Arizona’s superintendent of public instruction wants to take the politics out of the Arizona Common Core Standards without loosening any requirements of the state’s tough new academic program.
On Tuesday, John Huppenthal said the term “Common Core” has become so politically charged it has become nearly impossible to explain the state’s new academic standards to parents and voters.
So, he will ask the State Board of Education to approve a name change, replacing Common Core with “Arizona College and Career Ready Standards.” He also wants the state to withdraw from a national coalition that developed the standards but has since become a political lightning rod for conservatives.
Huppenthal emphasized that nothing would change in Arizona classrooms. Teachers will stick with the new Common Core lessons rolled out at the start of this school year, and students will still take an annual assessment to measure what they have learned, he said.
Huppenthal, a Republican, is up for re-election in 2014, and many conservative voters are against Common Core, saying states, not the federal government, should be able to draft their own education standards.
Michelle Udall, a Common Core supporter and Mesa Public Schools governing board member, said that she frequently encounters Common Core opponents and contends that the “vast majority” of critics are misinformed.
She said she was not sure whether a name change would resolve the issue.
“If we keep the same standards, change the name and that makes people happier, I guess that is OK,” Udall said. “It seems to border on the absurd to do that, but it’s fine if it makes the standards more acceptable.”
It does seem to border on the absurd, but Arizona is not the only place where Common Core proponents are toying with a name change to throw off the opposition.
In a piece in Politico today about the rising opposition to the Common Core, we learn they're trying to do the name change thing in Maryland too:
Promoting the standards requires such a delicate balance that the Maryland Business Roundtable is seeking to write up scripts for a PR campaign that won’t use the word “standards.” Or “common.” Or “core.” The group is hoping to get sports stars to make the pitch, executive director June Streckfus said.
Oh, yeah, that'll work.
Get some sports stars willing to take a paycheck to the sell the Common Core State (sic) Standards, only don't use the words "common," "core," or "standards" in the p.r. campaign.
You know that Common Core proponents have lost the war when they have to hire sports stars for pro-Common Core p.r. campaigns that will try and sell the Common Core State (sic) Standards to the public without the words "common," "core," or "standards" in the ads.
Or when they think they can fool a public increasingly opposed to the Common Core State (sic) Standards by simply changing the name and going on full speed ahead like the newly named "College and Career Readiness Standards" are something completely different.
I'm sure the opposition will never catch on to that strategy.
The Politico article quotes some proponents as saying they got cocky and thought the Core implementation was a done deal, that there was no way to put the toothpaste back into the tube on the Core.
But they're quickly learning that the more they promote these standards, the more people hate them.
They'll learn this even more when the Common Core "assessments" come and parents discover their kids are doing nothing but prepping for tests and taking tests.
And wait until the data-tracking thing becomes common knowledge.
If you're opposed to the Common Core and you enjoy Common Core proponents spluttering about how "ignorant" and "conspiracy-laden" the opposition to the Core is, the next year is going to be fun, fun, fun.