Politics & Policy

Why Louis C.K. Hit Home on Common Core

The more people get to know the standards, the less they like them.

Well before he made Common Core a prime topic on The Late Show With David Letterman, comedian Louis C.K. was raising a ruckus over the testing standards on Twitter. His comments angered a some people and put him at the center of the debate over the Common Core standards.

https://twitter.com/louisck/statuses/460765469746929664

Louis is the father of two girls who attend New York City public schools, and his tweets set off Alexander Nazaryan of Newsweek. Nazaryan cited his own experience as a teacher to defend the standards.

https://twitter.com/louisck/statuses/461660479518437377

Nazaryan said he was “dismayed” because C.K.’s celebrity give his opinions a huge platform. He also worried that people might take Louis C.K. seriously because he isn’t “a shill for the unions nor a far-left conspiracy theorist. He is, instead, a New York City public school parent who has the ears and eyeballs of millions across the nation, not to mention his 3 million Twitter followers. And he has used that bully pulpit to malign an earnest effort at education reform, one that is far too young to be judged so harshly,” Nazaryan wrote.

One of the things that C.K. highlighted was actual test questions given to his daughters.

https://twitter.com/louisck/statuses/460895556647526400

In his appearance with Letterman, Louis said it’s good when his daughters face challenging test questions. “I’m there for [my kids] in those moments. I say, ‘Come on, look at the problem. And then I look at the problem and it’s like, ‘Bill has three goldfish. He buys two more. How many dogs live in London?’”

https://youtube.com/watch?v=5cSKnCBcEDo

Louis said he doesn’t blame the teachers — he blames the people who write the tests: “nobody knows who they are . . . it’s very secretive,” he said.

https://twitter.com/louisck/statuses/460912163310542848

https://twitter.com/louisck/statuses/460912408434069504

https://twitter.com/louisck/statuses/460913063722774528

C.K.’s detractors say he’s maligning education reform, but he disagrees. As a father of children currently in school, he can’t wait until the Common Core is refined. “[Kids] only get one chance to grow and develop and to fall in love with learning,” he said.

https://twitter.com/louisck/statuses/461661746235985920

Louis C.K. is an everyman comedian. His jokes are about sex, divorce, anxiety, i.e. the stuff of every day life. His Common Core tirades also come from firsthand experience. Nazaryan and others note that the standards are “loathed by left and right alike.” But it might be more accurate to say the more practical experience people have with the standards, the less they like them.

— Joshua Encinias is an Agostinelli Fellow at National Review Online.

Most Popular

PC Culture

Hate-Crime Hoaxes Reflect America’s Sickness

On January 29, tabloid news site TMZ broke the shocking story that Jussie Smollett, a gay black entertainer and progressive activist, had been viciously attacked in Chicago. Two racist white men had fractured his rib, poured bleach on him, and tied a noose around his neck. As they were leaving, they shouted ... Read More
World

Ilhan Omar’s Big Lie

In a viral exchange at a congressional hearing last week, the new congresswoman from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, who is quickly establishing herself as the most reprehensible member of the House Democratic freshman class despite stiff competition, launched into Elliott Abrams. She accused the former Reagan official ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Strange Paradoxes of Our Age

Modern prophets often say one thing and do another. Worse, they often advocate in the abstract as a way of justifying their doing the opposite in the concrete. The result is that contemporary culture abounds with the inexplicable — mostly because modern progressivism makes all sorts of race, class, and ... Read More
PC Culture

Fake Newspeople

This week, the story of the Jussie Smollett hoax gripped the national media. The story, for those who missed it, went something like this: The Empire actor, who is both black and gay, stated that on a freezing January night in Chicago, in the middle of the polar vortex, he went to a local Subway store to buy a ... Read More
U.S.

White Progressives Are Polarizing America

To understand how far left (and how quickly) the Democratic party has moved, let’s cycle back a very short 20 years. If 1998 Bill Clinton ran in the Democratic primary today, he’d be instantaneously labeled a far-right bigot. His support for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Defense of Marriage Act, ... Read More
Elections

One Last Grift for Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders, the antique Brooklyn socialist who represents Vermont in the Senate, is not quite ready to retire to his lakeside dacha and so once again is running for the presidential nomination of a party to which he does not belong with an agenda about which he cannot be quite entirely ... Read More
PC Culture

Merciless Sympathy

Jussie Smollett’s phony hate-crime story could have been taken apart in 24 hours, except for one thing: Nobody wanted to be the first to call bullsh**. Who will bell the cat? Not the police, and I don’t blame them. Smollett is a vocal critic of President Donald Trump who checks two protected-category ... Read More
U.S.

Questions for Those Who Believed Jussie Smollett

The “we reported the Jussie Smollett case responsibly” contention has been blasted to smithereens. Twitter accounts and headlines in the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times reported as fact Jussie Smollett’s wildly implausible allegations, and many other journalists did so as ... Read More