"My Child Is Not Common" are the words on the attention-getting signs carried by a group of white and African-American mothers protesting the adoption of the aggressively promoted Common Core Standards. Common Core is scheduled to take over the testing of all U.S. kids grades pre-K through 12, but parents are saying "no way" in every way they can.
Common Core was rapidly adopted by 44 states and the District of Columbia before anyone read the standards. Four states rejected it from the outset: Alaska, Nebraska, Texas and Virginia.
Those of us who have been speaking and writing against national control of education for years are amazed at the way parents are coming out of their kitchens to protest. None of the previous attempts by the progressives to nationalize public school curriculum created anything like this kind of grassroots uprising.
Bad education fads started some 50 years ago with whole language, which cheated generations of school kids out of learning how to read English by phonics. Call the roll of the fads that followed: values clarification, Goals 2000, outcome-based education, school-based clinics, sex ed, suicide ed, self-esteem ed, new math and history standards, School-to-Work, Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind.
Our powerful and erudite articles against all those fads never aroused the angst caused by Common Core. Those of us who for years have been criticizing the mistaken courses that kept kids from learning are flabbergasted at what we see erupting among the grassroots.
Former Education Commissioner Robert Scott was the Texas official who articulated the state's rejection of Common Core. He pointed out how the feds tried to bribe Texas into going along.
Scott said: "We said no to Common Core and they said, 'you want Race to the Top money?' That was $700 million. They said, 'do it.' Well, we still said, no thanks. The feds also asked if Texas wanted a No Child Left Behind waiver and again, the state said no."
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal recently came out with a strong statement against Common Core: "As we have seen in Obamacare, President Obama's Washington believes it knows better than the peasants in the states. But centralized planning didn't work in Russia, it's not working with our health care system, and it won't work in education."
No wonder the grassroots have dubbed Common Core "Obamacore." That's a play on the Obamacare health plan that is so widely despised.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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