Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Conservatives find opportunities in Common Core

Posted By on Tue, Jan 7, 2014 at 11:47 AM

It’s hard to find many areas in the current political climate where conservatives and progressives agree. But they seem to have found one in education. Many progressives reject the tougher standardized curriculum referred to as Common Core because they're suspicious of how it was developed — largely absent of input from everyday teachers.

They’ve also been critical of the inflexibility of the Common Core and of its rocky rollout in some states, including New York. State Education Commissioner John King received many complaints about the implementation of the Common Core during his recent visits to Rochester.

Many conservatives reject the Common Core because they view it as another Big Government program. And in some respects, it is. The Obama administration convinced 45 states to go along with the idea by dangling Race to the Top funding to cash-strapped state governments.  

An article in Politico describes how conservative groups funded by the Koch brothers are now building a case against Common Core and using it to push for school vouchers and to get rid of tenure in public school districts.

The fight over the Common Core is especially interesting because the Gates Foundation has spent millions on its development. And even though progressives have been critical of new curriculum, promoting school choice through vouchers and ending teacher tenure are probably not what they want, either.

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