Extreme Common Core rhetoric clouds serious debate — update | The Answer Sheet | The Washington Post

(Update: Tea party groups mobilize against anti-Common Core bandwagon)

The Common Core State Standards initiative was started with bipartisan support. But new and often nonsensical criticism from right-wing Republicans is making it seem as if the Core is a partisan issue, and, further, is clouding important and serious-minded criticism about the standards and their implementation.

We’ve had far right-wing commentators, such as Glenn Beck, shouting that the Core is essentially an effort by the federal government to rip children out of the control of their parents. Beck said recently:

You as a parent are going to be completely pushed out of the loop. The state is completely pushed out of the loop. They now have control of your children.

Conservative commentator Phyllis Schlaffley, calling the Common Core “Obama Core”, said in a recent piece:

Obama Core is a comprehensive plan to dumb down schoolchildren so they will be obedient servants of the government and probably to indoctrinate them to accept the leftwing view of America and its history.

Actually, probably not.

And now tea party groups have jumped on the band wagon, as my colleagues Peter Wallsten and Lyndsey Layton reported in this story. They wrote:

Tea party groups over the past few weeks have suddenly and successfully pressured Republican governors to reassess their support for a rare bipartisan initiative backed by President Obama to overhaul the nation’s public schools.

Their beef is the same as other right-win commentators: That the federal government forced the standards on states.

This followed the Republican National Committee’s recent approval of a resolution calling the standards an “inappropriate overreach to standardize and control the education of our children.” Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa is trying to eliminate U.S. Education Department funding for the effort. And a number of state legislatures have or are considering slowing down or stopping the Core, with Republicans dominating the opposition.

Such talk has opened the door for the pro-school reform organization Democrats For Education Reform to try to link anybody who criticizes the Core with the far right. The group sent out e-mails — (I got a few) — with the subject line: ‘Who’s Been Courting You On Common Core?”

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