Common Core’s Loudest Opponents Come From Outside Of Tennessee

The Senate Education Committee will now compile a report for the General Assembly. Some members are pondering legislation, particularly regarding student privacy. Credit:  ShuttrKing|KT via Flickr

The Senate Education Committee will now compile a report for the General Assembly. Some members are pondering legislation, particularly regarding student privacy. Credit: ShuttrKing|KT via Flickr

For and against, for and against. Tennessee lawmakers swayed between supporters of Common Core and opponents in a day-long hearing Friday. Many of those testifying have been debating the education standards in other states.

Georgia state Sen. William Ligon talked about why his state is ditching the PARCC test associated with Common Core. A spokesperson from the conservative Heartland Institute suggested the standards are a liberal conspiracy.

Peg Luksik – who is a politician from Pennsylvania – argued against what she sees as a one-size-fits-all approach

“Why would we think that we can mandate that every child learn the same thing in the same way?” she asked. “This is educational poppycock.”

Much of the out-of-state testimony came from opponents. Common Core fans did bring in someone from the Fordham Institute, which is a right-leaning think tank that supports Common Core.

Executive vice president Michael Petrilli has been traveling the country championing the standards. He says they’re a big improvement for most states.

“We are not into the fuzzy-headed progressive stuff at all,” Petrilli said. “Academic experts that we trust that have looked at this say the standards aren’t perfect but they are very solid.”

Petrilli did try to appeal to the conservative leanings of Tennessee Republicans, saying it was “shameful” that President Obama used the Race to the Top grant program to drive adoption of Common Core.

Locally, superintendents, teachers, university officials and even at lieutenant colonel with the Tennessee Guard spoke in favor of Common Core, though one administrator from White County voiced concerns from teachers who feel “trapped in a whirlwind of change.”

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