In response to a rising tide of anger from parents around the country, proponents of the controversial Common Core State Standards Initiative continue to opt for the McDowell Strategy.
This crafty, high-risk, high-reward strategy originated in “Coming to America,” a 1988 comedy in which Eddie Murphy plays a wealthy African prince who works at a fast food restaurant in Queens, New York called McDowell’s.
Owner Cleo McDowell — the inventor of the McDowell Strategy — tells Murphy that McDowell’s is not to be confused with McDonald’s.
Yes, the logos are similar. McDonald’s has the Golden Arches. McDowell’s has the Golden Arcs. Similarly, 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.”
Just like Cleo, a number of states have decided that they can thwart these protests and save Common Core by changing its name, reports Fox News.
Thus, Iowa has implemented the McDowell Strategy by changing the name of Common Core from Common Core to “The Iowa Core.”
Florida plans to fool everybody by rebranding Common Core as the “Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.”
Arizona has superficially changed the name Common Core to “Arizona College and Career Ready Standards.”
Louisiana is also considering this tactic. “We will probably do something really silly like changing the name of it to something else,” Rep. Walt Leger (D-New Orleans) told The Times-Picayune.
Meanwhile, parents continue to organize politically against the Common Core curriculum (but don’t call it a curriculum, especially a national curriculum!).
Common Core enjoys broad establishment support from both Republicans and Democrats.
Two such supporters are former Florida governor Jeb Bush and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.
At a recent rendezvous of the Council of Chief State School Officers, Huckabee admitted that the Common Core brand name has become “toxic” and urged education bureaucrats to get rid of it.
“Rebrand it, refocus it, but don’t retreat,” Huckabee said, according to Fox News.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, another Republican, disagreed.
“We don’t ever want to educate South Carolina children like they educate California children,” Haley argued recently at a Republican gathering. “We want to educate South Carolina children on South Carolina standards, not anyone else’s standards.
As a program, Common Core attempts to standardize various K-12 math and language curricula around the country. As of now, 46 states and the District of Columbia have begun implementing part or all of the Common Core.
The program began in 2009 as a joint proposal by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Federal money is available to states that adopt the standards.
Opposition to Common Core has risen sharply. It has brought together conservatives who want local control of education and leftists who deplore ever-more standardized testing.