Many conservatives see opposition to Common Core a winning issue in 2014
Opposition to Common Core - the new federal standards in education - has drastically increased over the last few months, causing many former supporters to change their minds and oppose it.
The issue cuts to the divide in the GOP between the base and establishment with prominent figures from both camps making their case.
Its most outspoken Republican defender, former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, is also the most talked-about potential presidential candidate among mainstream party leaders and donors. Mr. Bush has called out some Republicans who have switched positions, drawing what will be a dividing line in the campaign if he or other defenders of the Common Core choose to run. He is joined by Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, but theirs is becoming a small club.
“I’m a big fan of Jeb Bush; I think he’s an important leader on many issues,” said Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas. “But on the question of Common Core, I emphatically do not agree with Common Core.” His opinion of the program is shared by two Senate colleagues and possible 2016 rivals for the presidential nomination, Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida.
Mr. Cruz’s view also aligns with that of several Republican governors contemplating presidential runs. Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana signed legislation last month that made his state the first to opt out of the Common Core after having adopted it. Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin said he wanted his state to establish its own educational goals. And Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana suggested that he might use executive authority to go around the State Legislature if lawmakers did not withdraw from the group of states developing the standardized test associated with the Common Core.
Mr. Jindal’s position, a reversal for him, shows how quickly conservative opposition has grown. He recently announced his support for a bill that would remove Louisiana from the Common Core, on the same day the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, which supports the program, released a video featuring his earlier endorsement of it.
The Republican revolt against the Common Core can be traced to President Obama’s embrace of it, particularly his linking the adoption of similar standards to states’ eligibility for federal education grants and to waivers from No Child Left Behind, the national education law enacted by President George W. Bush.
I don't think you can look at Common Core and not see the potential for the federalization of public schools. It's strongest advocates want to grow the role of Washington in developing curricula and hold out grants and funding as a carrot to accept Washington's direction.
Perhaps most troubling, is the manner of pushback by Common Core supporters; deception, personal attacks, and smearing by inuendo. If you can't argue your side of the case without lying about your opponent, perhaps you don't have much of a case to begin with.
States that opt out of Common Core should band together and develop voluntary standards. That would be true "state based" standards rather than the federal overreach represented by Common Core.