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Extreme Common Core rhetoric clouds serious debate

May 1, 2013 by

valerie-strauss-130x130The Common Core State Standards initiative was started with bipartisan support. But new and often nonsensical criticism from right-wing Republicans is making it seem as if the Core is a partisan issue, and, further, is clouding important and serious-minded criticism about the standards and their implementation.

Far right-wing commentators, such as Glenn Beck, are shouting that the Core is essentially an effort by the federal government to rip children out of the control of their parents. Beck said recently:

You as a parent are going to be completely pushed out of the loop. The state is completely pushed out of the loop. They now have control of your children.

Conservative commentator Phyllis Schlaffley, calling the Common Core “Obama Core”, said in a recent piece:

Obama Core is a comprehensive plan to dumb down schoolchildren so they will be obedient servants of the government and probably to indoctrinate them to accept the leftwing view of America and its history.

Actually, probably not.

Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee recently approved a resolution calling the standards an “inappropriate overreach to standardize and control the education of our children.” Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa is trying to eliminate U.S. Education Department funding for the effort. And a number of state legislatures have or are considering slowing down or stopping the Core, with Republicans dominating the opposition.

Such talk has opened the door for the pro-school reform organization Democrats For Education Reform to try to link anybody who criticizes the Core with the far right. The group sent out e-mails — (I got a few) — with the subject line: ‘Who’s Been Courting You On Common Core?”

A series of e-mails came from DFER Indiana, with a link to a letter that says:

Dear Fellow Democrats:

It’s growing late and some of us have spent the night canoodling with far-right opponents of the Common Core State Standards. If that sounds like you, it’s time you ask yourself this question: “Am I going to hate myself for this in the morning?”

We can almost guarantee the answer will be yes.

Before you decide to get into bed with extremist right-wing critics of the Common Core, we highly recommend that you get to know them better.

via Extreme Common Core rhetoric clouds serious debate.

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