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Separating fact from fiction about the Common Core standards
A backlash against the Common Core standards has hit the radio talk shows and internet blogs in recent weeks.
The tea party has taken up this backlash as a new rallying cry against what it claims is a government takeover of educating our kids. At a recent education hearing in Alaska, a state that didn’t adopt the standards, tea party critics charged that the Common Core standards were developed by “extreme leftists” and “a self-avowed Maoist.” The hearing also contained references to Nazi Germany.
Some prominent conservatives, including talk show host Glenn Beck and writer-activist Phyllis Schlafly, have been attacking the effort as a dangerous threat from the Obama administration. Other conservatives, such as former Govs. Jeb Bush of Florida and Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, support the Common Core standards.
The new standards have the backing of major business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Business Roundtable President John Engler, a former Republican governor of Michigan, has argued that they’re necessary for students to keep up with the rest of the world. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is giving grants to support their implementation.
Here is some information to help educators respond to frequently asked questions about the standards.