How to Fight the Common Core

It seems like fighting the Common Core is a David vs. Goliath proposition.  It’s even more frustrating when the Common Core was approved behind closed doors and implemented without public knowledge.  It’s frustrating when the media hardly discusses it, and when they do it’s typically slanted in favor of the Common Core.  It’s disheartening to see all of the big money lining up behind the Common Core.  Today I had a parent in Arkansas contact me.  Arkansas, like my home state of Iowa, has adopted the Common Core with zero public input and is currently doing nothing about it.

She writes:

I am a concerned parent who lives in Jonesboro, Ark. I have been following your posts for several days after doing some investigating into Common Core. It is already being implemented in Arkansas and in the school where my child goes. Although nothing has ever been publically announced to the parents concerning the implementation which I understand began last (school) year. Just wondering what info or advise you have concerning states or schools where we were not aware of Common Core until it was already a done deal. Others who I have recently talked to said they felt it was too big to fight.

It does seem like it is too big of a fight!  But may I remind you that the outcome of David’s fight with Goliath, scrappy little David, who was a just a lowly shepherd, became King and Goliath lost his head.

Even big fights against overwhelming odds can be won.  Here are some steps to get started.

  1. Educate yourself on the issue.  Read the standards.  Know the myths vs. facts.  There are several strikes against the Common Core: they are subpar standards, the implementation of them will likely be more costly than anticipated, and most importantly they are unconstitutional.   Also be sure to check out our resources.
  2. Start small.  Social media is a powerful tool, share what you’re learning with your friends and family.  Email articles of interest to people you know.  Talk about this issue whenever you get the chance. Begin to educate others.
  3. Letters to the editor:  The media may not be saying much about the Common Core, but that doesn’t mean you can’t express your opinion.
  4. Be the “media” voice:  Perhaps you may have to start your own state-oriented blog if you can’t get the media on board.  Some examples of blogs covering the Common Core at the State Level would be Utahns Against the Common Core, Missouri Education Watchdog, Hoosiers Against Common Core, and Iowans for Local Control.  We have a list of blogs that you can check out.  If there isn’t one in your state maybe it’s time to start one.  Not sure how?  Feel free to contact me.  I would encourage you if you do this to try to keep your material as focused on your state as possible.  Be a resource for your state.
  5. Engage friendly new media… not every blog will want to focus on education, but some may be interested in writing about it from time to time.  Outside of Truth In American Education I blog about the Common Core on occasion at Caffeinated Thoughts.  If I didn’t do that there would be little written in Iowa on the subject.  There are other blogs like mine in other states.  You need to find out who they are and reach out.
  6. Bring the Common Core up with your school board.  It is likely they won’t be able to do anything about them, but you’re at least making the topic public and bringing a level of transparency that didn’t exist before.
  7. Contact your legislators… contact all your state’s legislators.  Do not assume they know what is going on.  Encourage others to do the same.
  8. Find likeminded groups.  The anti-Common Core bill that passed last week in the Indiana Senate was the result of two moms getting involved in the process and they mobilized their local tea party groups.  Also remember that this is a bipartisan issue… Critics of the Common Core may have different reasons for objecting, it matters not.

Just remember when you start this fight in your state that giants can very well be slayed.

What other ideas would you suggest?

Tags: ,

About the Author ()

Shane Vander Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Caffeinated Thoughts, a popular Christian conservative blog in Iowa. He is also the President of 4:15 Communications, a social media & communications consulting/management firm, along with serving as the communications director for American Principles Project’s Preserve Innocence Initiative.  Prior to this Shane spent 20 years in youth ministry serving in church, parachurch, and school settings.  He has taught Jr. High History along with being the Dean of Students for Christian school in Indiana.  Shane and his wife home school their three teenage children and have done so since the beginning.   He has recently been recognized by Campaigns & Elections Magazine as one of the top political influencers in Iowa. Shane and his family reside near Des Moines, IA.  You can connect with Shane on Facebook, follow him on Twitter or connect with him on Google +.