Why Is Common Core So Important in Kline’s World ?

In a typical poll, when asked for the most important problem facing America today, “Education” is buried deep down at 5% yet at a John Kline’s Tele-Town Hall meeting, two of the questions were on that broad subject :

Complaints about the government‘s role in “Education” have been around for a long time … heck, it was the Reagan Administration that prompted the modern school reform movement in 1983 with the publication of A Nation at Risk, which called for improving (and standardizing) curricula and academic standards.

President Reagan’s former Secretary of Education William J. Bennett was recently on Hugh Hewitt’s radio program discussing Common Core (highlights below) :

The idea of the Common Core is simple. The idea that all American students should have a common basis of knowledge in various subjects such as math and English, that there are books we should all read, be familiar with and that these help in the attainment of cultural literacy, numeracy, in math, Algebra and the like. Not a very controversial idea.
Lincoln was mostly educated on the Bible and Shakespeare. He did pretty well. That is at its core the idea, the idea of a core, a common core or a core curriculum, but its become as a series of readings and a series of standards, set of standards, developed out of the states by Governors and others which have now been presented to the country. Forty-five states have signed up saying they want to do it. However, there has been some contamination of the process.
So, there is now a very popular rebellion, a lot of our folks, tea party folks who say no, no, heck no, we won’t do this. We don’t want any part of it.
take a figure like Mike Pence, who is a guy I admire very much; good guy, smart guy, very sympathetic to the idea of the Common Core. He’s put it on hold now in the State of Indiana, partly because of pure political resistance, the tea party, other, other folks.

So when Glenn Beck warns about Common Core as “this insidious menace to our children and to our families” students would be “indoctrinated with extreme leftist ideology” it is not surprising to find that there is a FACEBOOK page Minnesotans Against Common Core.

Yet it is not just Bill Bennett that can see the merits in “Common Core” but also Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee. In fact, Mike Huckabee recently wrote a letter to Oklahoma lawmakers, urging the continued bold adoption of rigorous Common Core State Standards in schools (highlights below) :

it’s disturbing to me there have been criticisms of these standards directed by other conservatives including the RNC. The truth of the matter is, these criticisms are short-sighted.
Like many of you, I’ve heard the argument these standards “threaten local control” of what’s being taught in Oklahoma classrooms. Speaking from one conservative to another, let me assure you this simply is not true. States and local school districts will determine how they want to teach kids, what curriculum to use, and which textbooks to use.
These Common Core State Standards evolved 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. In fact, conversations about these standards began long before President Obama occupied the White House.

OK … let’s get to the heart of this issue.
The standards were written through a joint effort of the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.
Common Core doesn’t establish a national curriculum but instead lays out specific facts and concepts students are expected to master at the end of each grade level, with the ultimate goal of increasing college and career readiness among American young people.

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty described the process, “The common core that emerged from this work is no surprise. All graduates must have core knowledge and that core is not bound by state lines.”

Yet John Kline in his Student Success Act has included strong anti-Common Core language.

So it is that Michele Bachmann may get the headlines during her Presidential run for opposing Common Core, it is John Kline that is working to squash it.

Maybe its not so hard to distinguish the Republicans from the Tea Partiers on the importance of education … on one side there is Ronald Reagan, Bill Bennett, Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush … and on the other is Glenn Beck, Michele Bachmann and John Kline.

And that is the reason that John Kline is so happy to get Tele-Town Hall questions on Education.

Tags: , , , , ,