'Common Core' under attack

Posted by John Kanelis on

Texas appears to be blazing a trail for other states to follow in the search for a better public education system.

Or, the trail could lead to a blind alley.

Whatever the case, the Texas Tribune reports that other states are following Texas’s lead in opposing something called “Common Core.” Where the fight goes remains an open question.

The Tribune reports in a story posted on PanhandlePBS.org that at least four other states have joined Texas in opposing the federal testing requirements known as Common Core.

Texas Starts to Have Company In Position on Common Core

As the Tribune’s Morgan Smith reports: “The Common Core, which would be adopted in 45 states, was aimed at raising reading and math learning benchmarks in public schools and easing collaboration on education policies. Spearheaded by the Obama administration, the initiative was overseen by the National Governors Association and embraced by both Republican and Democratic policymakers.”

Texas balked initially, along with Alaska. The state’s initial resistance to Common Core put $700 million in federal aid to education in jeopardy. Since then, four other Republican-leaning states — Indiana, Louisiana, South Carolina and Oklahoma — have joined Texas and Alaska in opposing the standards.

Other states — some controlled by the GOP and some by Democrats — are feeling the pressure to turn away from the program, Smith reports.

Then-Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott expressed concern in 2009 about a federal takeover of what he saw as a state-run program. “This effort can be seen as a step toward a federal takeover of the nation’s public schools,” Scott wrote in a letter to the Texas congressional delegation in November 2009. “I believe that the true intention of this effort is to establish one set of national education standard and national tests across the country.”

So yet another ideological fight goes on. Will other states join Texas in opposing this program? Do the feds have a better idea for educating our students or should this remain a primarily state function?

Stay tuned. This fight could get nasty, as if we don’t have enough nastiness already all across the political landscape.

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