Missouri State Representative Mike Lair (R) likens opponents of Common Core to “conspiracy theorists.” So much so that he decided to include $8 for tin foil hats in a budget bill for K-12 education because “if you can’t deal with folks with logic….I always felt you use humor.”
Well, we’ve got some news for Mr. Lair: If you’re covering Common Core’s opponents, you’re going to need more tin foil.
More and more Americans are realizing that Common Core is a terrible idea that fails to consider the individual needs of schools, teachers, and—most importantly—students. Fashioned with the intent of improving educational outcomes, Common Core gained the support of strange bedfellows including Governor Jeb Bush, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the National Education Association (NEA)—the largest teachers union—with close to 3 million members.
That is, until now. As we’ve been reporting, the NEA is now expressing some serious reservations about the push for Common Core, calling the implementation “completely botched.” While stopping short of rescinding its support for this federal government power grab, the NEA’s statements will make it more difficult for the White House to continue centralizing the education system.
Politico describes it this way:
[T]he NEA’s support has always been a huge feather in the cap of Common Core supporters. It’s also provided a practical boost: The union has pledged that its members would hold town-hall forums, speak at PTA meetings and do everything they could to persuade a wary public to give Common Core a chance. Now, however, it’s not clear that teachers can effectively serve as ambassadors.
To make matters worse for supporters of Common Core, Indiana could pull out of national standards altogether, while other states are expected to debate this contentious issue in the capitols of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia this spring.
In the meantime, The Heritage Foundation has been sounding the alarm in our nation’s capital, educating policymakers and their staffs on the perils of continued centralized planning when it comes to education. At a recent education policy briefing on what to expect in 2014, Neal McCluskey of the Cato Institute correctly reminded audience members that the push for national standards predates President Obama and is simply a continuation of incredibly misguided policies that empower the federal government.
For his part, William Estrada of the Home School Legal Defense Association pushed back on the notion that homeschoolers need not concern themselves with the Common Core, stating that if implemented, it could require some sort of testing for homeschoolers and would likely have a major consolidating effect on them. Tell that to the families across America homeschooling roughly 2.3 million children, according to a study by the National Home Education Research Institute.
Whether it’s homeschooling or deciding which type of school fits your child’s educational needs, these decisions are best made at the local level. Common Core is the exact opposite of what we need.
This is far from conspiratorial. It’s just common sense.