To fully appreciate Stanley Kurtz’s latest article in the National Review, you will want to first read the Washington Post article, Tea party groups mobilizing against Common Core education overhaul. For starters, it features a fabulous picture of the Hoosier state’s own Sue Lile! It then begins:
Tea party groups over the past few weeks have suddenly and successfully pressured Republican governors to reassess their support for a rare bipartisan initiative backed by President Obama to overhaul the nation’s public schools.
Activists have donned matching T-shirts and packed buses bound for state legislative hearing rooms in Harrisburg, Pa., grilled Georgia education officials at a local Republican Party breakfast and deluged Michigan lawmakers with phone calls urging opposition to the Common Core State Standards.
The burst of activity marks the newest front for the tea party movement, which has lacked a cohesive goal since it coalesced in 2010 in opposition to Obama’s health-care initiative.
The movement has a renewed sense of purpose and energy following revelations that many of its groups were improperly targeted by the Internal Revenue Service, and members consider dismantling what some deride as “Obamacore” their newest cause. Unlike the health-care fight, though, organizers say the Common Core battle is winnable and could be a potential watershed moment.
“This is the issue that could change things for the tea party movement,” said Lee Ann Burkholder, founder of the 9/12 Patriots in York, Pa., which drew 400 people — more than twice the usual turnout — to a recent meeting to discuss agitating against Common Core.
You may recall that at the Hoosiers Against Common Core rally on January 16th, at the Indiana Statehouse, I said that the opposition to Common Core had caught “fire.” Time has certainly proven that statement right, as even the former Secretary of Education, Margaret Spelling, admits as much in the article:
Proponents, though, wonder whether it’s too late. “What might have been a brush fire is now a more substantial fire,” said Margaret Spellings, education secretary under president George W. Bush.
After reading the Washington Post article, then read Stanley Kurtz’s Tea Party revives to fight Common Core. It sets the record straight about the fact that the Common Core is Obama’s education agenda. Only recently, as Common Core has come under attack, have proponents begun spreading the myth that President Obama hi-jacked what was a “state-led” initiative. Kurtz digs back into the archives for the truth. He reminds readers what Obama supporters, such as Jonathan Alder, were saying back in 2010:
Obama’s engine of reform, Race to the Top, has been phenomenally successful in using a relatively small pot of money, $4.4 billion from the 2009 stimulus package, to leverage a huge amount of change in education. After decades of failed efforts to establish national standards, Education Secretary Arne Duncan hit on an ingenious solution. By letting governors take the lead in developing sensible “common core” standards, he neutralized the conservative argument about too much influence from Washington. Then he applied the hammer: the rules of the Race to the Top competition made it hard for states to win extra money if they didn’t go along. Almost overnight, 37 states adopted national, er, common standards . . .
Be sure and read Kurtz’s article in its entirety. It is a gem!