Common Core

Common Core Supporters Got Slaughtered in Midterms


Andrew Cuomo
Cuomo / Youtube

It seems like there's nothing but bad news for the Common Core these days, and the midterm elections were no exception. Candidates who oppose the national education standards won big on Tuesday, from high-profile gubernatorial contests to local school district fights.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) and Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), both opponents of education standards, survived tough races. Their opponents, Democrats Mary Burke and Charlie Crist, were big supporters of Common Core who attempted to use the issue in the campaign.  Burke told the Journal Sentinel in September:

"We absolutely need higher standards in Wisconsin — we are currently 38th in the country in terms of proficiency standards — and implementing Common Core correctly will do just that."

Voters disagreed—not just in Wisconsin and Florida, but everywhere. Several local races—most notably in Arizona and South Carolina—revolved around candidates who promised to either reject or embrace Common Core. As The Daily Signal noted, the anti-Core folks won each time:

Voters resoundingly sided with candidates who both rejected Common Core national standards and tests and promised to restore state and local control of education. …

Richard Woods, who will become Georgia's new state superintendent, also campaigned on an anti-Common Core platform and has pledged to work to create Georgia-based curriculum standards.

And in South Carolina, which withdrew from Common Core earlier this year and already has planned to write its own standards, Molly Spearman, an anti-Common Core candidate, won her bid for state superintendent.

The potential for Arizona and Georgia to reject Common Core and forge a new path forward is particularly notable.

Education administrators and executives in the various states are increasingly against Common Core. Nationally, things are just as bad for the standards. The Senate is brimming with potential Republican presidential contenders who all oppose Common Core, including Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio. Some of them have signed on to a bill that would instruct the federal government to stop pushing states to stick with the standards. And Sen. Lamar Alexander, who will head the Senate Education Committee now that Republicans have the majority, supports that effort.

Candidates who support Common Core were forced to downplay their position or even walk it back entirely. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo did manage to defeat his Core-trashing opponent, but only after the governor released an ad promising to delay counting Core-aligned testing until New Yorkers were ready for it, or indefinitely.

It's a stunning reversal of fortune for Common Core, which was enacted in 45 of the 50 states years ago, before people knew much about it. The more they learn, the less they like it—and politicians have taken notice. That should be welcome news for libertarians, and for anyone who believes national standardization is precisely the wrong way to improve America's schools. Whether states will abandon Common Core en masse any time soon remains to be seen, but a few more elections like this one could certainly tip the scales.

More from Reason on Common Core here.

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  1. I’ll just toss this in here, because it’s the top of the page. I heard a couple of talking heads yapping about how this campaign/election has really benefited His Corpulence, Chris Christie, but I did not catch the “why” of it.

    Other than putting his authoritarian assholishness on display (hardly a plus), I don’t see how he was even much of a participant.

    1. Because he didn’t do anything stupid or take a PR hit. Which means he’s still on the glide path to the GOP nomination in 2016.

      If blimps can be said to glide.

      1. Well, they can’t very well flap their wings….

    2. The Corporate Media is busy doing what it did for the last two Presidential elections: push for the TEAM Red guy they believe will be easiest to beat in the general election.

      1. Scott Walker won 4 elections in 3 years in a purple state with all the nastiness nation public labor unions could throw at him, including getting SWAT teams to ransack the houses of his supporters. That would seem like a better credential to me.

        1. 3 elections in 4 years.

          1. Yeah. I mean, I’m not voting for anyone the GOP puts up, but on a scale of better or worse people to hand nearly unlimited power….

      2. Easy to beat, and not very different from their preferred dem candidate. He’s basically the perfect republican, if you’re a hardcore prog.

    3. Because he just happens to be the head of an organization (Republican Governors) that grew in membership thanks to voters in states other than his.

  2. What? According to some of the commentariat here, there is nothing wrong with Common Core… ITS JUST A SET OF STANDARDS DAMMIT!


    1. I think a Common national set of standards is a good idea. It’s one of the Federal governments primary responsibilities.

      However, Common Core is much more than that. It’s an entire curriculum and the standards suck to boot.

      1. ” It’s one of the Federal governments primary responsibilities.”

        And where exactly do you see the word education in the constitution?

        1. It’s in the Good and Plenty Clause

      2. I think a Common national set of standards is a good idea. It’s one of the Federal governments primary responsibilities.

        Ah, yes, I always forget to wear the secret decoder ring when reading the Constitution.

      3. Show me where in the Common Core docs there’s a curriculum. Seriously. This seems to be the biggest bone of contention in this entire canard, so let’s see it.

    2. It’s BETTER than a set of standards. It’s an act of love.

      1. Sweet, Hot, Teacher Union Love.

  3. Andrew Cuomo did manage to defeat his Core-trashing opponent, but only after the governor released an ad promising to delay counting Core-aligned testing until New Yorkers were ready for it, or indefinitely.

    Meanwhile, New York’s students have to deal with all of Common Core’s BS teaching methods. Talk about wasting years of your life.

  4. Human beings are drones not individuals. One size fits all!

  5. Common Core Supporters Got Slaughtered in Midterms

    As did “Environmental Supporters”, as did “Gun Control Supporters”.

    All in all, not a bad day.

    1. The State of Washington begs to differ. Letting your brother or friend borrow a gun without doing a background check on him is now an illegal transfer.

      1. The State of Washington begs to differ.

        And beg they shall. Read it and weep.…..-Elections

    2. True, but didn’t Hickenlooper get re-elected?

      1. Yes, and given the kooky voting system Colorado has and the closeness of the race, I wouldn’t be surprised if, you know.

  6. Honey! Where is my sweater, you know the cream-colored one that matches the white pumpkins we have in the kitchen??

      1. Wait, wait, I want to get this. Please explain.

        1. Look at the picture.

          1. HAHAHA. Ooh.

    1. How do they live like that? It’s so…sterile.

      1. They mostly survive on being racist.

    1. And still the 2nd least principled person in the governor’s race.

      1. Well, yeah. But that’s a very low bar.

  7. my classmate’s ex-wife makes $86 /hr on the laptop . She has been out of a job for 7 months but last month her paycheck was $19045 just working on the laptop for a few hours. go to the website…


    1. this is an actual Common Core math problem.

    2. You’re down to 55 hours per week… slacer – previous examples were over 80.

      1. I’m sorry you failed to use Number Bonds in your solution, so D+

  8. Parents . . . no system that produces some good (academic achievement) can be expected to have perfect scores when it does not control one of the major variables in the equation – parental support for education.
    How does a school system that can produce 30% excellent students, 40% proficient students be explained as a flawed system? The basic educational design works well 70% of the time. It’s irrational to blame that design on “the system” when the inputs are not the same and not in their control.
    But, the bureaucratization of education doesn’t have the power to control parents and so, it pretends it can achieve complete success by buffing up the part of the system that works only on the 70% it already is having success with.

    1. Cool story bro. Of course it’s the parent’s fault.

      1. It isn’t their “fault”. It’s that the environment is not supportive of academic success for a lot of reasons. My point is that the bloated bureaucracy is trying to fix it by re-jigging an already successful design.

        1. Historically, Pre-1970, the US public system seems to have been much better than it is today. Does a drop in parental support explain that?

          Because, judging from the stories of my parents and grandparents, they didn’t get a lot of coddling when they were school age.

          1. What does “parental support” or parental involvement mean? Not necessarily holding a kid’s hand through his homework, but maybe having more control over the kid’s education. Or maybe it’s just that in the olden timey days before teachers’ unions made education a permanent employment scheme at the expense of kids’ reading and math skills, teachers and parents agreed more on successful formulas and educational objectives and there wasn’t such a need for parents to helicopter in all over the place.

            1. I must live in a really good school district. My daughter is special needs and the District is excellent about working with me. And I know unfortunately it’s the exception. My daughter is special needs (and would never thrive under common core) and I’ve been in ok school Districts and crappy districts. The one we’re in now is awesome. I wish it was the rule rather than the exception. And I wish it was easier for people to say they’re not giving their money to shitty schools. Unfortunately whether you have kids or not and whether you send your kids to public schools or not, you’re paying for it.

              1. The existence of such a range of quality — from shitty to awesome — is more evidence of the importance of local control, which implies, to me, parents.

          2. I don’t think coddling has anything to do with it. It is about parents who value education and expect their children to work hard and do well at school. I’d say that this is probably the most important factor in good educational outcomes.

            1. I’d heard this in relation to immigration. It’s best to get immigrants from cultures that value education. It’s not a matter of being rich (or white, if you’re a prog). They just need to value those things that enable a person to excel.

    2. All I see is an attempt to rationalize a system that claims universality but cannot deliver on it. If you cannot take an “input” and add some value before producing an “output” then you don’t deserve to get paid.

  9. great. all the dumb fucks in red states can even be dumber. How old is the earth? The War of Northern Agression. LOL.

    1. Pro tip: if you’re going to call other people “dumb fucks,” you might want to check your grammar first. Dumb fuck.

      1. It amazes me how much these people obsess over the objects of their ire. If you hate the South so much, why do you insist on making every issue a national one?

        Pro tip: If you force everybody to participate, then you have to listen to what they have to say.

    2. You win retarded troll of the day.

      Here’s your pony.

  10. Common Core is the worst education policy since Every Child Left Behind.

  11. If you want to achieve anything significant with respect to education, the first thing that should be done is to phoneticize English spelling.
    It can be done while retaining most of what’s already there, so that anyone who can read English now will easily be able to read and spell
    using the new system. Illogical English spelling leads to illiteracy rates far above that of other countries and introduces enormous inefficiencies and adds years of additional education. It would also reduce the number of elementary teachers required. Fix the language, once and for all, rather than continuing this ridiculous system we have of “fixing” each new generation of Americans.

    1. Goe phuck yersef.

    2. Spelling reform has been a favorite of eccentric and cranks for a couple of cemturies. Doubt it will ever happen, and god save us if the Government tries.

    3. In many ways, yes, the language is broken. And it seems like it would be easy to fix, as well! But there are several problems with phoneticisation.

      1. Language changes, both regionally and temporaly. What seems phonetic to a Californian would be bizzare to an Englishman or an Irishman; what makes sense today would be bizzare a hundred or even ten years from now. In my own efforts to create a phonetic alphabet, I discovered that vowels are especially difficult to pin down.

      2. English is already largely phonetic, albeit rather complicated; all in all, it’s not all that difficult to learn to read, at the very least. Writing is a bit more difficult, but it’s not nearly as bad as a heiroglyphic system.

      3. This is the most important. As China discovered with “simplification”, learning a simplified version cuts you off from what others have written. This hit home for me, when I was reading a paper by my PhD advisor; I realized that if I succeeded in my efforts, then no one would be able to read this paper! It was a math paper, so it meant that (a) not very many people would be reading it (hence, no motivation to “translate” it), but (b) it could nonetheless become a key principle in some important, practical, even life-saving discovery.

      1. Oh, and I forgot to add: When our country was founded, we had a literacy rate of nearly 90% among free people; when we fought WWI, the literacy rate was still very high; when we fought WWII, the literacy rate had dropped somewhat; when we fought Vietnam, we had to commission a study to try to figure out how so many people could fake illiteracy–only to have the answer come back to be “they aren’t faking it”.

        This has happened in the face of growing government involvement in education. If we want universal literacy, we need to demand a separation of education and state!

  12. In Florida, Governor Scott has not called for repeal of Common Core (now called Florida Standards). He did support the modification of Common Core and the accompanying name change, but the result falls well within 15% leeway for adding to the Common Core content and has been approved by the feds as being college and career ready standards. As in many, if not the majority, of CCSS states, the high stakes aspects of the summative assessments for math and ELA have been rolled back (currently only as far as to not use them in school evaluations in 2014-15, but Florida is likely to extend the rollback to lessen test result impact on teacher and student evaluation).

    As for “The more they learn, the less they like it [Common Core]?and politicians have taken notice,” this is probably true–unfortunately, much of what they “learn” is distorted or simply untrue (such as the mantra that teachers had little to do with writing the standards).

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