Education Editorial: Common core or common sense

Education Editorial: Common core or common sense

While it seems from recent polls that Washington political operatives, both appointed and elected, have reached a low that is almost unimaginable unless intended, one has crossed the Potomac to expand the boundaries of confusion…if not bias.

A Politico reporter summarized comments made by US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as delivered to state school chiefs meeting in Richmond:

"It's fascinating to me that some of the pushback is coming from, sort of, white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn't as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn't quite as good as they thought they were, and that's pretty scary," Duncan said. "You've bet your house and where you live and everything on, 'My child's going to be prepared.' That can be a punch in the gut."

A punch in the gut! Well get in line to be offended. Of course, the "locker room" talk, not unlike the former President of Ohio State talking to his football team about Notre Dame, was about resistance to the common core standards that are being pushed by President Obama.

Well, there may be some lessons here. First, suburbs are clearly not all white…an offense to any minority who lives in one. Second, "Moms" are not the only voices speaking out about the common core standards. Third, is the Secretary saying that brilliance and performance are mutually exclusive? Fourth, is "betting your house and where you live" an offense to the parents of every successful student in a city or rural community?

Maybe the Secretary should spend less time on the "common core" and more time on common sense…and a little sensitivity training might be helpful as well.

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