Ginni Thomas

Cato scholar: Common Core fight is ‘establishment vs. regular people’ [VIDEO]

Ginni Thomas Contributor
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Two political groups have risen up in the last nine months to oppose state legislatures adopting the federally-backed Common Core education standards, testing and data collection, according to education policy scholar at the Cato Institute Neal McCluskey.

McCluskey highlighted the small-government conservatives and libertarians in one camp, as well as the progressives in another in an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller. Both groups dislike connecting standards to testing and teacher assessments and are bristling at federal intrusion on a new scale.

They are increasingly pushing back against “establishment” types in both political parties. Although these two camps rarely work together, McCluskey sees signs that this may be about to change.

The Common Core standards are “almost an establishment versus regular people, you’d almost say, dispute,” McCluskey said.

“There are a lot of people who think somebody — and they won’t usually say the federal government, but they’re the only entity that has the power to do what they want — somebody needs to be engineering the education system to produce workers that these people think will be needed in the future,” he explained.

Elites will often say “need a public schooling system that primarily produces people to work in factories, [that] produces a small number of people to be the leaders of society,” McCluskey continued.

“We are reaching the capstone of that, where the federal government, the ultimate centralization, at least for the nation, is saying we will tell you what kids will learn. We will tell you what tests you can use,” he said.

McCluskey also discussed the massive conflicts of interest as groups like the Gates Foundation, Democrats for Education Reform and Pearson Publishing aim to influence policy makers.

He also warned of privacy issues where school districts have recently been empowered to distribute identifiable individual student data to contractors with the school system, raising the likelihood that privacy of data will not be protected.

Watch Part 2:

In a previous segment, McCluskey talked about the process of nationalizing college loan programs to help pay for Obamacare.

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