Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Column debunks groundless rumors surrounding Common Core

If you’re interested in the debate surrounding heightened educational standards in Arizona and other states, I urge you to check out MichaelGerson’s latest column.

I’ve been mystified by some who have mischaracterized the governor and business community’s desire to improve our economic climate as something driven by bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. or even connecting these standards to the U.N.

As I’ve written about previously, the country’s brightest stars in public policy and business are backing the adoption of Common Core standards. I’ve cited retired Intel Chairman and CEO Craig Barrett’s involvement, and Gerson cites former Govs. Mitch Daniels and Jeb Bush, and current Govs. Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “A plot this vast,” Gerson writes, “is either diabolical or imaginary.”

As Gerson writes, “The conservative reformers who helped shape the Common Core are trying to make incremental improvements in a deeply flawed system.”

While we have some of the very best K-12 schools in the U.S. and these schools can compete with our friends abroad, our system as a whole is not keeping pace with our international competitors.

We can keep looking for conspiracies where they don’t exist, or we can do the right thing for Arizona’s students and economy and back a pro-growth agenda that includes higher standards for our students and tests that match these more rigorous standards. Gerson’s column is a thoughtful piece that captures what is at stake in this debate.

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