HARRISBURG – They don't always agree on education policy, but when they do, it's to oppose an unfunded mandate on school districts.
The implementation of the so-called Common Core standards in Pennsylvania public schools is facing united opposition from teachers unions and tea party groups – two political factions that rarely, if ever, play on the same team. Though they have different reasons for opposing the Corbett administration's phase-in of the new academic standards and the testing that comes with them, both groups agree that the Common Core represents a new, unfunded mandate on the state's 500 school districts.
The Common Core is a national set of goals and expectations – not, strictly speaking, a curriculum – for public schools. It is an outgrowth of the federal No Child Left Behind program and was adopted by Pennsylvania in 2010, though the state made changes to match the national standards with pre-existing state standards.