Speak Out: Common Core is the antithesis of representative government
by our readers
Nov 13, 2013 | 1520 views |  0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
State Sen. Del Marsh, R-Anniston, and state Board of Education member Mary Scott Hunter, R-Huntsville, apparently believe the federal government has had nothing to do with Common Core. That aside, the reality is much worse: Common Core was created and led by outside, non-transparent lobbying groups.

One of the central problems with federal involvement is that there is no constitutional authority for the federal government to meddle with education directly. It gets around that by taxing states and then handing the money back only if states do what the feds want in education.

But a central problem with having nonprofit organizations create public policy is that they have zero taxing or legal authority. Furthermore, they are non-representative, private entities, meaning anything they do can entirely ignore taxpayers’ and parents’ wishes. Congress, state legislatures, and state boards are elected precisely to give citizens a say in the policies that govern their lives. No one was elected to the organizations that created Common Core. Furthermore, as nonprofits, their actions were and are not subject to open meetings and open records laws. The people paying for and now living under their activities cannot find out who did what, and why.

So even if the Obama administration were not openly boasting that it pushed nearly all states into Common Core, the enterprise still is un-democratic and non-transparent, and therefore antithetical to the American birthright of representative government. So far, Marsh and Hunter seem not to care.

Joy Pullmann
Education research fellow
Heartland Institute
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