Kenneth J. Fortier: Creating a federal bogeyman

May 3, 2014 

Thank you for reprinting the April 26 column “ Facts, not fiction, on Common Core” by Fannie Flono, noting that during the televised April 22 debate, “all four of the GOP candidates perpetuated the falsehood that the Common Core standards program is a federal initiative taking away control of education from the states.”

Common Core is a voluntary, state-led effort sponsored by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to establish common educational goals. It is not a curriculum and explicitly leaves specific content and methods in the hands of teachers.

We may debate Common Core’s role in ensuring our children receive the best possible preparation for life, but inaccurately inciting fears of federal bogeymen is counterproductive and a disservice to sincere efforts dedicated on their behalf. Who knows? Maybe we can learn from each other.

Otherwise, I am reminded of a line from the 1988 movie, “The Milagro Beanfield War.” When a college student from out of town tries to point out the value of using crop irrigation, the response of Milagro’s mayor is simply, “Look, if we don’t know it already, chances are we’re not interested.”

Kenneth J. Fortier


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