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Mike Huckabee to Common Core Creators: Rebrand, Don’t Retreat

Feb 2, 2014 by

Though former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee told his Fox News Channel audience in early December he was no longer supporting the Common Core standards for which he had avidly campaigned, his message to one of the groups that created the standards was different.

According to The Washington Post, at a recent meeting of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), one of the organizations that created the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Huckabee urged state education officials to get rid of the “Common Core” name because it has become “toxic.”

As the Post indicates, however, Huckabee still intends to support the standards.

“Rebrand it, refocus it, but don’t retreat,” Huckabee reportedly told CCSSO members.

As Breitbart News reported in December, Huckabee, who is considered to be a Republican presidential hopeful in 2016, opened one of his shows by telling his audience that people have been posting on his Facebook page that they will never watch his show again because he supports the Common Core standards. Others, he said, have told him they could not trust him because of his support of the standards, and some said he needed to learn the truth about Common Core.

“I don’t support what Common Core has become in many states or school districts,” Huckabee said. “Look, I’m dead set against the federal government creating a uniform curriculum for any subject. I oppose the collection of personal data on students that would identify them and then track them, and certainly any effort to give that personal information to the federal government.”

“I am steadfast in my belief that parents – parents – should ultimately decide the best venue for their children’s education, whether it’s public schools, private schools, religious schools, or home schools,” Huckabee added.

Merely changing the name of the “Common Core” standards, in fact, is becoming the new trend across the country.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) has used an executive order to purge the name “Common Core” from the standards and refer to them, instead, as Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards: “The Executive Order requires that executive agencies refer to the standards, adopted in 2010, as Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards, and encourages citizens and education stakeholders to do the same.”

Similarly, in Iowa, the Common Core standards are now called The Iowa Core, and in Florida, the push is on to delete the words “Common Core” from official education documents and replace them with Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.

The superficial changes are indicative of several things.

First, the Common Core creators, the political class, and the Obama administration have clearly been placed on the defensive by parents, teachers, and American citizens in general – though not all of these groups are fighting Common Core for the same reasons.

For example, while many parents are concerned their children’s education will be dumbed down for the sake of the federal government’s desire to promote economic social justice and redistribution, teachers’ unions are focused on the fact that their angry members face teacher performance ratings that will be tied to students’ test scores on the Common Core-aligned assessments. Note that both the National Education Association (NEA) and Randi Weingarten’s American Federation of Teachers (AFT) have not rejected the Common Core standards at all – only their “implementation” as it has occurred.

As veteran educator and author Marion Brady wrote at the Post about the fact that Americans across the political spectrum are opposed to the Common Core:

Three cheers for those on the political right. Three more for those on the left. May the chaos in Washington and state capitols over education policy help the public realize that, in matters educational, the leaders of business and industry and the politicians who listen to them are blind bulls in china shops.

Compared to most of the complex realities facing humankind, what’s happening to the reality visible out my window is small potatoes. But making sense of it (and all other realities) requires a particular kind of thinking—a kind of thinking that makes civilized life possible. However, the Common Core Standards don’t promote that kind of thinking. That means it won’t get taught, which means it won’t get tested, which means we’re not really educating, which means too much to even try to summarize.

Second, a superficial tweaking of the “Common Core” name demonstrates that the political elite and corporatists funding the standards believe Americans can still be easily misled.

“Political power must be exercised, but parents, grandparents, and thoughtful, caring citizens are the only ones with enough clout to exercise it effectively,” Brady writes. “They need to recognize poor policy when they see it, organize, and act appropriately.”

via Mike Huckabee to Common Core Creators: Rebrand, Don’t Retreat.

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2 Comments

  1. It’s International !

    These “common core” goals are being imposed, under different guises, in different parts of the world. Australia developed a New National Curriculum — six years in the making under Labor — which is now under Review by a new conservative government.

    In Canada we have different provinces moving to 21st Century Skills but they’re on par with CC due to their radical shift from the 3Rs to competencies — collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, global citizenship, etc.
    The one statement of Huckabee’s I do agree with is this: “I am steadfast in my belief that parents – parents – should ultimately decide the best venue for their children’s education, whether it’s public schools, private schools, religious schools, or home schools.”

    It’s this viewpoint that needs much stronger advocacy from politicians and public. Anyone watching CC and its implementation will clearly see a lot of agents and private businesses far-removed from the local ground level in education. They will clearly see how these international efforts at standardizing — effectively dumbing down — are being coercively imposed. These methods and the “who’s who” alone should condemn CC and its spinoffs.

    Parents are the very last to comprehend this radical usurpation of their primary role in education.

    A professor at Hillsdale has done us all a great service because he not only studied the curriculum path but also the Teacher Guides. Terrence Moore, in his videos and book, describes part of the material on “Frankenstein”. A “hands-on” experience is to view a skit from “Saturday Night Live”. In the skit the word “fascist” is used. This is the instruction to the teacher:
    “Point out the use of the term ‘fascist’. Explain its traditional political meaning and how it has been extended to refer to any right-wing extremist group.”

    Naturally, some CC critics refute this “fascist” label and are taking this rather personally. However, some might simply see this as classical projection — the kettle calling the pot black. So, in a way, this is very revealing! It’s certainly adding to the mounting anxieties about 21st Century Learning campaigns.

    • Tunya Audain

      A Book Unmasks The Common Core

      The anti-common core cause is not exactly lost, but the “implementers” have achieved some headway. Here is a book of interest — read the reviews in Amazon.com — Credentialed to Destroy- How and Why Education Became a Weapon, Robin Eubanks. Her website is loaded with “exhibits” (she is a lawyer) of the international connections, webs,
      agendas — Invisible Serfs Collar.

      Some say CC is doomed, but so much has already been committed via training, books, and experiments, that collateral damage is inevitable.

      Heaven help the young students who become “crippled” because of this confusion and amateurish implementation.
      Court actions are logical routes to halt harm and gain remedies and damages. But kids are kids only once. Parents are frustrated.

      Suits are expensive. However, if we can take any comfort, any engineer will tell you the very design of the whole 21st Century Skills project is so seriously flawed it must eventually IMPLODE. The sooner the better.

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