Defending Common Core on the Rod Arquette Show

Fordham’s Mike Petrilli argued the conservative case for the Common Core—and debunked some common anti–Common Core myths—yesterday on the Rod Arquette Show (KNRS-Salt Lake City). Among his points:

  • Common Core is conservative. The Fordham Institute, which has been reviewing standards for fifteen years, found these standards to be more rigorous than those in three-quarters of the states—including Utah. The standards are solid, conservative, and traditional, said Mike.
  • Accountability is conservative. Thirty years ago, A Nation at Risk started the modern education-reform movement—and put accountability and standards at the forefront of the conservative, Republican education platform. Today, Republicans shouldn’t be fighting these high standards; they should make the Common Core (and accountability to parents and taxpayers) a mainstay of the reform agenda.

Mike notes that there are a lot of misconceptions out there—and jumps to correct the record:

  • Common Core was created by the federal government: False. Mike explained that the Common Core was created by governors and superintendents, but he did admit that conservatives should be angry at President Obama for overstepping his role and politicizing the Common Core.
  • Common Core will have students reading technical manuals: False, once again. The Common Core promotes the reading of rigorous texts—both fiction and non-fiction—from classic American literature to our founding documents. This isn’t about manuals; it’s about preparing our students for college and careers.
  • There is data-tracking in Common Core: Wrong again. Mike notes that he too is concerned with some of the databases under development, but also says these are completely separate from the Common Core

Listen to the full interview here (starts at minute 64:55).

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