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In this age of political polarization, it’s increasingly rare to find an issue that can bridge party lines and unite people of all ideological stripes.
When such an issue does come along, it sets the stage for the kind of meaningful political change that would otherwise, in different times, be impossible. Common Core education standards have emerged from the shadows of obscurity and have become such an issue.
Common Core standards originated in the same way that all government regulations come about: out of fear. For decades we have been told that our children are lagging behind those in other countries, that they cannot compete globally, and that their very futures are in danger unless government steps in and fixes the broken school system.
Parents were understandably rattled by this kind of fear-mongering, and the resulting response has led to such conclusively failed programs as Head Start and No Child Left Behind. When these programs failed to yield the promised results, Common Core was proffered as a solution. Desperation and a feeling of helplessness led many parents to agree – at least until they saw the actual results.