Governors and other state executive officials have taken much-deserved flak for failing to support parents in their fight against the Common Core national standards. Too many of these officials, showing their disdain for parents who, after all, aren’t “experts,” have engaged in outright fraud — claiming to replace Common Core with state standards when in fact, they’ve just moved a few commas around and “rebranded” the national standards to make them sound home-grown.
The same game played out this week in West Virginia. On Thursday, the West Virginia Board of Education voted to replace the Common Core standards with . . . the Common Core standards (just called something else). Observers who have compared the new standards to the old ones report the changes made were so minor that even the untrained eye could detect the replication. Even the mainstream media, normally unsympathetic to critics of the statist Common Core, admitted that “the proposed standards that emerged from that process do retain much of the same wording, down to the same examples and similar ordering, that are in Common Core.”
Activists in West Virginia are not fooled. They recognize that the Board was merely attempting to defuse a grassroots demand for legislation that has been gathering steam and that now has some influential backers in the legislature. One leader of the West Virginia movement describes what really happened:
Just a Superintendent and his talking heads trying to dig themselves out of a hole. They are very worried. Like others have done, they made a few additions and nonsubstantive changes to the CC/WV Next Gen Standards and renamed them College and Career Ready Standards and are now trying to sell them to the Legislators and the public. The Legislature leaders are comparing the standards and have seen through the deception and lies. It isn’t going to work but for now the Department of Ed has the biggest megaphone. There will be a bill to truly repeal early in the next session beginning in January. The lies they tell will eventually catch up to them and there will be consequences.
Parents may not be “experts,” but they know a scam when they see one. Politicians should take that to heart.
Jane Robbins is an attorney and a senior fellow with the American Principles Project.