Does the common core opposition suggest something good about today’s politics?

by Mr. Sheehy

The rise of opposition to the Common Core illustrates three healthy aspects of today’s politics. First, new communication skills and technologies enable energized minorities to force new topics onto the political agenda. Second, this uprising of local communities against state capitals, the nation’s capital and various muscular organizations (e.g., the Business Roundtable, the Chamber of Commerce, teachers unions, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) demonstrates that although the public agenda is malleable, a sturdy portion of the public is not.

Third, political dishonesty has swift, radiating and condign consequences. Opposition to the Common Core is surging because Washington, hoping to mollify opponents, is saying, in effect: “If you like your local control of education, you can keep it. Period.” To which a burgeoning movement is responding: “No. Period.”

George Will’s comments are ones I find interesting. While I am currently not commenting publicly about the common core, it is interesting to trace the discussion about it and consider what its dynamics suggest about public discussions and who drives them. One thing Will doesn’t discuss, but a point that tempers my willingness to get too excited about what that rising opposition means, is how much of the opposition and support of the common core is based upon poor and incorrect information. Can ill-informed discussion inspire anyone to excitement?

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