At question: Huckabee’s common conservative core

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huckabeeWhy are self-described conservatives having a discussion about federal government-run reforms in any area of American life, much less Common Core education reform?

Didn’t we learn enough from President Jimmy Carter’s (Medicaid-like) Education Department-bribery of state officials with federal dollars to replace reading, writing and arithmetic with amorphous “diversity”, trashing of American values with multiculturalism and “tolerance” only for low grades and expectations? President Ronald Reagan desperately wanted to de-fund and eliminate Carter’s meddlesome intrusion into parents’, localities’ and states’ most intrinsic rights under the Ninth and Tenth Amendments but was “only” able to topple inflation and the Evil Soviet Communist empire. And didn’t we learn from the good intentions of President George W. Bush’s  fight against the “soft bigotry of low expectations” that more children get left behind even when the federal government tries to hold itself accountable? Obviously.

We share fellow conservatives’ desire to raise education standards in an America so dumbed-down that, arguably for the first time in its history, it re-elected a Chief Executive that left most of us worse off economically than we were four years earlier. Yet:

As conservative opposition to the national K-12 education standards known as Common Core continues to grow, a leading figure in the Republican Party is lending his voice in support of the system. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who ran for his party’s presidential nomination in 2008, penned a letter Tuesday to lawmakers in Oklahoma, urging them to stick by the standards even as Michigan, Indiana and other states have backed away from them.

“It’s disturbing to me there have been criticisms of these standards directed by other conservatives,” he said. “I’ve heard the argument these standards ‘threaten local control’ of what’s being taught in Oklahoma classrooms. Speaking from one conservative to another, let me assure you this simply is not true … They’re not something to be afraid of; indeed they are something to embrace.”

The standards have come under increasing fire from conservatives who see them as a de facto federal takeover of education. While the Obama administration didn’t have a hand in writing Common Core, it has pushed states to adopt the standards by tying its ” Race to the Top’ grant money and other perks to their implementation. Common Core doesn’t establish a national curriculum but instead lays out specific facts and concepts students are expected to master at the end of each grade level, with the ultimate goal of increasing college and career readiness among American young people.

So far, only Indiana has adopted Common Core while Michigan and North Carolina are backing away from their initial interest. And no wonder, when President Obama has decided it’s the “right thing to do.” Not sure if he’s yet promised that if you like your school you can keep it, period; but why, after turning over 1/6th of the economy and our very health to federal government minders would we surrender the right to educate our children, in any way, to Washington, D.C.?

The federal government of the United States was totally un-involved in education as We the People of thirteen colonies threw off the British Empire, established the greatest standard of living for its people in the history of the world, set the world standard in science, and defeated Nazism and Communism.

Mike Huckabee and others should understand that the quickest path to once again be that exceptional America is for Thomas Jefferson’s vision of states as “laboratories of democracy” to once again be unleashed with a common core of independence and innovation rather than that the latest once-size-fits-all-solution from “experts” be foisted upon parents and their student-children.

Next thing you know kids in high school will be passing out in the afternoon from arugula-heavy meals prescribed by First Lady Michelle Obama. Oh yeah, that already happened. Mr. Huckabee, congrats on the epic weight loss, but we don’t need no stinkin’ arugula or Common Core!

Mike DeVine‘s Right.com @ Joe For America.com

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

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