Governor Rick Perry, who announced he was suspending his campaign at this event.

At the Eagle Forum National Leadership meeting this weekend, several Republican Presidential candidates came to stump. Every single one said they would end, repeal, or abolish Common Core. This obviously resonated with the primarily conservative crowd and the many anti-common core activists present who applauded thunderously every time these words were said. But when it comes time to actually do something about Common Core, the elected will have to do more than declare it ended. Several states, including Missouri, have attempted to do that, and found that it is like trying to eliminate nutsedge. You can pull up the obvious growth, but every fragment of root you leave behind grows into a new plant.

The roots of common core have been traced by many people at this point and you can read about them in books listed on the Missouri Coalition Against Common Core website. They are based in the Prussian military training admired by people like John Dewey, Stalin’s fanatical commitment to centralized planning, and good old fashioned egotism of the elites who believe that their success entitles them to tell everyone else how they should live. Place the wealth of millionaires and billionaires, along with the collusion of government, behind their idea of the perfect system designed to feed more money into private coffers and you get what we have with common core. Until we attack the roots, we will see Common Core (and the testing and the data collection) crop up again and again.

Americans are looking for things to make sense, for their rights to be respected in real time not just in speeches, and to be told the truth.

We can’t understand why so much emphasis is being placed on everyone getting a college degree when the projections by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, whose work is paid for by our tax dollars, predict that in the next 10 years, 80% of the jobs in the United States will not require a college degree. It makes no sense. Are our tax dollars being wasted on crappy statistical measurement and analysis or are the statistics being ignored in favor of special interest lobbying.

Dr. Ben Carson

Ben Carson reiterated the call for more STEM training because of supposed shortages in those fields. Ted Cruz has called for more H1B visas for STEM workers due to a shortage, yet there is ample evidence that between 40-60% of our STEM graduates cannot get a job in their field. The racket of the H1B visa slaves, who undermine the ability of our U.S. STEM graduates to get jobs, is becoming common knowledge (here, here, here) so why are these candidates supporting these positions? It makes no sense.

Activists in several states followed the rules and got legislation passed to “get rid of Common Core standards” only to be lied to and manipulated into having replacement standards that look very much like Common Core, at least enough to make the continued tracking of student scores on uniform assessments possible. This is why few believed Mike Huckabee when he told the crowd he was opposed to common core. Many knew of his earlier plea made in private not to abandon it but simply rename it. How he could expect the public to believe he opposes a system that collects student data and makes it available to third parties when he himself makes his mailing list available to third parties who peddle products of dubious quality? All’s fair in the free market, right? Except that mandatory school attendance (and tracking which brings in data from private and home schools) is not the free market. We are fighting the tools of their system, but making little headway in combating the ideas behind the system. The candidates did not yet show an appreciation for those ideas or how to fight them.

Senator Ted Cruz

Business wants cheap labor. That’s understandable and can be addressed fairly well by the free market. They appreciate economies of scale and mass production. But they also want tax breaks and government subsidies and special labor programs that keep their costs low. They want someone else to absorb their cost for labor training. That is not the free market. That is public/private collusion, er partnership. And all of those things come from the government which is supposed to be of the people and for the people. So when does that government turn back to the businesses, who want all these things from us the people, and ask “What will you be doing to help the American people? Will you promise to hire the graduates that we are paying to educate for you? Will you contribute directly to education? Will you promise not to do business with our enemies who chant “Death to America? Will you accept that, while you may have an interest in knowing as much as you can about your customers, you have no right to know everything so government will neither support your unfettered data collection nor do it for you when it comes to our children?”

If government, both collectively and individually, has a right to be wrong with virtually no consequences (EPA, Hillary), then so do the people. They can pick the wrong teachers, the wrong curriculum, the wrong standards, the  wrong tests and the wrong careers and life will go on. They can choose to take their child out of the state’s testing and not expect to be hauled in front of a Family Law judge for neglect, because government actually respects parental rights. If what the Supreme Court declares is the law of the land (as in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015), then certainly their declaration regarding parental rights in 1925 (in Pierce v. Society of Sisters) is also the law of the land. The people should be encouraged to learn from their mistakes, not subjected to central control when they make them. Central control has never succeeded in eliminating mistakes and it never will. When candidates start talking about these things, then we will know that they know the kind of pre-emergents to apply to government to put an end to things like Common Core.

Anne Gassel

Anne has been writing on MEW since 2012 and has been a citizen lobbyist on Common Core since 2013. Some day she would like to see a national Hippocratic oath for educators “I will remember that there is an art to teaching as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy and understanding are sometimes more important than policy or what the data say. My first priority is to do no harm to the children entrusted to my temporary care.”

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