A few hours ago, I set about researching the Common Core educational standards that are under fire in various segments of our messed-up political culture.
I thought I might be able to stir things up by jumping on the growing negative bandwagon, but I couldn’t find a single thing about them with which I disagree.
So, I have a better idea.
Let’s all blame President Barack Obama.
I mean no disrespect. The only thing he’s done is endorse the standards, which I think is the reason why there is growing discontent about them. If Obama likes them, they must be bad.
Here’s the initiative’s simple explainer of Common Core for the folks who haven’t been paying attention:
“State education chiefs and governors in 48 states came together to develop the Common Core, a set of clear college- and career-ready standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts/literacy and mathematics. Today, 43 states have voluntarily adopted and are working to implement the standards, which are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to take credit bearing introductory courses in two- or four-year college programs or enter the workforce.”
The standards are meant to level education standards across the country while acknowledging successful educational systems across the planet. The goal is to produce high school graduates with better-than-adequate academic skill levels whether they hail from Dover, Ohio, or San Francisco, Calif.
Common Core addresses two areas of instruction – language arts and mathematics. I don’t have to expound on why I think an understanding of reading and writing is important. I mean you figured that, right?
Well, of course. Mathematics is the holy grail of engineering and technology, and there are a billion Chinese people who are excelling at it.
Back to Obama.
In a recent article, the Christian Science Monitor gave credence to the Obama toxicity theory.
“Most people agree that for Republicans, the seeds of the backlash were planted when President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan got behind the standards, requiring states that wanted to apply for federal Race to the Top funds to either adopt the standards or adopt comparable ones deemed ‘college- and career-ready.’”
Some Republicans and Democrats who are seemingly more concerned with getting re-elected than with being purveyors of truth have dubbed the initiative “Obamacore.”
“What had been sold as a state-led effort, supported by the National Governors Association, suddenly became associated with Mr. Obama, and rumors circulated quickly of a national curriculum (the standards don’t actually prescribe curriculum) and a federal takeover of education,” the Christian Science Monitor added.
In addition, a recent Time magazine story detailed the success of Kentucky’s version of the Affordable Care Act, which is called and referred to as Kynect. It’s successful. It’s working.
And note that it’s not called Obamacare even though it is. In fact, Obama doesn’t get any credit. Gov. Steve Beshear does. And ask Kentuckians what they think of Obamacare, and they’ll bad mouth it right along with the rest of the country.
How did Obama get to this point? I think historians will have to answer that question. I can’t. He’s certainly not stupid – he’s articulate – and he has served without major scandal and with some successes. Bin Laden comes to mind.
None of it matters. He’s lost the public. And there’s a good chance he’ll get blamed for your community’s next water main break.
So be it.
Obamacare is what it is.
But don’t attach Common Core to Obama in any way, shape or form. Embrace the initiative. It’s something we need if we’re going to compete globally. It’s the right thing to do for our children. And it’s about time.
Dick Farrell writes this column weekly for the Bargain Hunter.
Published: August 8, 2014