John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Common Core

Posted on June 24, 2013

In the workout world, the “core” is what you do to make your lower back pain-free.  You work your abs, you work your legs, you do sit-ups and push-ups, you stretch, you work with the Medicine ball, etc. etc.

If you get your core in shape, the rest of the body will follow.

It’s really not that much different than getting your “core” education right.

There is a debate going on in the world of politics about common core standards.

Several states have adopted common “core” curriculum standards to help guide teachers and school administrators about what kids should be learning on the different subjects.

Here is what the Washington Post had to say about them:
“The standards don’t dictate curriculum; rather, they lay out the math, reading and writing skills that students should master from kindergarten through 12th grade. They are the product of a bipartisan effort, led by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, that dates back five years and that relied on research from experts and input from teachers. It was a transparent and much publicized endeavor.”

Of course, Tea Partiers don’t like the standards and they are doing their level best to stop them.  They incorrectly believe that this is an Obama Administration effort to brainwash their poor little kiddies, who are most likely home-schooled anyway.

The Business Roundtable is working hard to get the states to adopt common core standards because they have a vested interest in having an informed and competent workforce available to their companies.

You can’t have economic growth without talented employees who can make businesses succeed.  And you can’t have talented employees unless you decent schools.

The Tea party is against immigration reform, because they don’t want competition from foreigners for jobs.  But they also don’t want higher standards imposed on local schools because, well, I don’t know why not.

Conservatives have distrust of the federal government when it comes to education.  One thing Rick Perry and Ron Paul both agree on is that we should get rid of the Department of Education.  But you can’t push for getting rid of the federal role in Education and then push for getting rid of any core standards that teachers and students have to strive for.   And why the States can’t collaborate on common standards is beyond me.

I remember when conservatives came out so strongly against No Child Left Behind pushed by President Bush.  They didn’t want more accountability for schools, and they didn’t want increased funding for schools at the federal level.

I can understand the impulse to separate from the public school systems.  I am a product of public schools but I send my son to a Catholic school now, where he is free to learn religious values and not worry about the government nodding its finger no.

But that doesn’t mean I want the public schools to fail.  In fact, I want them to succeed because for this country to succeed, we need greater production from our public schools.

The common core is common sense.   It’s not complicated.

Subscribe to the Feehery Theory Newsletter, exclusively on Substack.
Learn More