A large number of seemingly intractable issues divide Republicans and Democrats these days. Nevertheless, two members of the Florida Senate have united to insult voters who disagree with the state’s adoption and implementation of the Common Core curriculum.
This week, state Sen. Jeremy Ring, who represents a ritzy sliver of Broward County, suggested that critics of Common Core are a bunch of simpletons who erroneously believe the curriculum is a massive federal government scheme, reports the Sun Sentinel.
“I think what’s been mistaken is Common Core still does allow for a lot of local control and a lot of local decision-making,” Ring said. “And I think the people that are opposed to Common Core for some reason think that the federal government is making all the decisions.”
Ring then asserted that the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, one of the signature pieces of legislation from George W. Bush’s first term, is a more accurate example of a federal program that causes a loss of local control.
“I am fine with Common Core,” Ring added.
Meanwhile, Florida Senate President Don Gaetz, a Republican from the state’s Panhandle, has demonstrated far less diplomatic acumen than his Democratic colleague. He flat-out ridiculed voters who opposed the Common Core—dismissing them as fringe political loons.
Earlier this month, Gaetz insisted that Common Core is a set of “good, solid standards”
“You can’t dip them in milk and hold them over a candle and see the United Nations flag or Barack Obama’s face,” Gaetz said, according to the Sunshine State News. “They’re not some federal conspiracy.”
Not all Republicans in Florida agree with the Senate president. Last month, for example, Broward County Republicans unanimously agreed to oppose “the imposition” of the Common Core standards, notes the Sun-Sentinel.
“Along with our fellow Republicans throughout Florida, we reject Federal overreach and standardization of education in our Florida schools,” read a Broward County GOP statement.
This fall, for the first time, 45 states and the District of Columbia began implementing the Common Core State Standards Initiative, which attempts to standardize various K-12 curricula around the country.
The Common Core standards demand that students know certain things by certain grade levels, but do little to describe how teachers should impart those skills.
The standards have been endorsed by numerous groups including the National Governors Association.
Criticism of the Common Core has risen sharply. Opposition has brought together conservatives who are opposed to centralized, one-size-fits-all public education and leftists who deplore ever-more standardized testing.