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A Bureaucrat’s ‘C’

by Ramesh Ponnuru

Grading the Common Core

It wasn’t controversial in the beginning. By 2012, almost every state in the country had adopted the “Common Core” standards for their school systems. Common Core enjoyed the support not only of President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan, but of Jeb Bush, Mitch Daniels, Bill Bennett, and Chris Christie.

It still does. Now, though, it also faces increasing criticism — some of it from the left, but most of it from the right. Many of the conservative critics say Common Core is Obama’s plan for a federal takeover of education. They call it “ObamaCore,” a play on the popular name for his health-care law. They say that far from raising academic standards, as advertised, Common Core will devalue the learning of facts in favor of progressive educational fads.

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