The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) has endorsed the Obama administration’s Common Core State Standards and is planning to launch a nation-wide campaign to salvage the increasingly unpopular initiative.
Considered to be the leading voice for 16 million Hispanic American Evangelical Christians, the NHCLC is launching a national education campaign by rallying its 40,000 member churches behind the Common Core standards. According to Religion News Service, the organization plans to educate its members about the benefits of the Common Core initiative for Hispanics and low-income students and to mobilize church leaders to encourage implementation of the standards in local schools.
As Breitbart News reported on February 3rd, Common Core “architect” and president of the College Board David Coleman announced last May that he would be bringing in members of Barack Obama’s Organizing for Action (OFA) team, including Dan Wagner and Jeremy Bird, to reach out to low-income and Latino students, whom Coleman referred to as “low-hanging fruit.”
Connecting to the popular Common Core supporter talking point that the new standards are “rigorous,” Coleman’s economic justice project at the College Board is called “Access to Rigor.” It is aimed at profiling low-income and Latino K-12 students, and then mobilizing them–the same tactics used by the OFA team to successfully re-elect Obama in 2012.
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the NHCLC, commented on his organization’s announcement, claiming that the standards are “rigorous” and that they prepare students for “college” and “careers.”
“For years many states have set expectations too low for all our students, but particularly those from low-income schools, where many Hispanic children are educated,” he said. “Rigorous standards must be available to all children, especially those in poverty who need clear signals of what skills they need to succeed in college or a career.”
“Offering high educational standards to all students is an issue of biblical justice, because all children are made in the image of God as described in Genesis 1:27,” Rodriguez added. “Common Core offers schools the opportunity to positively impact the future of Hispanic children and all children who live in poverty.”
Many of the nation’s top experts on the Common Core initiative, however, have argued that the standards are not “rigorous” at all but are actually “dumbing down” learning for all students.
In response to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s recommendation that the Common Core name simply be “rebranded” so that the initiative could become more successful, Dr. Sandra Stotsky, who was asked to be a member of the Common Core Validation Committee, told Breitbart News, “I would hope that Governor Huckabee comes to realize that all children need more rigorous mathematics standards, especially minority children, and that Common Core’s high school mathematics standards were designed to dumb everyone down because its designers don’t think any minority children are capable of a STEM career.”
Similarly, Hillsdale College Professor Terrence Moore told Breitbart News that the Common Core standards will only hasten the full decline of America’s schools.
In particular, Moore noted the bias against faith-based literature and its lack of presence in the Common Core standards.
“It’s not till you start asking questions about what’s not in the standards that you realize the bias,” Moore said. “The texts from the standards are superficial, politically biased, and embarrassingly dumb.”
In response to NHCLC’s announcement, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), an avid supporter of the Common Core standards, said, “I applaud Reverend Rodriguez and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference for their leadership in championing the state-driven Common Core initiative and their commitment to achieving a high quality education for all students.”
Huckabee, who told his Fox News audience in December that the Common Core standards had become “toxic” and that he no longer supported them, said, “The Common Core State Standards were initiated as Governors and state leaders were talking about what we could do together to raise standards-not a Washington solution, but a voluntary effort on the part of the leaders of the states.”
“The original intent was to empower states and local school board to make all decisions as to curriculum. Many states are now taking back ownership of the standards,” he claimed. “No one wants federal control, federal curriculum content, or data collection of individual students, but having consistent standards is not something to be afraid of; indeed it is something to embrace.”