A group that supports Common Core is launching a two-week television ad buy in Iowa, the state that hosts the first presidential nominating contests, in an effort to counter a backlash from conservative Republicans against the national academic standards.
The new television ad by the Collaborative for Student Success features Bill Bennett, U.S. education secretary under former President Ronald Reagan. “High standards are worth fighting for,” he says in the spot starting Monday. “That’s why so many conservatives are taking a fresh look at Common Core.”
This strategy - to sell Common Core as "conservative" to the Republican base was introduced earlier this year:
With Common Core set to be one of the political flashpoints in the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination and with it a topic at the upcoming CPAC conference (a Thursday panel is entitled "Common Core: Rotten to the Core"), conservative defenders of Common Core briefed reporters on Wednesday to begin pushing back against critics.Karen Nussle, executive director of Collaborative for Student Success - and wife of former GOP Rep. and Bush OMB Director Jim Nussle - said the Common Core are K thru 12 standards in math and English developed by the states. They aren't CURRICULUM standards, she maintained.Nussle also said that despite all of the opposition to Common Core, only one state out of the 45 that adopted the standards - Oklahoma - has repealed that support.And she adds that only another six Republican governors - 2016ers Scott Walker and Bobby Jindal, plus Arizona's Doug Ducey, Maine's Paul LePage, Mississippi's Phil Bryant, and South Carolina's Nikki Haley - oppose Common Core. All other GOP governors support it. And former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is one of its biggest champions.Opponents of Common Core, Nussle said, "are pretty much the political outliers."
Core supporters think if they can rinse the words "Barack Obama" from the public perception of Common Core, they can bring conservatives back on board in support of the standards:
Why the opposition to Common Core? "It comes down to two words - Barack Obama. This is what this is about," added Michael Petrilli, president of the Thomas Fordham Institute. While the Common Core standards were created by the nation's governors, the Obama administration tied its "Race to the Top" education money to the standards - and hence the association with Obama.
Thus this kind of video from the Collaborative for Student Success that came before the Bennett video (which you can see here):
It's interesting that at least two of the Republicans in that "Cnservatives for the Core" video from 2013 are now opposed to the Core (Huckabee and Jindal.)
It remains to be seen if Core supporters can turn conservatives back onto the Core as the Obama administration sunsets.
Not sure running a video with Bill Bennett hawking the Core is going to do that.
UPDATE: Turns out Huckabee, who used to be for the Core before he turned against it, is kinda for the Core again.