Why Doesn’t Chris Christie Know the Status of Common Core in His Own State? Or Does He?
Fact checking Governor Christie’s Common Core comment at the January 2016 Republican Debate
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie last night in the Republican Debate stated Common Core had been eliminated in his state. Fact checking this comment suggests that this was not a true statement. From nj.com and Fact checking Christie in 2016 Republican presidential debate:
Christie: “And on Common Core, Common Core has been eliminated in New Jersey.”
That’s not accurate.
Christie, once a Common Core supporter, did denounce the academic standards last year. But it’s not accurate to say Common Core has been eliminated in New Jersey.
The panel of educators and parents Christie ordered to review the standards recommended keeping 84 percent of New Jersey’s existing math and reading standards intact and suggested tweaks and clarifications to the remaining standards.
A side-by-side comparison of the current math standards and proposed changes shows several suggestions involve simply changing or adding a word to the standard’s description. Though state education officials said the changes mark a departure from Common Core, New Jersey’s largest teachers union characterized the suggestions as “relatively minor.”
Those proposed changes still have to be approved by the state Board of Education and wouldn’t take effect until the 2017-18 school year, according to state officials.
Candidates routinely make less than factual statements to assuage a target group of voters. It’s political reality and has worked well in the past. However, politicians might want to take note that what worked in the past is not as effective today. Politicians don’t seem to understand and/or acknowledge they can’t control the message because of the amount of factual information available to citizens via various news sources, bloggers, agency directives, etc. Taxpayers are no longer dependent on politicians, bureaucrats and NGO parsed educational information designed to only impart details that those partnerships want to disseminate. Taxpayers are suspicious of the information from politicians, bureaucrats, and NGO organizations as their continued existence is based on additional funding streams and control of education to make certain those funds are perpetual. When the messenger is dependent on how the message is relayed to the customer (although as a public school customer you don’t have choice of a different product), the message will be edited to assure the ‘customer’ only hears what the messenger thinks the customer wants to hear. Is it any surprise that many of the education reform choice architects are not educators but are previous marketing/business professionals?
Think of the misinformation disseminated in the roll out of the Common Core Standards Initiative. Taxpayers (who were never included as stakeholders in these educational decisions they were compelled to pay for) were told they were state led, internationally benchmarked and based on research/data. Those claims have been proven to be false and the proponents have had to spend millions of dollars to defend a product based on half-truths or deceit. These educational choice architects believe people should be nudged toward the architects’ vision and that people only want to see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear.
The Rock Man in Harry Nilsson’s The Point
The number of parents and taxpayers is increasing who understand that Common Core is not gone from the states but has gone through clever rebrandings. Even Michael Petrilli of Fordham admits to this reality. Why then would Governor Christie in a national debate declare that Common Core has been eliminated? Is it that he doesn’t know what’s going on with CC, except to try to deceive NJ parents and distance himself from his previous support of the Initiative? He’s just another politician ensnared in Common Core misinformation/deceit, just like Senator Lamar Alexander:
Lest anyone think that acts of deception regarding Common Core have come only from only one side of the political aisle or from only state departments of education, perhaps the greatest act of deception is the preposterous claim about the thrust of the recent re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, known as the Every Student Succeeds Act, by its major author Senator Lamar Alexander. In an op-ed in The Tennessean on Dec. 12, 2015, Senator Alexander implied that he had “repealed the federal Common Core mandate and reversed the trend toward a national school board.”
Instead, as Peter Cunningham, a former official in the U.S. Department of Education points out, “the new law that the senator from Tennessee is so proud of, the Every Student Succeeds Act, now mandates the very thing he rails against. Under the new law, every state must adopt “college- and career-ready” standards. Thus, the new law all but guarantees that Common Core State Standards — or a close imitation under a different name — will likely remain in place in most states.” It seems that Alexander, former president of the University of Tennessee, has managed to deceive not only his constituents in Tennessee and the entire country but also himself.