February 24, 2012, 5:49 pm
Yesterday (February 23) Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called criticisms of the Common Core State Standards, “a conspiracy theory in search of a conspiracy.” He is referring to the idea that the supposedly “voluntary” K-12 curricular standards now adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia are, in fact, a national standard in everything but name.
Why should the Secretary care whether the Common Core is characterized one way or the other? Isn’t the result the same either way?
No. The reason it matters is that the federal government does not have authorization under federal law to impose a curriculum on the nation’s schools. The states individually and local school districts have the power to decide what public schools will teach. It’s a distinction pregnant with consequences. If the Common Core State Standards turn out to be a stealth nationalization of the …