Let’s be bluntly forward to begin: I take serious, measured issue with both the Common Core standard and its corporate-driven force-feeding into the educational system(s) of this country.
Although I understand and agree with its general premise – a unified standard set to elevate all groups of students – I despise how it a) reduces hands-on, creative learning practices for both students and teachers alike, b) holds good teachers accountable for external, cultural and demographical concerns outside their control, and c) dictates an often intellectually stale and largely irrelevant teaching process that children – especially the youngest – will have no alternative to which it can be evaluated.
That being said, I also know where the criticism does and does not apply.
Earlier this week, while attempting to bolster support for an early White House bid amongst New Hampshire voters, disastrously inept Texas Senator Ted Cruz ( R ) blasted out an instantly-notorious tweet concerning his own criticism of Common Core, one that erroneously links aforementioned shortcomings to his Tea Party-esque theme of Federal government overthrow:
Unfortunately for Senator Cruz – as well as his adoring, voting public – Common Core is not a federal law. Furthermore – and here is the best part – the federal government can only repeal a law it actually implemented.
In reality, the Common Core State Standard Initiative is exactly as its full name suggests: a state standard. The program, which is entirely voluntary and not a mandate of the federal government, has been implemented by 43 “states as well as Washington D.C.
Supporters of Cruz’s claim may attempt to tie Common Core to the “Race to the Top” federal education initiative, suggesting it is a response by states to secure federal funds in the wake of our recent economic crash. Expertly, as always, ThinkProgress.org points out the error in this claim.
But for the American public that would place stock in Cruz’s 140-character limit snark, the damage has been done. The soundbite is let loose, and the cohorts at Fox News will relay it with a wink and a smile before hurrying off to a new and separate segment, without affording time for any responsible checks or balance.
Photo credit: ABC News.