Billionaire Bill Gates defended Common Core despite a disastrous rollout, telling ABC’s George Stephanopoulos the federal education program “is not a federal takeover.”
Gates appeared on ABC’s “This Week” to shore up support for the program, which has come under attack from a diverse range of interest groups after a difficult rollout and low student test scores. Conservatives, who are worried about an increased government presence in education, have been some of Common Core’s most persistent enemies.
“You’ve got a conservative element who say this is federal control over education,” Stephanopoulos said. “How do you respond to that?”
“Well, the Common Core is not a curriculum — it doesn’t tell you how to teach,” Gates claimed. “It’s not a federal takeover. Nobody’s pushing for that.”
“The Tea Party is convinced it is,” Stephanopoulous responded.
“Well, then we need to get the facts out,” Gates continued. “I mean, if they want the Congress to pass a bill saying ‘They’ll never tell us what to do,’ that’s fine.”
But Stephanopoulous continued to press Gates on the “botched” rollout, which some education professionals have compared to the rollout of Healthcare.gov last fall. “These are your supporters who are just saying it’s not working the way it’s supposed to work,” he noted.
“Well the rollout is state by state — this is local stuff — and in some locations they have a legitimate point,” Gates admitted. “That’s a very different question than saying we shouldn’t move towards the Common Core.”
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