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Orlando Sentinel: "Common Core backlash is rooted in fiction"

By Beth Kassab

April 20, 2013

I was at a neighborhood party recently, happily eating too many chips and dip and watching the kids jump themselves silly in a bounce house. Life was good in my little corner of suburbia.

Until I heard about the latest boogeyman.

A few moms started talking about the impending doom that is Common Core, a set of school curriculum standards for English and math. Anti-American. Socialism. A scheme for public schools to indoctrinate children.

The fringe pundit (Glenn Beck) is on a rampage against Common Core. Now he's being joined by the Republican National Committee, which last week passed a resolution condemning the standards.

"Progressives have jammed this through in the dead of night," Beck said. "Besides being dumber, our kids are going to be indoctrinated with extreme leftist ideology."

Bush was asked about the RNC's opposition.

"If someone can convince me that these standards are not higher - because they are ... then I would pull back," Bush said. "But I don't really care if the RNC, based on no information, is going to oppose this because of some emotional pitch."

You can fault President Barack Obama for tying Common Core to Race to the Top grant money, which fed the notion that he was twisting states' arms.

But states can opt in or out at any time. Common Core only sets standards. States and school districts still decide what and how to teach.

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