Discussion: Debunking The Myth That Common Core Opposition Is Widespread

Discussion for article #224263

In Michigan the opposition seems to be driven by extremist nut jobs, but the so-called mainstream Republicans facilitated and humored them with hearings.

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See Diane Ravich


On education “reform” and common core.

If you don’t know who she is you haven’t been paying attention.

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" In our democracy, a motivated minority defeats a distracted, complacent majority every time—especially when gubernatorial or presidential primaries are looming."

This. And one of the defining features of such minorities is the abiding conviction that they represent the will of some mythical “true majority.” Every once in a while, in this country, usually in a presidential election year, a motivated majority can step up to trim them back, but as soon as their attention wanes, they seep back, more resilient than ever, in like a rebound infection when someone doesn’t finish their full course of antibiotics.


Well, Pythagoras’ Theorem should be taught in the home, when parents feel the time is right to learn about those deviant triangles, not when jackbooted teachers think kids need to know!

Don’t get me started on parallelograms! Or that damn pi, can’t nail that slippery bastard down.


I live in a red state that has been trashing Common Core from theGOP.
Of course, these idiots also champion home schooling by unprepared
parents wanting to teach narrow theology more than math, science
and writing skills. Nationally, we should all try Common Core. It does
raise the standards. If it has problems, then tweek it and improve it.
Doing nothing only guarantees that we will continue to fall behind even
further globally.

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A side point, but: I’m fearful we’re reentering one of TPM’s periodic headscratching headline crafting phases; I’d hoped we were past this, but evidently not.
It is disappointing to have 'Debunking the Myth that Opposition to Common Core is Widespread" as the header for an article which declares, in summary, “That’s why the Common Core really is in more trouble than most polls suggest.”
Hope it’s not another trend, Josh.

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Well this article and the comments to it pissed me off to the point where I decided to create my own account and throw in my two cents. This part especially boiled my blood:

“In our democracy, a motivated minority defeats a distracted, complacent majority every time—especially when gubernatorial or presidential primaries are looming.”

GOOD! That’s the way our government was intended to work. No, our government is not a “democracy.” It is a republic. It is ruled not by majority rule, but by rule of law. It is supposed to protect the rights of the minority against the tyranny of the majority. If the majority truly had power, then women would not be able to vote, blacks would not be allowed to eat at the lunch counter, and gays would be forced to remain in the closet. I love living in a country where my rights are not placed at the whims of the majority.

As for Common Core, while there are admittedly conspiracies surrounding it (Seriously, Common Core will turn you gay?), this is no different than conspiracies surrounding most other infringements on our civil, individual rights, most notably, NSA spying. There will be conspiracy nuts surrounding many major political issues, but that does not mean they are del-facto conspiratorial.

The author dismisses that opposition is widespread without offering any evidence. The fact is that most people across the spectrum hate it: conservatives, liberals, progressives, libertarians, the Tea Party, Occupy, and most importantly, teacher unions: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/02/national-education-association-common-core-103690.html

Seriously, the only people who support Common Core are the politicians and corporate cronies who financially benefit from it: i.e.: Bill Gates and Jeb Bush. The very fact Jeb Bush supports this should sound alarms over it.

And why do people oppose it? Because it’s the exact same top-down bureaucracy we’ve seen from No Child Left Behind and Race To The Top—nothing more than an gross overemphasis on standardized testing and cookie-cutter curriculums. This is good for corporations that produce the tests and curriculums, not so much the students and teachers seeking quality education.

You can slam opponents as uneducated rubes, but the ones blindly supporting this garbage are the ones doing real damage to our children, and it’s yet more reason that, if I ever have children, I will never ever send them to public school.

I agree that the headline is most misleading, but even worse the article addresses only the political aspects of the Common Core issue. There are very substantive issues with Common Core that have nothing to do with ideology and everything to do with a robust and versatile education for our children. Yet these are not even mentioned.

I too created an account just to respond to this, after years of not commenting!

Opposition to CCSS is hard to understand and if you haven’t been following education for years, I can see how it would be hard to write about it.

There are at least two different things that CCSS means. One is a list of standards that tries to nationalize what is taught in each grade. I don’t think these standards are fabulous nor do I think they are bad. The document itself is average to slightly above average in that regard.

HOWEVER, part two is the implementation of those standards and that’s where the bigger problem lies. These standards were meant to be interpreted and carried out locally, within districts. But, they have been sucked into the maw of the testing (oh, and textbook, but that’s an aside for them as well at this point) industry.

CCSS is driving building large computer labs in schools – tying them to the technology they buy today and without flexibility to use it in classrooms etc.

CCSS testing is designed to be all online and to create a database of scores. (Do you want your grades on testing from K on to follow you the rest of your life?)

Until Gates called for a 2-year moratorium on using the scores for anything (doesn’t that make you go, hmmm, why is Bill Gates calling the shots in education?), these scores were going to be immediately used to rank teachers as well as rank kids. Now the districts will be buying (yes, buying) tests that everyone will know are not yet ready for prime time (if they ever will or could be).

Please don’t fool yourself into thinking that all the opposition to this is right wing nut jobs, there’s plenty of opposition on the left and among middle of the road teachers, students, and parents who have suffered through the last 10-15 years of “reform” and have watched their schools sink fast.

Common Core, Obamacare – it is the same emotional reaction and the same escape from reality. In both cases, ask the question: fine, we’ll get rid of it. Happy now? Then what happens? Repeal Obamacare but come up with a system that has what people want (e.g. treatment of pre-existing conditions), and in order to make it work, you end up with … Obamacare. Repeal Common Core but come up with a curriculum that people expect for the public schools (high expectations for science, math, reading, etc.), and you end up with … the Common Core curriculum.