Constraining Parental Choice and Increasing Federal Power Were Necessary to Advance Common Core

Jay P. Greene had a post up a few days ago that I wanted to highlight.

To become something meaningful Common Core requires more centralization of power than is possible under our current political system.  Pushing it forward requires frightening reductions in parental control over education and expansions of federal power.  These are not the unnecessary by-products of a misguided Obama Administration over-reach.  Constraining parental choice and increasing federal power were entirely necessary to advance Common Core.  And they were perfectly foreseeable (we certainly foresaw these dangers here at JPGB).

There is something either disingenuous or shockingly naive about the Fordham Institute’s horror at discovering federal involvement in the push for Common Core.  And it is equally disingenuous or naive for conservative curriculum backers of Common Core to suddenly discover that the new regime may be more progressive nonsense rather than their fantasy of the triumph of E.D. Hirsch.  We warned folks that federal coercion was central to the success of Common Core.  And we warned folks that national standards would ultimately advance the preferences of entrenched education special interests rather than those of reformers.

Rather than heeding these warnings or hedging their bets, these “conservative” backers of Common Core have doubled down in their support.  Checker (Chester Finn at Fordham Institute) in his customary high-handed style has tried to dismiss critics as crazy so that their legitimate objections need not be taken seriously.  The opponents just consist of “tea party activists, a couple of influential talk-radio hosts and bloggers, some disgruntled academics, several conservative think-tanks, and a couple of mysterious but deep-pocketed funders.” (emphasis mine)

And it would seem that the backers of the Common Core continue to hunker down and demonize those who oppose it.