and of course Michelle Malkin, the most consistent foe of public education on the right, is involved.
Tuesday evening, in movie theaters around the country, right-wing radio host Glenn Beck spent about two hours broadcasting his live anti-Common Core event, “We Will Not Conform.” Beck has been heavily involved in the battle against Common Core from the far right. The people he assembled for the broadcast included some of the heavy hitters in the current right-wing war against Common Core and public education in general.
The Common Core State Standards for schools were developed by the National Governors Association and an association of state school superintendents. They were conceived as a way to promote U.S. competitiveness in an increasingly globalized world, increase educational equity and resolve issues resulting from No Child Left Behind (implemented during the George W. Bush administration). The standards, which are currently being implemented in some forty states, do not mandate the use of any particular text or course of study. Rather, they are designed to identify the literacy and math skills that children in every public school should master at each grade level.
To be fair, Common Core has received its fair share of criticism from across the political spectrum, and from leading education experts. Critics have raised legitimate issues that need to be debated, such as whether the standards were adequately tested, whether we have an education system that doesn’t just “teach to the test” and whether there has been ample time for teacher training and implementation. But these legitimate issues are being obscured by a cloud of fear-mongering and extremist propaganda, often pushed by the far right, and these attacks stand apart from legitimate criticism because of incendiary language, apocalyptic warnings, distortions, falsehoods, and antigovernment conspiracy theories.