A "we're mad as hell, and we aren't going to take it anymore" moment in education:
George Will gave a good accounting of many of the objections to the Common Core Standards Initiative in his Washington Post column on Wednesday, pointing out that the heart of the standards spring from a top-down, big government approach to education that threatens to live on in perpetuity because the Common Core is tied to generous federal bribes — and threats that the bribes will go away if states don’t fall in line with Common Core.
But ontological and ideological arguments aside, Will does a fine job of explaining the organic rise of opposition to Common Core — an emerging pattern we’ve seen in recent years as the conservative movement has matured and learned to bypass traditional methods of influence.
[. . .]
Parents are tired of big government solutions to the problems in education. The promises of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top have resulted in a race to the bottom. The federal government and the bureaucrats are notorious for their grand visions, but like the Wizard of Oz, they rarely keep their promises. As Will said so succinctly, parents are saying “No. Period.”
Several years ago, I did a lot of research into and wrote a bunch of editorials about Outcome Based Education, a movement started by conservatives then hijacked by liberals and turned into just another top-down, one-size-fits-all race to mediocrity. Amazingly, the conservatives I talked to still supported the idea, not quite realizing that their efforts were being co-opted.
I see the same thing going on with Common Core, a movement started by the states and hijacked by the federal government. Republicans who should have known better, like Mitch Daniels and Tony Bennett, continued to support it even after it became clear that it is fast-tracking us to a national curriculum. And to this day, there are still people who call themselves conservatives who don't seem to have a clue about what's going on.
I don't know if Will is right that these parents are "successfully" fighting Common Core, but they sure are making a lot of noise and guaranteeing that more Americans will know what's going on. Like most liberal power grabs, this movement was bering advanced quickly and stealthily.
Members of the establishment (of both parties) are very much mistaken if they're breathing a sigh of relief that the Tea Party's influence has wanted. The Teap Party is just the most visible and outspoken part of a grassroots revolt by people who ares sick and tired of being walked all over. I don't know how far the revolution will really go, but it sure is fun to watch. We especially need to keep an eye on the effort to pass freedom amendments at the state level and take Washington down a peg or two. Indiana is very much a part of that movement.