Playing Defense on Common Core 2

Opposition to the Common Core is weighing heavily on the minds of other editorial boards in Iowa. Here’s a contribution from the Quad-City Times editorial board, Branstad stands up for Common Core.

Apparently if you are against Common Core, then you are for Glenn Beck.


But there is more.

The Q-C Times editorial board asserts that “The NGA’s Common Core work grew from state dissatisfaction with No Child Left Behind, which truly was a national assessment plan crammed down the throats of state legislatures and local school boards by federally funded education leaders.” I suppose one could argue that federally funded education leaders haven’t truly crammed Common Core and associated Common Core assessments down the throats of state legislatures and local school boards, just merely strongly suggested that state boards of education and state departments of education might want to do the cramming down the throats of the state legislatures and local school boards themselves if they hoped to win Race to the Top money and approval of their ESEA Flexibility Requests (NCLB waivers). Perhaps there is a distinction with a difference in there somewhere, but I am a bit skeptical on that point.

The Q-C Times editorial also asserts that “Iowans had plenty of input at Gov. Terry Branstad’s statewide education summits.” A very small percentage of Iowa’s population attended the summits, and the one I attended was more showcase for the Governor’s ideas than an opportunity for audience input.

More importantly, either I or the editorial board (although perhaps both!) have a gross misunderstanding of how Iowa government works. What are free speech, elections, separate branches of government, and checks and balances for if political and public policy issues are to be considered resolved once and for all by the holding of a Governor’s summit or two?

Finally, the editorial board ends with this admonishment.

Those wishing to improve local education should turn off Beck and show up at their local school board, where civic involvement stands the best chance of effecting change.

Why we should limit our civic involvement to the local level when critical education decisions are being made at the state and federal level, is beyond me.