The rumor around the water coolers in D.C. is that President Obama plans to mention the Common Core State Standards in his State of the Union Address next week—for the third year running. He should reconsider, for three reasons.
First, it will feed the narrative that Common Core is, in fact, a federal takeover of public education.
Many Common Core opponents I debate on talk-radio shows or speak with in person eventually get around to admitting they have very few problems with the standards themselves and think they are better than what their state had in place before (we think so too). But, as Andy Smarick wrote earlier this week,
They are skeptical of big promises and big government. They are skeptical of centralized solutions. And they are skeptical of enlightened national leaders who pat them on their heads.
Remember, they were told by such enlightened leaders that if they liked their insurance, they could keep it. They are once bitten, twice shy.
Why would an administration that has already insulted Common Core opponents give them another reason to claim that this is true?
Second, the President is deeply unpopular; associating himself with the Common Core is simply unhelpful. As of writing, Gallup put the President’s approval rating at 39 percent. His approval among Republicans, like those who will be determining the fate of the Common Core in the states where the issue is most contentious, is likely dipping near or into the single digits. Even if...