The effort of Utah public education officials to taint criticism of the Common Core (CC) national standards as politically motivated ignores the political actions of those who are pushing this agenda as a de facto national curriculum. ("Politics, misinformation feed Common Core debate, education official says," April 17.)
In its proposed blueprint for reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act, the Obama Administration expressed its desire to require all states to adopt these standards as a condition for receiving federal education aid. With action on the NCLB still stalled in Congress, the administration then dangled an offer of waivers from enforcement, but only for those states committing to adopt the Obama agenda in toto, including the Common Core coupled with a soon-to-come national test.
What are these if not political actions? They make the CC something far different than the "voluntary" collaboration of states that its promoters still claim it to be. Once on board, states may add 15 percent to the standards, but they may not subtract anything from the prescribed national curriculum, which will be the basis for testing all students.
School patrons have a right to ask how their children will be affected by this top/down standardization.