Friday, September 27, 2013

Common Core: What Were Sanford and Republicans Thinking?

How did we get into this mess?

In Friday's op-ed, Dillon Jones, policy analyst at the South Carolina Policy Council, a conservative think-tank in Columbia, makes the same points regarding Common Core that I enumerated in previous posts. His most salient point, and mine, is that federal money arrives with strings attached--and right now one of those strings is adoption of the Common Core. He correctly points out that the Charleston County School District has received Race-to-the-Top millions with that string attached.

Jones points out that in 1998 in the waning days of Governor Beasley's term, the state legislature handed policy-making power to the Education Oversight Committee and the State Board of Education. In South Carolina, education bureaucrats represent the last bastion of the Democrat Party, repository of liberalism and centralization of power. Until Mick Zais's election in 2010, the Democrats had a hammer-lock on the SC Superintendent of Education's job, so why did that ill-advised power transfer occur?

No qualms would have vibrated from Education Superintendent Jim Rex. However, then-Governor Mark Sanford had to sign off on these standards before the bureaucrats could adopt them. Of course, they did.

As it stands, South Carolina school districts are rushing willy-nilly ahead with implementation.

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