Sunday, February 9, 2014

Strange bedfellows?

Again, there’s nothing very controversial about the idea that policy should be made locally unless there’s some good countervailing reason. That probably helps explain why there is opposition to the Common Core coming from both “liberals” and “conservatives.” (I dislike the labels, but I would have to be classified as much more in the “liberal” category myself.) Local control is certainly consistent with small-government conservatism, but it’s a caricature to suggest that liberals always favor centralization no matter what. Many liberals have concluded that the Common Core is an illiberal enterprise that promotes a narrow and misguided vision of education, one that disempowers and lowers the status of teachers, and one that assumes that what’s good for big business is what’s good for kids. (The Business Roundtable and the Chamber of Commerce, for example, are some of the Common Core’s biggest promoters.) There is a lot of potential for liberals, conservatives, and even libertarians to find common ground against the Common Core. Authoritarians, though, will have a hard time finding much about the Common Core to dislike.

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