In “Coming to America,” an awesome 1988 comedy, Eddie Murphy plays a wealthy African prince who works at a fast food restaurant in Queens, New York called McDowell’s. As the owner, Cleo McDowell, tells Murphy, McDowell’s is not to be confused with McDonald’s.
Yes, the logos are strikingly similar. McDonald’s has the Golden Arches. McDowell’s has the Golden Arcs. Similarly, says Cleo, McDonald’s has the Big Mac. McDowell’s has the Big Mic.
“They both got two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions. But they use a sesame seed bun,” Cleo explains. “My buns have no seeds.”
The superintendent of Arizona’s public schools, Republican John Huppenthal, has now craftily taken a page from Cleo’s playbook to implement the Common Core.
On Tuesday, Huppenthal announced a plan to change the name “Common Core” to “Arizona College and Career Ready Standards,” reports The Arizona Republic.
This superficial change will be the only change to Arizona’s implementation of the Common Core. As Huppenthal eagerly emphasized, there will be no substantive changes whatsoever to Arizona’s new educational standards. Arizona will still faithfully implement each and every one of the Common Core requirements and conventions. Teachers will teach exactly the same lessons. Students will take exactly the same battery of standardized tests.
“Arizona is declaring independence from the Common Core and from the federal government,” Huppenthal proclaimed on Tuesday, according to The Republic. “We want to make it clear that Arizona has taken possession of the standards.”
By changing the name but keeping everything else exactly the same, the elected Republican believes he can convince skeptical parents and voters who are reticent to accept Arizona’s new Common Core academic standards.
The problem, according to Huppenthal, is that the phrase “Common Core” has somehow made it “nearly impossible” to discuss the new curriculum regime.
Under the schools superintendent’s plan, he will ask the State Board of Education to authorize the name change. He is also pushing for the state to withdraw its name from the national coalition which designed the Common Core standards.
Michelle Udall, a member of the Mesa Public Schools board and a Common Core supporter, told The Republic she believes that the “vast majority” of Common Core critics are misguided. At the same time, Udall expressed doubts about the name change.
“If we keep the same standards, change the name and that makes people happier, I guess that is okay,” she told the newspaper. “It seems to border on the absurd to do that, but it’s fine if it makes the standards more acceptable.”
The Common Core State Standards Initiative attempts to standardize various K-12 curricula around the country. This fall, for the first time, 45 states and the District of Columbia have begun implementing the Common Core.
Opposition to the Common Core has risen sharply, bringing together conservatives who are opposed to a federal takeover of public education and leftists who deplore ever-more standardized testing.