare, and is wrought with so many flaws that both far left progressive educators and conservative Christian parents oppose it. Although they do so for different reasons, the opposition from both is very strong.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, while giving testimony before a US House subcommittee said, "I'm just a big proponent of high standards. Whether they're common or not is secondary."
Michele McNeil, with Education Week took this as a sign that the Obama Administration may be getting the message and backing off a bit. She wrote that Duncan "continues to distance himself from the Common Core Standards."
When questioned, Duncan maintained that there are "zero" federal grants tied to Common Core.
That's a convenient statement to make to a committee whose majority oppose Common Core....and it may be sort of true, but knowing that the government is passing out millions of dollars of grant money to those who participate makes it at best deceptive.
If the Education Secretary wants to be honest, "zero" is not the correct answer.
Here's the scheme. (or scam)
The Administration's original $4 billion Race To The Top program awarded 40 points to states for developing and adopting Common Core Standards. All 12 of the winners have adopted the standards, and have not backed off. Obviously others have followed.
There is also a separate $360 million Race To The Top contest to fund common tests which is based on the premise that the states needed help developing these assessments based on Common Core Standards.
Technically, aligning to the Common Core was not required.
However, it was pretty clear that you were not going to win without it.
I think Duncan's testimony reflects the deceptive fine line the Obama Administration often walks when pushing their far left progressive policies.
Keep in mind the avalanche of lies that continue as Obamacare is implemented.
While telling the American public this is a "state led" not a federally led program, they are using millions of taxpayer dollars to chart the course insuring that most states will "choose" to adopt Common Core Standards, while those who do not are not aligned with the standard assessments and they don't get the money that the participants get, and their students will not be prepared for the assessments that will be in place in a couple of years.
The Daily Caller, a conservative publication says, "...Duncan has always been a strong supporter of the Common Core Standards---like his boss, President Barack Obama---but he is now beginning to distance himself from a reform that has earned considerable animosity from teachers, parents, students and activists."
I hope the Caller is right.
Remember it was Duncan who blamed most of the "irrational angst" toward Common Core on "white suburban moms."
Last November, the Washington Post reported that he said the opposition is "fascinating." And it's coming from "white suburban moms who---all of a sudden---their child isn't as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn't quite as good as they thought they were."
If Duncan and his boss, President Obama, are in fact backing off Common Core Standards, there would have to be some compelling reason that's greater than merely trying to do the right thing.
Diane Ravitch, educational historian and opponent suggested these 4 reasons:
1. The Common Core standards have become so controversial that Duncan wants to pretend he had nothing to do with them.
2. Duncan has been warned by his advisers that his support and Obama’s is actually dragging down the poll numbers for the Common Core so the best way to help them is to back off.
3. Someone is planning to sue the U.S. Department of Education for illegally interfering in curriculum and instruction by supporting the Common Core, so Duncan must pretend he had nothing to do with their swift adoption by 45 states. His lure of $4.3 billion was just a coincidence.
4. Duncan realized that his cheer leading contradicted his insistence that the Common Core was “state-led.”
What ever the Administration's motivation, one thing is certain. Vigilance and persistence gets results. This issue is front and center because people care about it and are willing to take a stand for their conviction on the matter.
Be Vigilant. Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Pro-Active. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.