EDUCATION THEATER: Yesterday's Common Core discussion at the Capitol.
The round of hearings on
the Common Core curriculum b
eing led by Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin
— soon to be a key presidential campaign adviser to avowed Common Core foe Mike Huckabee
— is mostly theater and a gubernatorial delaying tactic worthy of the Arkansas Supreme Court.
Everything being said has been said before.
When Gov. Asa Hutchinson
said he wants an "Arkansas solution" he's saying exactly what he said when he created another task force on the private option health insurance plan
In both cases, he means, "I want, essentially, the status quo but I want a new name to fool voters. I wasn't ready to belly up to the bar on these issues in my first legislative session."
Hutchinson must continue the private option in substance because his budget depends on Obamacare money.
His task force will rename it and layer on some poor-folk punishment to gull the credible into forgetting none of it would be possible without Obamacare.
Similarly, Hutchinson must continue the Common Core
curriculum standard because 1) the Walton money
is behind it ; 2) the Walton money
is behind it, and 3) the Billionaire Boys Club
is behind it.
Yes, there's a strong argument to be made FOR a national understanding of core knowledge that should be produced in education, whether in Wabbaseka or Walla Walla. There are also strong arguments AGAINST the high-stakes-test-centric focus of the enterprise.
But here's the thing. Arkansas long ago proved that standards are meaningless.
Our education framework has, for example, long provided for inclusion of evolution
in science teaching. In most places in Arkansas, it isn't taught. And in some places, it is not only not taught but criticized. Legislators are busily injecting more ideas about what history should be taught. It's amusing that one of the lead Walton lobbyists first earned her political spurs on a crusade to rid the Fayetteville school library of spicy books.
"Arkansas solution." Yeah, we've seen those before.