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Meckler: 'The People' Are Winning Against Common Core

Meckler: 'The People' Are Winning Against Common Core

Parents are winning the battle against Common Core federal education standards. Not only are states leaving the program; politicians who support Common Core have felt the heat in recent elections.

Michelle Malkin says the defeat of several Common Core supporters in Indiana primaries sends a message about local people’s response to the standards.

The principles that unite parents of all ideologies against Fed Ed are bedrock tenets of our constitutional republic: local control, parental sovereignty, privacy protections, and fundamental skepticism about the actual educational benefits of massive government expenditures in the name of “reform.” The Davids of the Stop Common Core movement are exercising their freedoms of speech and association to beat back the deep-pocketed Goliaths at their schoolhouse doors.

It’s a fight worth having.

Oak Norton says that Common Core changed the whole education system, including measurements, so there is no viable way to compare results to the previous system. The standards were developed quietly and unrolled quickly, so only a select number of curriculum publishers were ready to meet the demand. The resulting profits looked suspiciously like a government-endorsed monopoly. States were offered grants if they would adopt the standards before they were even tested.

Thankfully, some of those states are now replacing the Common Core with better standards focused on their local area and which don’t box teachers in with such high emphasis on testing. But these states face the new challenge of quickly coming up with high-quality alternatives that still meet federal scrutiny. In Indiana, the new standards looked suspiciously like the Common Core they were supposed to replace.

Educators should be concerned about quality of standards and what kind of students they will produce, but the bigger issue is the level of government control exerted through these education standards. 

On paper, they were developed by state governors and private firms, and states can opt in or out. The problem is that Common Core was developed out of the public eye before the federal government gave it a big push. It was adopted before most Americans even knew what it was. Since funding was tied to whether or not states adopted the standards, states were manipulated to jump on board before getting the whole picture. 

Federal money equals federal control. 

The federal government needs to take their hands off education and let states manage their own system. C.S. Lewis knew the danger of state-controlled education for freedom and flourishing:

I believe a man is happier, and happy in a richer way, if he has “the freeborn mind.” But I doubt whether he can have this without economic independence, which the new society is abolishing. For independence allows an education not controlled by Government; and in adult life it is the man who needs and asks nothing of Government who can criticize its acts and snap his fingers at its ideology. … Who will talk like that when the State is everyone’s schoolmaster and employer?

Don’t sit by while Americans become so dependent on government they can’t say no to its demands.

Mark Meckler is the President of Citizens for Self-Governance, which created the Convention of States Project.

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