Get PJ Media on your Apple

Common Core: 2014′s Bipartisan Wedge Issue

Last Tuesday's primaries unmasked intense opposition.

by
Tom Blumer

Bio

May 12, 2014 - 11:05 pm
Page 1 of 2  Next ->   View as Single Page

Establishment Republicans and their pals in the press – at least until the general election campaigns begin (RINOs never learn) — are celebrating their defeats of tea party-sympathetic challengers in last Tuesday’s Indiana, North Carolina, and Ohio primaries.

They would be well advised to hold the champagne. At least a half-dozen victorious candidates in GOP state legislative contests in those three states, including several who defeated party-supported incumbents, discovered that the key to motivating voters on their behalf was expressing genuine and vocal opposition to the federal government’s stealth imposition of the Common Core standards and testing regime in their schools.

Their success has national implications. You can rest assured that party leaders who have been doing all they can to hide from the issue, as well as all-in “Fed ed” proponent and current Republican establishment fave Jeb Bush, have noticed.

Nowhere was the anti-Common Core momentum more clear than in the Buckeye State. The entity I have dubbed ORPINO (the Ohio Republican Party In Name Only) and its legislative leaders are visibly shaken.

Although the state’s press will only acknowledge Common Core’s relevance in one of Tuesday’s state rep race results, a reliable longtime activist told me on Thursday that candidates’ opposition to Common Core tipped the balance in their favor in four instances. My review of Stop Common Core Ohio’s endorsements against actual election results confirms that contention.

The result that’s impossible to ignore is Tom Brinkman’s triumph over incumbent Peter Stautberg in Southwestern Ohio.

ORPINO thought they had ended “Tax Killer Tom’s” political career two years ago when he lost in a comeback attempt after being term-limited from the legislature four years earlier. Heavily aided by ORPINO, two-term incumbent Stautberg dished out a 22-point drubbing.

This time around, it was different, principally because Brinkman sincerely and strongly aligned himself with anti-Common Core activists. ORPINO doubled down on its smear campaign, spending huge sums on a radio blitz and baldly false campaign literature which, among other things, hysterically implied that the supposedly “radical” Brinkman sided with Democrats on critical matters. ORPINO also claimed that he opposed a 2005 “tax cut” that was really an initially revenue-neutral restructuring which gave birth to an ugly new gross receipts tax.

Brinkman’s trump card over the wishy-washy incumbent was his vocal opposition to Common Core. Stautberg claims to have not taken a position. My source calls BS on that; but in any event, convenient neutrality doesn’t cut it. It instead allows force-fed “Fed ed” to become a permanent fixture of the educational landscape.

In winning by seven points on Tuesday, Brinkman engineered a 29-point turnaround from 2012, inducing palpable fear and loathing at ORPINO and among GOP legislative leaders.

Suddenly, the same people who have spent well over a year blowing off, marginalizing, and in some cases insulting concerned parents and teachers feel that they must commission a poll to see if the rest of the state is as opposed to Common Core as voters in Southwestern Ohio.

I can save them the trouble. A late-April University of Connecticut poll showed that thanks to its undemocratic imposition, only 39 percent of Americans have heard of Common Core. But of those who have, only 38 percent across all ideologies support it, while 44 percent oppose. A scant 24 percent of conservatives favor it. In the Buckeye State, Common Core polled as the number one issue of concern in the GOP primaries, even ahead of Governor John Kasich’s authoritarian expansion of Medicaid.

Why oppose Common Core? Five videos posted at my home blog in March of 2013 take only 33 minutes to fully explain why. Here’s a quick boil-down:

  • These are standards which have been furtively pushed onto the states — i.e., not developed by the states, as proponents claim — through de facto federal government bribes contained in the 2009 stimulus bill and through the conditional granting of No Child Left Behind waivers. State legislatures had virtually no input into Common Core’s initial adoption.
  • Costly and rigid standardized national tests will force reluctant private schools, charter schools, and homeschooling parents to conform their curricula to Common Core to ensure that their students perform well on them.
  • One “feature” of Common Core is a national student data tracking system involving a reported 400-plus “data points” from pre-school through the workforce which will strip away students’ and families’ personal privacy. Personally identifiable and sensitive student and family data can and will be shared among government and private entities.
  • The bottom line is that Common Core strips the states of their constitutional authority over education, will end parents’ ability to influence what their children are taught, and will ultimately and illegally accomplish the far left’s long-time dream of giving the federal government full control over the nation’s school curricula.

In the intervening year, it has become dreadfully obvious that Common Core’s “standards” are a watered-down muddle of incoherence backing a curriculum which is frustrating the nation’s children, infuriating their parents, and driving down test scores.

Top Rated Comments   
"The fifty states each have the full right to use or not use, or modify, the common core standards."

If this were true, there would be no point in the federal government pushing for Common Core, and indeed the name would be false and misleading.

In other words, it's a lie.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
It really is time to close down the Federal Department of Education. It is too big, too expensive and too intrusive. Due to Federal Education growth in the last few decades, my small state's Department of Education has likewise grown like Jack's beanstalks to keep up with the program requirements for Federal money. However, the measures of educational success still depend upon which school and which teachers a student experiences rather than how much Federal money came in for new school buildings, "improved" food programs, and how many special education classes are offered.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Elect JEB Bush....a common wh0re for Common Core"
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (38)
All Comments   (38)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
National standards might be a good thing if the left and far left did not control the curriculum. I wrote about the debate here: http://clarespark.com/2013/01/05/american-fascism-and-the-future-of-english-and-american-literature/ (retitled The Common Core debate). Local control can mean authoritarianism, which is the death to critical thinking.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
C-Core is one more example of why we need to stop the flow of money to federal government bureaucracies who use our money to hire their FBI (friends brothers and inlaws) list - then turn around and use it as a stick to force the states to spend money where they may not otherwise spend it. AKA the carrot/stick approach.

Only a conservative congress and president will ever stop this flow of money from being used in such nefarious ways. I don't see much chance of stopping this practice since it gives politicians so much power.

11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
After having destroyed the educational system in American public schools we now face the terrifying prospect of further educational erosion added to the leftist indoctrination of our children in public schools. Why is the American people so complacent to what befalls their children.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
More than half of American voters chose Obama. If people are that foolish about choosing the president, then it should be no surprise that they are equally foolish about educational standards for their children.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
The fifty states each have the full right to use or not use, or modify, the common core standards. It is not a national issue, and it is certainly not a Federal issue.

This is nothing more than an attempt by a very noisy small minority to drive wedges in the Republican coalition ... given the way Democrats have been funding insurrectionist TP candidates in primaries for years now - going back to Claire McCaskill's successful funding and manipulation of the Missouri GOP primary election in 2012, giving us the infamous Todd Akin, and they're doing it now in several of the GOP primaries so far this year (with no success) ... I have little doubt that there is a lot of Dem money floating around supporting the anti-CCers.

Focus on the real political opponent, people. The Democrat Party. They've developed a highly refined skill set of punking extremist GOP primary voters. Fortunately, the real grass roots voters aren't buying it this year.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you cannot see how CC is the continued quest on steroids to erode the quality of public education with the objective being poorly educated students as they enter the workplace, you are either in denial or not paying attention. Do some research (try starting above on the author's links) on some of the materials distributed by CC that the students are trying to work on; you will find that much of it does not make sense & much of it has a healthy dollop of propagandizing designed to prompt students to internalize far-leftist agendas.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The fifty states each have the full right to use or not use, or modify, the common core standards."

If this were true, there would be no point in the federal government pushing for Common Core, and indeed the name would be false and misleading.

In other words, it's a lie.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Then how do you explain the fact that Indiana just withdrew from Common Core. If as you say, it's a lie that the states have the full right to use, or not use, Common Core, then they would not be allowed to withdraw.

And of course, five other states never signed up. And my home state of Florida is looking hard at renaming their Common Core standards with a different name - but otherwise being identical. Mainly just so that the State can say it's not being bullied by Obama's DOE.

It's only a lie when it's not the truth.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
No states have truly withdrawn from Common Core. Indiana withdrew from Common Core, but, according to a FoxNews report, "Critics say Indiana is also simply stripping the "Common Core" label while largely keeping the same standards in place."
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just so.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Which completely explains why the Obama administration is threatening to withhold education funding to Indiana, where the "repeal" wasn't even real:

http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/05/13/common-core-meltdown/

So which category are you: uninformed, bought and sold, or unapologetic statist?
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Obama adminstration is always threatening to do all manner of illegal and extralegal stuff, with "a pen and a phone", so your point is?

The State of Indiana is perfectly able to opt in or out of Common Core ... and they have done just that, despite the threats of the Obamanoids. So obviously they are not compelled.

If you have any beef at all, it is with the Obama Dept. of Education, not with Republicans who overwhelmingly support high academic education achievement standards that were developed and implemented by the States, not by the Federal Government.

Besides, if the biggest threat that a non-common core state faces is loss of Federal education funding, which nearly all Republicans believe should never have been a Federal program in the first place, then fine. Act like a real tea party, and be willing to stand up for your rights like the original tea partiers did. To heck with Federal education funding.

The real issue isn't Common Core - the real issue is the urgent need to abolish the Federal Dept of Education, repeal No Child Left Behind, and end completely any Federal role in education.

So given that you're obfuscating the issues and directing most of your attacks on Republicans, not Democrats ... then what are you - a bought and paid for Democrat plant?
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
"high academic education achievement standards that were developed and implemented by the States"

Wrong:

http://www.nccivitas.org/2013/common-core-state-standards-parents-citizens-concerned/

CCSS Were Not Developed by the States
-- They were developed by two professional trade associations.
-- Work to write the standards was financed largely by private foundations.
-- Yet there was no public vetting of standards. Journalists were refused records of meetings, were told that CCSS committees were not subject to public records law.

The guess here is that your attempt to claim it was a state-inspired puts YOU in the "bought and pair for" group -- because those are generally about the only people peddling that "states developed it" lie these days.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
You can argue the nature of the CC standards themselves all day long, but you cannot alter the facts. The Common Core standards were developed by the states, not the Federal government. They were adopted via State laws, not Federal law. The Common Core standards were hijacked by the Obama Adminstration, using its powers to attempt to take over a Federalist (as distinct from a "Federal") process.

The Feds can do this to any and every other State initiative, if they so desire. The Feds can adopt a regulation that requires all States to adopt California emissions rules, or New York renewable energy standards, in order to qualify for various and sundry Federal "benefits". The states can either allow themselves to be herded around like sheep in order to get their hands on Federal funds ... or the states can say, "keep your Federal funds" and go their own way. As Indiana just did.

And likely as not, Indiana is going to create its own standards that are going to be an awful lot like the discarded Common Core standards ... just using a different name. The State of Florida is going to do the same thing - just relabel "Common Core" as something else, while retaining the same actual educational achievement standards.

What Indiana just did is exactly what 17 states did on the ObamaCare expansion of Medicaid - they told the Feds "no thanks" on their funding. My state (Florida) is one of them.

The only solution is for conservatives to stick together in the Republican coalition, stop forming the circular firing squad every time the Obamanoids offer up some juicy tidbit of a Federal giveaway in return for surrendering on Federalism.

Abolish the Dept. of Education, repeal No Child Left Behind ... block grant all of the Federal education funds back to the states, and eventually repeal all Federal funding altogether. Then the States can decide what standards they want in order to best prepare our children to compete successfully in a world economy and job market.

Going after Common Core is a distraction, and only benefits Democrats, not our children.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well if they were developed by the states, by all means please cite the individual state LAWS which authorized the development of those standards, and the LAWS which accepted and incorporated them in specific detail.

I'll save you the trouble. You won't find them.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
It really is time to close down the Federal Department of Education. It is too big, too expensive and too intrusive. Due to Federal Education growth in the last few decades, my small state's Department of Education has likewise grown like Jack's beanstalks to keep up with the program requirements for Federal money. However, the measures of educational success still depend upon which school and which teachers a student experiences rather than how much Federal money came in for new school buildings, "improved" food programs, and how many special education classes are offered.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
So Louis CK, famed liberal comedian, is actually a radical right-wing subversive? Such a world we live in!
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Exactly ... it's finally starting to dawn on you, huh? See my other comment posted here.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Communism has failed, our capitalism and blend of state and federal government has flourished until recently. Why would anyone with open eyes and a modicum of sense want to continue tacking toward a centralized communist state? In the relatively short time we have been doing this things are heading quickly downhill. Just a small knowledge of history during our lifetime should point out this movement is folly.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wanna know why the pig-faced Jeb Bush is supporting Common Core? FOLLOW THE MONEY. And he is just one of those infuriating elitists who thinks the "common" man needs someone like him to lead them away from their folly. Jeb Bush is a condescending obnoxious disdainful POS and Common Core should be hung around his neck like a burning tire.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
You can really tell when people either have no brains or no argument, or both when they resort to infantile namecalling. You don't know the least thing about Jeb Bush, as your comment clearly shows.

Jeb Bush was an extremely successful conservative Republican governor for two full terms, who left office with very high poll numbers, and is still highly popular with Florida Republicans today. One of his key platform goals and chief policy successes was in reforming and improving Florida's public schools. He did that by leading the Republican-dominated Legislature in enacting laws to establish high academic standards (very similar to what have now become "Common Core"); grade schools on their actual educational achievements using standardized testing; firing unsuccessful school administrators and teachers; closing down failing schools; ending social promotion; improved the test scores and graduation rates; enacted school choice and vouchers to allow parents to escape failing schools; support for charter schools. His support of Common Core is merely a continuation of his long time and highly efectively education policies. None of it is based upon any role for the Federal government.

Jeb Bush is effectively the author of today's Republican education reform movement in America.

11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Jeb Bush was a great governor whose only blemish was that he wouldn't drill for oil. He's been disastrous as a national leader in supporting Fed-Ed and illegal immigrant amnesty.

If what FL did with education is so great, he should have gone to state LEGISLATURES and Governors one at a time to convince them to adopt what he thinks works and kept the federal government out of it. He should have screamed bloody murder when the stimulus bill made acceptance of Race to the Top money contingent on the adoption of Common Core, WITHOUT legislative involvment. But he didn't.

The "author of today's Republican education reform movement in America" has seen his handiwork pointedly and appropriately rejected by the national Republican Party:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/04/19/common-core-standards-attacked-by-republicans/
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
ObamaCare: Pay more, get less.

CommonCore: Tracked more, learn less.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
CommonCore: Controlled more, learn less.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Elect JEB Bush....a common wh0re for Common Core"
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Common Wh0re for Common Core - you should have copyrighted it. I'll be plagiarizing you from now on. Excellent.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
View All

2 Trackbacks to “Common Core: 2014′s Bipartisan Wedge Issue”