Opposition Against Common Core Grows, May Be Defining Issue For 2015 Presidential Election

( [email protected] ) Dec 29, 2014 02:07 PM EST
The implementation of the Common Core Standards Imitative into the public school system has received significant criticism, and will likely be a hot-button issue this election season.
A recent study conducted by the Washington Post reveals that the Common Core model of education results in parents who are less engaged in their kids’ education and express more negative attitudes about schools and government.

An increasing number of parents, teachers, and lawmakers are doubting the effectiveness of the Common Core standard and are taking action to ensure their public school curriculums are no longer guided by the federally backed standards.

Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, was developed by the State Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers (both of which are private, non-governmental, organizations). In 2009, the Obama administration promoted the standards, using some of the $4.35 billion from the Race to the Top program to incentivize states to adopt not only the Common Core, but frequent and rigorous testing as well.

Although the move was heavily criticized by many who saw the initiatives as undesired federal intrusion into state and local control of education, lawmakers in 45 states eagerly signed on, implementing all of the standards into their state school systems.

Nearly five years later, Common Core has proven to be one of the most controversial and divisive issues currently facing the United States.

Four states that adopted the standards have since backed out; Indiana, Oklahoma and South Carolina, completely threw out the curriculum, while Minnesota adopted the English, but not the math, standards.

Indiana Senate Education Committee Chairman Dennis Kruse told the Indianapolis Star, "It is significant that Indiana is the first state to remove ourselves from Common Core. We pulled out of Common Core, and that is a victory. We will be in control of our academic standards."

In 2014, a whopping 77 bills were introduced in state legislatures to limit or halt implementation of Common Core, including in Iowa and New Hampshire--and more are expected next year.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who once supported Common Core by saying it would "raise expectations for every child," sued his own state and the United States Department of Education this summer in an effort to block the standards from taking effect.

In addition, Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, has received significant criticism for his support of Common Core in the wake of announcing he will "actively explore" a presidential bid.

The new education standards have also come under fire by both teachers and parents who say the new curriculum makes math needlessly complicated and implements a one-size-fits-all approach that is relatively untested and dangerous in the world of education.

The New York Times reports that a Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll conducted last spring found that 57 percent of public school parents opposed "having teachers in your community use the Common Core State Standards to guide what they teach."

"These standards have not been researched, piloted, tweaked, as is the case with most standards and curriculum in education," said Marla Kilfoyle, a parent and teacher in New York. "In education we research good method, we try them out, see what is wrong with them, tweak them, and then test them again.  We do this until we get it right. This has not been done with these standards. On top of that, they are standards that the new reform movement has guaranteed will fix the achievement gap, how do they know that? They haven't even tested them.

Due to fast-growing dissent, the Common Core issue will likely drive much of the campaign agenda in 2015 and will  be used by many voters as a litmus test for the presidential candidates, predicts RedState.com editor Erick Erickson.

"Opposition to Common Core cuts across ideological lines, party lines, and demographics," Erickson wrote in a FoxNews.com op-ed.

"Much of the political press either does not have children or have children old enough not to be affected by it. But it is going to be an issue this election season."