Progressives and liberals don’t often agree with conservatives on key issues like gay marriage or abortion.
But every now and then, an issue is so heavy-handed and frightening that it unifies otherwise opposite thinkers. Common Core education standards and their widespread implementation fit that bill.
Common Core is an initiative to transform K-12 learning, using new standards for what kids should know at certain grade levels. Its hallmark is standardized testing, and its pushers are big government and big business.
Tennessee and Wisconsin are still reviewing the standards. Florida’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, recently joined other governors who have pulled their states out of a consortium designing the new assessment tests to be used.
The knock on Common Core is multi-faceted.
The tea party believes the standards impinge on states’ rights, according to NBC News.
The progressive Badass Teacher Association fears that teachers will be micro-managed and blamed for likely failures in a system based on high-stakes testing.
“There are people in this fight fighting for different reasons, but the objective is the same,” Karen Bracken, who founded Tennessee Against the Common Core, told the network.
“Liberal opponents describe Common Core as a crude mandate that’s going to push arts and science even further out of schools, limit the teaching of literature and creative writing in classrooms,” Slate.com reported.
Conservatives see it as another massive Obama, big-government overreach.
There are also serious concerns that the tests will be used to mine sellable data. It’s hardly an unfair thought, with Bill Gates and other corporate interests so heavily involved in the effort and with large databases potentially sucking up student information. Those privacy concerns are why some are suspicious that Common Core’s purpose is more nefarious than beneficial.
This fight is far from over. Here is an example of Common Core material as published by twitchy.
— Margie Busby (@MargieBusby) October 3, 2013