Fordham’s Petrilli Rodeo Clowning for ObamaCore, Gates $$, & the Great Society

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Commentary magazine did a great blog about how Common Core is really ObamaCore and how right-leaners and left-leaners alike across the country are now in open rebellion over the growing federal takeover of K-12 education standards, testing, and curriculum. See below:

Wherever you stand on the Common Core, an attempt to provide a set of nationwide education standards, it can’t be good news for the program that it has begun to so resemble the disastrous process and rollout of this administration’s last federal reform, ObamaCare. Yet the opposition to the Common Core has followed a familiar pattern.

As the Heartland Institute noted in 2011, “The Obama administration made adoption of the Common Core a criterion for winning part of $4.35 billion in federal Race to the Top grants in 2010, and states receiving Title I appropriations in the future may be required to adopt the standards,” after which “Forty-two states and the District of Columbia adopted the standards in 2009 and 2010 in hopes of winning Race to the Top money.” This led to the first major complaint about the Common Core: conservatives worried the federal government was taking control of state-by-state education policy.

Liberals responded exactly as they did during the ObamaCare debate. Writing for theNew York Times, for example, Bill Keller resorted to name-calling and equated conservative concerns about the Common Core standards to birtherism. Keller’s complete and utter disregard for even elementary intellectual engagement with conservatives was indicative of a defensive posture: it seemed the self-conscious ranting of an advocate of a weak policy for which he didn’t have a serious defense.

It portended darker days ahead for the Common Core. After all, there were real concerns about the Common Core from an educational perspective. They wouldn’t go away just because the left wanted them to. And then, true to form, the complaints piled up. The administration responded in typical fashion: Education Secretary Arne Duncan blamed white resentment. Obnoxious racial politics and bureaucratic conceit aside, Democrats were also turning on the Common Core….

Have no fear, ObamaCore’s and the Gates Foundation’s faithful rodeo clown Mike Petrilli of the Fordham Institute jumps in to immediately defend ObamaCore from the right-leaning critics at Commentary. This caused a minor dust up on the State Policy Network edu listserv this AM.

Truth be told, I’m just trying to figure how Fordham even calls itself “conservative” anymore or why it is even on a free market listserv. How is it possible for Fordham – which recently got all misty eyed, weepy, and nostalgic for LBJ and his Great Society (below) – to have anything in common with libertarians or free marketeers at SPN?

MICHAEL J. PETRILLI: “The so-called War on Poverty has been fantastically successful at eradicating poverty among the old and devastatingly miserable at eradicating poverty among the young.”  [Update Feb. 26, 2014: Added rest of sentence.]  

CHESTER E. FINN JR.: “Forgive an aging education-reformer’s reminiscences, but LBJ’s declaration of war on poverty shaped the next 50 years of my life…Between LBJ and Pat Moynihan, I now had a sense of mission. So I applied to the ed school instead of the law school. And on it went from there.”

BTW, how are Fordham Institute’s “conservative/libertarian/free market” friends at Obama’s US ED, the Gates Foundation, Achieve, Inc., the CCSSO, and AFT’s Shanker doing these days?

Here we have Checker Finn/Fordham joining AFT’s Shanker, AFT’s Randi Weingarten, Marc Tucker, Dr. Joycelyn Elders, and Donna Shalala, to advocate for an illegal nationalized K-12 curriculum. It seems like Fordham prefers federal government monopolies and warm & fuzzy relationships with the teachers’ unions to free markets or states/localities/parents controlling their own educational destinies.

In reality, Common Core/national tests/ national curriculum are all actually farther Left than the federal legal barriers that LBJ and Jimmy Carter signed.