The state of New York looks to be the next state with plans to re-brand the Common Core by calling it something else but otherwise making virtually no substantive curriculum changes.
New York Board of Regents chancellor Merryl Tisch announced in a public radio interview on Tuesday that education bureaucrats are “toying with” the possibility of a new statewide name for the perpetually unpopular Common Core State Standards Initiative, according to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.
“There is so much politicization about those words — ‘Common Core,'” Tisch said in the interview. “So we can call them the Empire State Standards, or New York’s Higher Standards.”
The crafty, high-risk, high-reward name-change strategy currently under consideration by New York education officials 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.
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.”
Tisch, the New York Board of Regents chancellor, promised that the name change would be connected to substantive, New York-centric changes in the state’s Common Core standards.
“If you call them something different and you make appropriate adjustments addressing some developmental questions, I think those are all appropriate things to do,” she said, according to the Democrat & Chronicle.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has also promised a review of the standards.
At the same time, Tisch provided no details whatsoever about possible curriculum changes. Also, she swore she still supports Common Core and would not accept lower standards for students in New York public schools.
“When we started this whole effort in 2008, we were getting national tests where 30 percent of New York state’s kids were proficient, yet on our state tests 90 percent of them were proficient,” the chancellor insisted. “We were getting remediation rates at our community colleges over 80 percent.” (RELATED: Approximately 80 Percent Of NYC High School Grads Can’t Read Well Enough For Community College)
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.” (Common Core Proponents Try To Save Flailing Standards Using This One Weird Trick)
Arizona has superficially changed the name Common Core to “Arizona College and Career Ready Standards.” (Crafty! Arizona Unveils Plan To Fool Parents By Changing Common Core Name, Nothing Else)
Louisiana also considered the tactic.
As a program, Common Core attempts to standardize various K-12 math and language curricula in most states around the country. 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 brought together conservatives who want local control of education and leftists who deplore ever-more standardized testing.
New York has been a huge epicenter for anti-Common Core sentiment since the initial implementation of the national standards. (RELATED: Education Bigwig Abandons Common Core Townhalls After Parents Try To Have Their Say)
Some of the stories to come out of the state have been heartbreaking. (RELATED: Principals Say Common Core Tests Make Little Kids Vomit, Pee Their Pants)
In 2015, nearly one in five New York students in grades 3-8 refused to take Common Core-aligned standardized tests, according to data released last month by the state. The figures confirm that last spring saw the biggest revolt yet against what critics say is an excessive regimen of high-stakes, time-consuming standardized tests. (RELATED: One In Five New York Students Skipped Common Core Tests)
Federal No Child Left Behind law requires states to test at least 95 percent of eligible students or else risk possible federal sanctions. In April, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan vaguely warned that if states don’t do enough to ensure students take tests, the federal government will “have an obligation to step in.” What form Duncan’s federal intervention to make students take tests might take remains unclear. (RELATED: Obama’s Education Secretary Loves Common Core For Your Kids, BUT NOT HIS)
In 2014, a grassroots campaign by concerned New York parents was a major factor in the demise of InBloom Inc., the nonprofit educational software company which the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corp. of New York financed to the tune of $100 million. The business plan for InBloom was to charge school districts between $2 and $5 per student for the privilege of participating in a bizarrely intrusive student data collection scheme. (RELATED: Bill Gates Is A Sad Clown Today Because His Bizarre $100 Million Student Data Project Has Failed)