The Wall Street Journal points out the “soccer mom” revolt against Common Core, and in particular, the Common Core-aligned assessments.
Jason Riley wrote yesterday:
“The one thing upper-middle-class parents want and have grown accustomed to having is the ability to control their kids’ education,”Jay Greene, an education reform scholar who teaches at the University of Arkansas, told me by phone this week. “They will purchase private school if they have to. They will move to another neighborhood if they must. And they will boycott testing if they feel their control is being interfered with.”
Forty-five states initially signed on to Common Core in return for more federal education funding, but the tide is turning and opponents—including teachers unions who don’t want student test scores, or any other objective measures, used to evaluate instructors—have the momentum. California and Utah already allow parents to opt out of assessments, and CBS News reported in March that 19 other states “have introduced legislation to either halt or replace Common Core.”
This issue won’t go away when students head home for summer vacation next month. The presidential candidates will have to declare themselves. Labor will pressure Hillary Clinton to at least hedge any support for testing, and it is increasingly difficult to imagine a Republican nominee who hasn’t distanced himself from Common Core.
Prof. Greene thinks the administration’s education agenda has crossed the wrong voters. “They’re going to lose,” he said, citing White House hubris and overreach. “You can’t beat organized upper-middle-class people. They will fight back and you will lose.”
While I agree that the soccer moms are winning, I wouldn’t say it is just the upper middle class who is pushing back against Common Core and assessments. Needless to say opting out of assessments is the next phase of fighting against Common Core, especially in states where the legislature has failed to act. It is clear the soccer moms have the momentum.