The effort to stop the Obama Administration's "Common Core" curriculum has come to Illinois, and state lawmakers are perking their ears to contacts from constituents they've rarely heard from before - parents and taxpayers concerned about what their state will be teaching in Illinois' public schools. Those parents may be surprised to learn they could have an ally in teachers unions, which are averse to slowing down the nationalization of what their kids are being taught
Over the past three years, 45 states - including Illinois - adopted “Common Core,” a set of federal education curriculum guidelines developed by the National Governors Association and promoted by President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan. But now the guidelines are receiving stricter scrutiny, and mounting opposition from conservative groups — as well as teachers unions — has forced administrators and politicians to halt implementation.
Common Core skeptics have won several battles recently. In April, the Republican National Committee approved a resolution condemning the standards and urging states to withdraw. Last week, lawmakers in Michigan hit the pause button on implementation of the standards. Indiana followed suit just a few days ago.
Conservatives’ main concern is that Common Core will gradually erode states’ rights, stifle competition between school systems, and act as a backdoor for the Obama administration to get a left-leaning political agenda into the classroom.
Conservatives who do oppose Common Core have found an unlikely ally: teacher unions.
Though teachers have traditionally supported Obama’s policies, they don’t see eye-to-eye with the president on high-stakes standardized tests. Common Core requires frequent testing of students, and teachers worry students’ poor performances could be held against them. National standards also give individual school districts, schools, and teachers less flexibility to set their own curricula.