Allen B. West

Common Core opponents under attack by big business

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Recently we reported about Common Core and shared this enlightening video regarding the government’s attempt to mandate education standards.

Common Core has run into very strong grassroots opposition and has become a focal issue for the conservative grassroots Tea Party. However, Common Core supporters, backed by big business special interests, aren’t going down without a fight. And they’ll fight in the manner they know best — with big money.

According to Politico, a coalition including the Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will launch a national advertising blitz Sunday targeted at Republicans skeptical about the standards. Spots promoting the Common Core will air on Fox News and other conservative outlets.

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The campaign — a major ad buy that could last months — aims to undercut dire tea party warnings that the standards amount to a federal power grab, akin to Obamacare. The TV spots and online ads will project a positive tone, featuring teachers praising the Common Core.

I spent a year teaching American and world history as well as honors government in high school after my retirement from the Army. I can attest that what is happening in our schools is not teaching but rather instructing on test-taking strategies. We are not preparing young people to be productive participants in our communities, developing their critical thinking skills or making education relevant.

It’s all because bureaucrats and those who profit from them are developing standards — national standards — that seem to forget one integral aspect of education: it is local. We have school boards for a reason and that’s to set standards and guidelines that educate children in coordination with the local community.

For example, you might think that since South Florida is home to maritime heavy industry, education would focus on preparing our children here for that industry. And why wouldn’t the Business Roundtable and Chamber of Commerce support more private sector involvement in practical application of education to support the theory taught? Evaluations should be based on skill set development, not nebulous and arbitrary standards developed by folks just peddling their wares, textbooks and such.

The bottom line is that big business has been recruited by Common Core proponents to destroy the grassroots, everyday Americans. And they intend to use their financial might to meet that end.

Dane Linn, vice president of the Business Roundtable and one of the architects of the Common Core says “State leaders, and the general public, need to understand why employers care about the Common Core.” The Business Roundtable, he said, is urging members to work their connections with “governors, committee chairs, House speakers, presidents of Senates” to stop any bills that could undercut the standards.

Mr. Linn needs to understand why parents care about Common Core.

And so it begins folks, the fight between big business and the grassroots. As I’ve said before, progressivism has nothing to do with party affiliation. It’s all about a philosophy of governance and the relation between government and the individual.

It is not the purview of the federal government to nationalize education standards. Nor is it proper for the federal government to blackmail states into accepting their terms of education. And it’s certainly not proper for big business to seek to financially crush the voices of concerned parents and teachers.

Neither I, nor my wife, Dr. Angela Graham-West, PhD, support common core. And I offer a word of advice to Republican candidates: listen to the people, and resist the temptation to betray them over the 30 pieces of silver these special interest groups promise. You will lose. I for one am more than willing and ready to stand up to Big Business as a champion for the American people.

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