Former Governors Talk Common Core

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Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Bipartisan Policy Center held an event on the truth about the Common Core. The event featured five former Republican governors (James Douglas of Vermont, John Engler of Michigan, Linda Lingle of Hawaii, John McKernan of Maine, and Sonny Perdue of Georgia) who spoke in defense of Common Core. They discussed their roles in the formation of the new standards. They noted that the idea started after the growth of federal influence in education under NCLB, which they feared would lead to a set of federal standards. To combat this potential intrusion, they decided to develop their own, state-initiated standards. They were all surprised by and ashamed of the current heavily-Republican backlash against the standards.

As I finalize AASA’s report on our recent Common Core survey, it was helpful to hear from these governors the impetus behind the standards, and the frustration with how they are being portrayed. Despite the negative press and frustration, none of the panelists said they would have done anything differently, given another chance. Governor Perdue noted their one mistake: the name. He said, “we should have called it Freedom Core”.

You can view the webcast of the event here, and stay tuned for the release of our survey soon!

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