Southern Poverty Law Center: Common Core Opposition 'Far-Right, Demonizing, Anti-Government Extremists'

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has excoriated groups of parents, teachers, and other citizens who oppose the Common Core standards, claiming the grassroots campaigns are being fueled by “far-right propaganda that relies heavily on distortions, outright falsehoods, and demonizing conspiracy theories promoted by anti-government extremists.”

The civil rights group has prepared a publication entitled, “Public Schools in the Crosshairs: Far-Right Propaganda and the Common Core State Standards,” in which it claims opponents to the nationalized standards are attempting to “derail this ambitious effort to lift student achievement and, more fundamentally, to undermine the very idea of public education.”

SPLC’s paper states:

To the propaganda machine on the right, the Common Core—an effort driven by the states—is actually “Obamacore,” a nefarious federal plot to wrest control of education from local school systems and parents. Instead of the “death panels” of “Obamacare,” the fear is now “government indoctrination camps.” 

The left-wing group writes that the “propaganda” against the Common Core is being driven by “Fox News, the John Birch Society, Tea Party factions, and the Christian Right,” as well as “national think tanks and advocacy groups associated with the Koch brothers…”

The Common Core standards are a federally-promoted education initiative introduced in the Obama administration's 2009 stimulus bill through a competitive grant program called Race to the Top (RttT). States could apply and compete for federal grant money as long as they adopted the set of uniform standards and aligned curricula and testing that allows for a greater role of government in education, higher levels of social engineering, student data collection, and teacher evaluations based on student performance on assessments aligned with the standards.

The National Governors Association (NGA), the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and nonprofit progressive education think tank Achieve, Inc. were mainly responsible for the initiative, and both the NGA and the CCSSO are the publishers and copyright owners of the Common Core State Standards. None of these groups are accountable to parents, teachers, students, or taxpayers.

The state boards of education, most of them unelected, that signed onto the unproven Common Core standards did so with little, if any, public or media scrutiny, prior to even seeing the standards themselves.

The implementation of Common Core has been privately funded primarily by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, underscoring the alliance of big government political elites and corporatists in this academic initiative.

A total of 34 states have raised some form of legislation against the standards themselves, the aligned testing, or and the associated student data collection.

There is no official information about who selected the individuals to write the Common Core standards. In addition, none of the writers of the math and English Language Arts standards have ever taught math, English, or reading at the K-12 level. The Standards Development Work Groups did not include any members who were high school English and mathematics teachers, English professors, scientists, engineers, parents, state legislators, early childhood educators, or state or local school board members.

At American Thinker, Rick Moran wrote Saturday, “The Southern Poverty Law Center must be in dire need of funds. Their latest fundraising ploy is to brand opponents of Common Core as ‘far right extremists.’”

“In other words, Common Core foes have now been lumped in with neo-Nazis, skinheads, and militias in the eyes of the SPLC,” Moran said. “No doubt designating them a ‘hate group' can't be far behind.”



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