Common Core finds business leaders crossing political lines

Dec 31, 2015 by

By Erin McIntyre –

  • A new article in Fortune details how Common Core has “personally engaged—and bedeviled some of America’s most powerful business leaders,” drawing corporate executives into political battles.
  • According to Fortune, the original Common Core standards, now enforced in 42 states, were actually drafted by big business, in an attempt to “to prepare America’s future workforce and to bolster its global competitiveness.”
  • Some of the United State’s most powerful CEO’s, including Exxon Mobil’s Rex Tillerson, who also serves as education chairs for the organization Business Roundtable, have crossed their own political lines to both push for (and, for some, against) the standards.

Dive Insight:

“There’s a somewhat unwritten rule that if you’re a CEO, you only get your business involved in an issue that rewards your company in some fashion,” Craig Barrett, formerly of Intel, told Fortune. Therein lies the rub: Rex Tillerson, for example, is a traditional Republican, yet had been a champion of Common Core as a means to advance American schools.

With a “handful” of CEOs igniting the nation’s initial Common Core frenzy, business leaders eventually became mired in the serious political fallout from education reform, Fortune notes, as the controversy over Common Core “upended traditional alliances, turning natural bedfellows into bitter enemies.” Notably, the standards’ development and implementation also received significant funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

A recent survey by District Administration showed that 41% of respondents expected political pressure against Common Core to increase in 2016. States are also scrapping standardized testing; in New York, for example, a task force recently convened and recommended an “overhaul.”

Now, with the Every Student Succeeds Act passed into law and granting more power to individual states, the backlash against Common Core-aligned national standards is likely to continue growing, despite being “increasingly impractical to undo.”

Source: Common Core finds business leaders crossing political lines | Education Dive

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