Supporters of the Common Core like to mix things up and seem to have a different “argument du jour” at every debate. One day they claim adopting Common Core was done without any federal coercion. The next day they warn states will lose Title 1 funding if they reject it. While their arguments jump around like a kangaroo, the truth remains the same; the federal government coerced states into adopting Common Core. The debate at the Cato Institute on Common Core was no different, and Michael Petrilli, of the Fordham Institute, definitely won the award for doublespeak.
His arguments in favor of Common Core never remain consistent and vary according to audience.
Earlier this year, when he testified before the Indiana General Assembly in favor of the Common Core, he told legislators that even though Indiana had very high standards, they should adopt the Common Core. When legislators asked him why Indiana would want to trade higher standards for the Common Core, he claimed there were great advantages to adopting it because they were common to other states. The advantages of being “common” would outweigh Indiana having their own higher standards.
At the debate yesterday, his argument shifted. He claimed that the driver for him to support the Common Core wasn’t because they were common and having higher standards was more important than common standards. If that is the case, why did he tell states like Indiana, Massachusetts and California to dump their higher standards?
Common Core supporters are relying on doublespeak to win the CC debate, but the truth is a tricky thing. It always catches up to you.