Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Support for Common Core flags nationwide, as Louisiana's Jindal stokes policy chaos

Posted By on Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 2:50 PM

click to enlarge SLIPPING: Common Core is in trouble in many places. - THE 2014 EDNEXT SURVEY
  • The 2014 EdNext Survey
  • SLIPPING: Common Core is in trouble in many places.
There's disturbing news for supporters of Common Core state standards from a survey published today by the journal Education Next. The study shows that support for Common Core among the general public has slipped somewhat over the past year, from 65 percent to 53 percent. (It's my professional guess that Louis C.K. alone is responsible for at least two of those percentage points.) Some of this is probably an issue of a "tainted brand,"  notes the survey — remove the phrase "Common Core" from the survey question and public support for tougher, cross-state standards rebounds. The graph at right is courtesy of EdNext.

But it's among educators that the really startling decline in opinion has occurred. In 2013, 76 percent of teachers surveyed thought the standards were a good thing; in 2014, that number is down to 46 percent. The percentage explicitly opposed to Common Core has increased from 12 to 40 over the past year.

The national fight over Common Core has created major rifts in two very different political communities. The first is among teachers' groups, many of which are becoming more and more discontent with the new, tougher standards out of concerns that they will penalize teachers, schools and students unfairly and place ever greater emphasis on high-stakes testing. Often, those concerns are more about implementation than the standards themselves, but the big teacher unions have certainly lost their enthusiasm for the Core.

And then there's the GOP. The EdNext survey shows that 16 percent of Republicans surveyed opposed the standards in 2013, whereas now 37 percent do. 

The New York Times reports on the standoff over Common Core in Louisiana, which pits Republican Governor Bobby Jindal against his own handpicked state superintendent of education (a role equivalent to the Director of the Arkansas Department of Education) and a majority of the state's legislature. Jindal announced earlier this summer that Louisiana will withdraw from Common Core and revert back to its old, state-specific academic standards. John White, the Louisiana state superintendent, says that decision is not within the governor's authority. Two lawsuits have been filed on separate sides of the issue in district court.

Jindal once wholeheartedly supported Common Core but has done a 180 over the past year because of loud opposition to the standards from Tea Party quarters. (We can rest assured that Bobby Jindal isn't particularly influenced by the opinions of teachers' unions.) The issue has driven a substantial wedge between those in the school reform movement — including groups like the Walton Family Foundation, which is a champion of Common Core — and conservative activists who see shades of "1984" in any federally motivated initiative to influence the content of K-12 education. 

Jindal has ambitions for his party's Presidential nomination 2016. He's decisively abandoned the establishment of the GOP on this issue to better curry favor with its rightward wing. NYT:

Business leaders have also criticized the governor for reversing course on the Common Core, which does not prescribe a particular curriculum, textbooks or other academic materials.

“We can’t fathom his reasoning,” said Michael Olivier, chief executive of the Committee of 100 for Economic Development, a business round-table group in Louisiana that supports the standards. “This is obviously a positioning so that the Tea Partyers who are opposite of the Common Core would favor him with some consideration for the presidency.”

A spokesman for Mr. Jindal, Mike Reed, said the governor “took aggressive action to ensure that educational choice and local control of curriculum are not taken away from parents and educators."

Meanwhile, the school year is starting, and Louisiana teachers and parents have no idea what standard will be used to test their kids come springtime. I've worked in Louisiana public schools, briefly, A few weeks ago I spoke to my old boss, a principal at an open-enrollment charter in Uptown New Orleans. The year's curriculum is stranded in limbo because of the political impasse, she said.

At this point, several states that had originally signed onto the standards have either withdrawn from Common Core or are threatening to do so. Over in Oklahoma, Gov. Mary Fallin recently signed a bill from the state legislature to repeal Common Core standards in that state. As a consequence, Oklahoma may no longer fall under a waiver that allowed it extra latitude in its use of federal education dollars. Give us full local control but keep the federal money flowing, please.

Events to the south and west should have Arkansas educators concerned. Common Core bubbled up on the state policy agenda last summer, but despite plenty of grassroots activism from Tea Party-ish parents, the legislature didn't mess with the standards then. As of right now, Arkansas is firmly within the Common Core camp. But an election is coming, and right wing opposition to the standards is passionate, to put it politely. Add growing unhappiness among teachers to the mix, and the future looks a lot less certain.

Support for education reporting provided by the Arkansas Public Policy Panel.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Benjamin Hardy

  • Arkansas Times Recommends: The Think Edition

    Arkansas Times Recommends is a series in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we've been enjoying this week. In anticipation of Arkansas Times' Festival of Ideas this Saturday at the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, we recommend things that make us think.
    • Sep 23, 2016
  • Visionary Arkansans 2016

    They make an impact.
    • Sep 15, 2016
  • EStem's new high school at UALR on track to open in fall of 2017, Bacon says

    The Walton Family Foundation is financing the construction with a $11.4 million no-interest loan, eStem CEO John Bacon told reporters after the ceremony.
    • Sep 14, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Bill to regulate dog breeders draws opposition inside chamber from industry rep

    A fight could be brewing over regulation of puppy mills, with legislation planned to better protect dogs and opposition already underway from a state representative who makes a living working with commercial dog breeders.
    • Feb 25, 2015
  • Arrest made in motorcycle robbery slaying

    The police have charge Jeramye Morgan Hobbs, 24, with capital murder in the slaying of Frank Steinsiek. He was found fatally wounded on a parking lot in the 1900 block of W. 65th Street Wednesday afternoon.
    • Feb 13, 2015
  • If Jason Rapert didn't exist, we'd have to invent him

    Sen. Jason "Dr. Strangelove" Rapert defends his nuclear option for dealing with Middle East terrorism. Any criticism of him is only due to liberal misrepresentation, he says, not his own plain language.
    • Feb 16, 2015

Most Shared

  • George H.W. Bush will vote for Hillary. Or will he?

    Politico reports that Kathleen Harrington Kennedy Townsend says former Republican President George H.W. Bush is voting for Hillary Clinton for president. The article quotes a Bush spokesman as declining to confirm or deny.
  • Who's harming women?

    Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is an Arkansas Republican. Thus, like the governor and the Republican-majority legislature, she intends to do everything she can to deny women comprehensive medical care, particularly abortion.
  • New normal

    No two presidential candidates since polling began have run up negatives as massive as those of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, who yet won their parties' nominations easily. "What gives?" may be the biggest political mystery in history.
  • Additional rape charges filed against Conway doctor

    Special Prosecutor Jason Barrett has added 11 more victims to two others alleging rape by Dr. Robert Rook of Conway.
  • Big Dam Bridge 100 brings big damn complaint about celebrity rider Hincapie

    The Big Dam Bridge 100 is this weekend and one dedicated biker isn't happy about a celebrity rider, admitted doper George Hincapie.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Five killed in Washington shopping mall

    • Olphart, why not word it this way: "Just another Muslim trying kill us infidels so…

    • on September 25, 2016
  • Re: Saturday open line

    • "Lock him up!" Nobody believes your Norma is "your Norma." Oh, the Darlenes know. But…

    • on September 24, 2016
  • Re: Saturday open line

    • Song of the week--(Trump's) Addicted to Lies. A parody of Robert Palmer's famous video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eo9IkCIm2M……

    • on September 24, 2016

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation