North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple seemed to send a shot across the bow of lawmakers thinking about taking on the controversial Common Core standards at a meeting of state education leaders.
“There are detractors out there, mostly from the far right and the far left, who are trying to turn this into a ‘bogeyman,” said Dalrymple, as quoted by Prairie Public. “We all have to help communicate that this is nothing to be afraid of.”
Dalrymple says rather than a Washington-imposed educational mandate, the common core standards were developed in-state.
“This is something that we think, in North Dakota, is a good thing,” said Dalrymple. “We have a stake in it, and we support it.”
It’s a little hard to believe the claim that Common Core standards were developed in North Dakota given that there is an on-going national political brawl over them in dozens of states around the nation. Common Core standards may have been approved in North Dakota in some fashion, but it’s very much a national policy pushed by national interests.
But Dalrymple’s position isn’t surprising. Dalrymple has always been a close ally of the Chamber of Commerce – in fact, he’s a former member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – and the Chamber is all-in behind Common Core.
Still, criticism of Common Core is anything but extremism. While some of the claims about the standards made by critics are outlandish, there is plenty mainstream opposition. In fact, a majority in a recent national poll say they oppose Common Core:
In its annual poll on the public’s attitude toward public education, PDK International and Gallup found a marked shift in awareness of Common Core. One year ago, two-thirds of those surveyed said they hadn’t heard of the standards. Now, more than three-quarters have heard about Common Core, and it appears that many don’t like what they’ve heard. Sixty percent of those surveyed said they oppose the standards, which have long been embroiled in political controversy.
Unless we’re to believe that 60 percent of Americans are “from the far and and the far left,” as Governor Dalrymple suggests, maybe it’s time to admit that there is a real debate going on over Common Core and that it includes serious people who ought not be so casually dismissed.