A sharp-minded clip from the recent Rock the Schoolhouse blog post at the Boston Globe:
In addition to the lagging time to grasp the real policy questions before them, the past three years have brought a sea-change in the political landscape. The 2010 elections changed the make-up of state legislatures dramatically, with a greater number of fiscal conservatives who look warily at unfunded federal mandates and overreach. With the new conditions, never approved by Congress, that Sec. Duncan is advancing, there is a growing realization among state legislators that the national standards are not truly voluntary. Even a stalwart supporter of a big USDOE like Mike Petrilli of the DC-based Fordham Institute recognizes that with the No Child Left Behind waivers Sec. Duncan:
“seems compelled to attach mandates to his forthcoming NCLB waivers that will require adoption of the Common Core standards.No, his team won’t mention the Common Core, but everybody knows that’s what he’s talking about when he calls for “college and career-ready standards.”
Fearful of stoking a backlash that will “lose many of the states that have already signed on,” Petrilli in his blog is reduced to begging Sec. Duncan not to overreach:
“Walk away from this one, Mr. Secretary. Please, those of us who support the Common Core are begging you.”
The full post by Jim Stergios (well worth reading) can be found here.