Common Core is Uncommonly Bad Ed. Policy

Posted: Mar 22, 2014 12:01 AM
Common Core is Uncommonly Bad Ed. Policy

You cannot be a rational, true conservative who opposes Obamacare but supports Common Core education standards.

There, I said it.

I’ve chosen now to run for public office because I don’t want to see my kids inherit an America worse off than the one I inherited – it gave me the freedom to get an education, practice medicine, start a business, and raise a family.

Unfortunately, all of our constitutional protections from an intrusive government are under attack by the Obama administration. The Washington mindset of tax, spend, regulate couldn’t be farther removed from common-sense Alabama values of fiscal restraint and freedom.

Health care is one arena we’re seeing this play out in today. Education is another.

That’s why it’s beyond me how anyone calling themselves conservative could support Common Core. Obamacare, which I’ve read cover to cover, is a blatant assault on free-market health care that puts government between doctor and patient. As a physician, I’ve lived the consequences of this bad policy.

Similarly, Common Core is a blatant assault on free-market educational choice; it puts government between parents and children, wiping out school choice for the sake of uniform standards dictated by bureaucrats, not the needs of the child.

I’m the founding board chairman of the Alabama Coalition for Charter Schools. In that capacity I’ve been on the frontlines of the battle for school choice.

I was in the gallery of the state Senate last year when a bill repealing Common Core went nowhere, and like so many other Alabama parents, I fumed with anger at seeing Republicans keep this terrible policy in place.

Frankly, that’s got to change. We need Republicans in Alabama, and especially Washington, who’ll enact real conservative reforms when given the chance, not pay lip service in election years or spend more time putting their foots in their mouths than delivering results.

We need common-sense education reform, not Common Core. What we need are reforms that leave education at the local level, empower parents with greater choices, and help children trapped in failing schools.

We need to unleash the power of American innovation across the board instead of locking government-run failure into place. That goes for both health care and education. Google Common Core and one of the first results you’ll get is an article called “Eight Problems with Common Core Standards.”

The government’s products are failing – in both spheres – and it’s going to take true conservatism to get it out of both the doctor/patient relationship AND the classroom.

Which goes back to what I mentioned earlier; we need conservative leaders who can deliver. One of my opponents in this race, state Senator Scott Beason, introduced the Alabama bill that I watched go down in smoke last year. He offered it again this year, and it again failed.

That’s 0-2 on actually getting conservative policies enacted. When it comes to Beason, he’s known more for shock value than actual results for the people of Alabama. That’s why Ken Blackwell recently compared him to Dean Young – we all remember how that one went.

In times like these, we can’t afford politicians cut from either cloth, be it the status quo or putting on a show rather than winning the war of ideas.

I’ve got no interest in reforming Common Core or diluting it enough just to say we’ve done something so we can then leave it alone.

Like Obamacare, I want it sent to the scrap heap of history.

Real education reform starts by getting Washington out of every parent’s business. Local control, expanded choice, and an experience that fits the need of every student – not some government metric that takes none of these things into account – is what I’ll push for in Congress.