Supporters of Common Core would really prefer if President Obama didn’t mention the controversial national standards in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday night–fearing that even more people would oppose Common Core if they knew that the president vigorously supports it.
The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative think tank that nevertheless supports Common Core, made it clear that Obama’s support for Common Core was a liability, not an asset.
“It’s imperative that the president not say anything about the Common Core State Standards,” said Michael Petrilli, executive vice president of Fordham, according to The Washington Examiner. “For two years running, he’s taken credit for the adoption of these standards, which has only fueled critics on the right who see this effort as a way for the federal government to take over control of the schools.”
The standards were actually developed by the National Governors Association before Obama’s education team–led by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan–seized on them as a policy panacea for America’s education problems. While moderate Republican governors and select conservative groups such as Fordham have continued to back Common Core, grassroots conservatives have joined parents and even teachers unions in deriding the standards. (RELATED: Powerful NY teachers union renounces support for Common Core)
Principled opposition to the standards’ shaky curriculum requirements, Kafkaesque educational materials and high-stakes testing have led activists to delay implementation in several states. It’s now an open question of whether Common Core will actually be implemented. (RELATED: This Common Core math worksheet offers a glimpse into Kafkaesque third-grade hell)
But for those who still favor implementation, the very last thing they want is for Obama to give them a shout out in the SOTU.