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How Republicans Feel About The Common Core And What They Know About The Common Core

Intelligent people can make solid arguments either for or against the Common Core curriculum. Unfortunately, that’s not much of what’s happening across America. Most of the debate about the Common Core is based on hearsay and vague feelings of fear about what They want to do to education, whoever They are.

Typical is William Hamilton of Grand County, Colorado, who complains of “a curriculum called Common Core which, if adopted, would govern K-12 public education”. If adopted? Adopted by who? No one is considering passing national legislation in Congress imposing the Common Core as a national curriculum. The only bill in Congress that has anything to say about the Common Core is S. 73, which seeks to block implementation of the Common Core curriculum, not to support it.

State governments remain free to adopt the Common Core, or to go with an alternative, or to do defer to local governments to make decisions for themselves. The Common Core curriculum does nothing to create a centralized national body with the power to “govern K-12 public education”. Curricula do guide education. That’s what they’re written for.

Parent activist Penny Hodges insists that the Common Core curriculum is pulling America’s students “behind”, which is why she supports using the Common Core only as a supplement to unspecified “traditional methods”. She writes, “I believe parents are starting to vote for the legislators that are against the common core standards. It is pulling our children behind and if we want to compete in a global level we need to advance our children with smaller class sizes teach traditional math then once they have mastered the traditional way of thinking introduce the common core way to show children different ways of processing answers.”

Republican rants against the Common Core tend to take on the tone of opposition to “standardized testing” and “computers”, as if the best way to educate children is to give them non-standardized tests and to deprive them of all new technology. These are the same people who fear immunization and suspect that FEMA is running concentration camps across America.

The most consistent theme of the 2016 Republican presidential nomination contest is that Jeb Bush can’t win because he supports the Common Core. No one really knows if that’s true, of course. We can observe, however, that the Republicans are having debates about the Common Core in their own particular way, without letting facts drive the conversation.

It’s true that the number of Republican voters who hate the Common Core is huge. However, there is much smaller number of Republicans who actually know what the Common Core is.

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