Mike Huckabee News

Feb 21 2014

Common Core Is Dead

But common sense shouldn’t be...

Here’s a sampling of some things people have posted on my FB page lately: “I hear you support Common Core education standards; I’ll never watch your show again;” another: “If you support Common Core, you’ve lost my trust.” Or this, “You need to learn the truth about Common Core.” I guess the person who said he’d never watch my show again won’t hear this and that’s too bad. Let me cut right to the chase: I don’t support what Common Core has become in many states or school districts. I’m dead set against the federal government creating a uniform curriculum for any subject; I oppose the collection of personal data on students that would identify them and track them and any effort to give that personal information to the federal government. I am steadfast in my belief that parents should ultimately decide the best venue for their children’s education, whether public schools, private schools, religious schools or home-schools. I believe education is a local or state function—not a federal one. Sadly, the very label Common Core has come to be associated with things I detest, like agenda driven curriculum that indoctrinates instead of educates. I’m convinced that the term Common Core needs to disappear from the lexicon of education policy. It’s a toxic term because it’s come to mean things that most of us can’t stomach, like top-down federal intrusion into the local schools where you live. But Common Core as it was designed had nothing to do with the federal government. It was conceived and controlled by elected governors and state school chiefs to keep the federal hands from interfering. It only dealt with 2 subjects, math and English, and in those 2 subjects, established only state-initiated standards in those subjects, and intentionally did not write or even suggest curriculum. It set voluntary goals---VOLUNTARY goals—controlled by local school boards. Unfortunately, the locally controlled and very simple creation of standards in math and English, created so that students would be measured by comparable regardless of geography has been hijacked by those who took the label Common Core and applied it to curriculum, subjects other than math and English, and even unrelated things as personal data collection. As a result, Common Core as a brand is dead and hopefully the perversions of it will die as well. What I hope does not die is setting higher standards for students, keeping score to see how well they are doing, and having accountability for results. Educational bureaucrats have long fought honest assessments and accountability and have been satisfied with under performing students who were far behind their peers in other states or other countries. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that schools in the US were performing below those in Vietnam, Lithuania, Russia, and Hungary; that our 15 year olds haven’t seen improvement in over a decade compared to other nations. For those who think I embrace Common Core, I don’t embrace or even want to tolerate what it’s come to mean in too many locations. Yes, it’s been hijacked, and I don’t support the hijackers or the destination, but I don’t blame the airplane for getting hijacked. I just hope we aren’t willing to accept mediocrity as a standard. Let’s kill the name Common Core and all the nonsense that’s been tacked on to it. But let’s insist that if we continue to spend the most money in education we demand that the end result is achievement. Every Governor should take the wheel and steer his or her state to adopting strict and rigorous standards. Keep it simple; name it what you will. Don’t let anyone corrupt the goals by adding things not part of the goals. Common Core is dead. But common sense shouldn’t be.

Comments 1-5 of 74

  • Lynda Milburn

    03/05/2014 04:08 PM

    I am glad you clarified your stand on CC. I am a retired secondary teacher --32 years at high school & 7 years at our community college. NM has signed on to Common Core. We have a head of our PED who is totally unqualified! Gov. Martinez refuses to listen to our retired and current teachers. I am a Republican and have always supported Republican candidates--however, no more! I refuse to support our current governor as do hundreds of other educators and their families. I will never vote for her again. NM will never score well as long as we test all of our children in the same way. You can't lump all kids into one group--some don't speak or write English, some are special education, some have parents who use drugs or alcohol, some are abused, some have parents who don't see the importance of an education, and the list goes on! Yet, all of the kids are tested the same! Also, we believe in educating EVERY child! CC may have started out with good intentions, but it certainly hasn't ended up that way! It is an indoctrination program for our kids--from K-12 and even into college! The one who wins will be the publishing/testing company! I do NOT understand why Bill Gates would fund such a disaster! It is more government control! They have our healthcare--now they want to control our children! I ask you to go to Sonlife broadcasting network and click on Frances and Friends. Go to the picture menu on the right of the screen and scroll down until you find "Sister Frances welcomes a distinguished panel of ..." The date of the program is Feb. 20, 2014. This is one of the best programs I have seen on CC. Part of the panel helped write CC, but they refused to sign off on it because of the final standards. Part of the panel are outstanding professors from major universities here in the U.S. Parents must get involved to stop CC NOW! I am shocked at how many parents don't know what is going on in their child's classroom today! More testing for students and more paperwork for teachers will never solve the problem. Yes, teachers should be evaluated! However, not with the evaluation system that is currently being used in NM. We are losing hundreds of good teachers in our state because of CC and what it is doing to our children and our teachers. PLEASE look at the program I recommended and realize CC is not good for our kids, our teachers, or our country! You love freedom--there is no freedom with CC. I enjoy your program, and I hope you will continue to speak for freedom. CC will kill that freedom!

  • Rebecca Rolfes

    03/03/2014 11:39 AM

    I have been challenging Common Core or whatever you want to call it for 3 years. Unfortunately you along with other Governors did not take the time to fully examine this or you would have been against this. For that our children are confused, stressed, bored and some are crying over, what we see happening everyday in our local classrooms, as lower standards. Our administrators have even used the term "equity" which to us means everyone is equally average where no one can excel. We will continue to fight this but now unfortunately the progressives are using your name, Bush and other Republicans to help support it. I am truly disappointed. I am sorry sir, but you are not helping us stop this over reach of the federal government, you have only helped.
    Respectfully, Rebecca

  • Chuck Yarbrough

    03/02/2014 10:55 PM

    You would think as a former governor, you would understand the difference in how we test and how most other countries test. We test EVERYBODY. Most countries only test college bound students. The Japanese for instance, have super competitive high schools. They test after the 8th grade and then students who don't make the cut are tracked into vocational schools, never to be tested again. Most of us as professional educators, have extremely high standards and expectations for our students, but to expect a student with an IQ of 75 to perform as well as a student with a 125 is beyond ridiculous. In Georgia, we used to have a vocational diploma that would enable students to enter a tech school when they graduated, but we have done away with that, forcing EVERY STUDENT into a college prep track. You want to know why our graduation rates suck? There's your answer.

  • Daniel Wilson, LT USN (UDT/SEAL)

    03/01/2014 05:28 AM

    Mike - Thanks for clarifying your position on CC...

    Am trying to reach you about my new book "The A.S.K. Force"

    About God, country & SEALs

  • Brian Schultz

    02/27/2014 05:58 PM

    Not anyone has perfect spelling or grammar however part of the problem is that certain regions of the USA place less value on correct grammar. When I travel on business to the southern states I am always greeted by great people, kind people and good people but often people lacking a reasonably good command of the spoken word. These fine people are high school graduates and great folks for sure but they don't inspire me to hire them for any administrative duties as if they cannot speak correct English they can't write correct English. The north is also to blame for sure however if I tell my main people in the north to please learn proper English they don't take it as an insult. If I tell my main people in the south to please learn proper English they state I'm a 'Yankee' picking on their ways. I simply gave up a few years ago as I don't pick on anyone rather hire only those with at least decent grammar skills everywhere I have business dealings. The south has so much to offer and I love the south however from my experience a white, middle class, male recent public high school graduate in the south is more likely to not have the decent writing, spelling, grammar and word usage skills I need in an employee. They are just as bad in the north however do not become offended when I tell them to apply for employment again in a few months after they brush up and improve their ability to write and speak in formal English. I'm all for sports, watching sports, and all the rest but in the real world of employment and work readiness I have found year after year I have far fewer language skills ready and able young recent high school graduates in the south than in the north. I was told by a few high school teachers in the south that the value assigned by many parents to doing well in English is a low value especially for boys. There is nothing feminine or unmanly of a young man taking his study of English, writing, reading and speech seriously and doing well. It's not being a 'sissy' for any boy to do well in school in English and language and writing and reading. One recently retired high school teacher in South Carolina told me if the parents would only have 'Junior' spend a bit more time in the library and a bit less time on the football field he would be better prepared for the real world of employment. Peace.