A pro-Common Core educator in Indiana, Tami Hicks, counseled her colleagues: "(D)on't stop your work on CCSS (Common Core State Standards) -- they are just getting a new name. ... If you compare the new drafted standards to the CCSS, they will see that they are practically (or even exactly) the same."
A spokesman from Pence's office sent me materials purporting to refute the critics. But the documents he sent revealed a fascinating tidbit: Common Core architects have generously waived copyright claims on their materials, will not sue Indiana recyclers and "did not see any problems with Indiana using excerpts or portions of the Common Core State Standards within Indiana's standards." How convenient.
Pence's friend Republican Utah Gov. Gary Herbert also inadvertently spilled the beans on the Rename That Common Core Tune game. "I've talked to Gov. Pence about what they're doing there," he told a local reporter. "In essence, they're creating what's called the Indiana Core. It's not the Common Core. It's the Indiana Core, but their standards are almost mirroring exactly what's commonly referred to as the Common Core standards. So they're just doing it in a different way, which is what we've already been doing in Utah."
GOP Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer pulled a similar move, issuing an executive order last fall to whitewash "Common Core" from state government documents. She replaced the name with "Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards." But the old racket is still in place. And Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded lobbyists from Achieve Inc. and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers are still in the driver's seat.
This retreat-and-rebrand strategy was explicitly championed by Fed Ed advocate and former Arkansas GOP Gov. Mike Huckabee. Huckabee told his allies at the Gates Foundation-funded Council of Chief State School Officers earlier this year that since Common Core had become "toxic," the group needed to "rebrand it, refocus it, but don't retreat."
While disingenuous Republican governors tout their "withdrawals" from Common Core, it's more of the same old, same old: Diluted standards, tied to testing/textbook/technology cash cows, manufactured a top-down cadre of big-government D.C. education lobbyists and big-business interests, in violation of local control and state sovereignty.