Duncan: Dumb to the 'Core'
Just when you thought the Obama administration couldn't antagonize America any further, along comes Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
He didn't just attack “white suburban moms” and children over their criticism of the Common Core “standards” program. The feds' top educrat also managed to insult every one of the nation's minority families and educators who oppose Fed Ed's threat to academic excellence, local control and student privacy.
On Friday, while defending the beleaguered Common Core program in a meeting with school superintendents, Duncan unleashed a brazen race- and class-warfare attack on grassroots foes. As The Washington Post reported, Duncan sneered that he found it “fascinating” that the revolt came from “white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn't as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn't quite as good as they thought they were.”
As a brown-skinned suburban mom opposed to Common Core, I can tell you I've personally met moms and dads of all races, ethnicities and backgrounds who have sacrificed to get their kids into the best schools possible. They are outraged that dumbed-down, untested federal “standards” pose an existential threat to their excellent education provisions — be they public, private, religious or home schooling.
Duncan's derision exposes the very control-freak impulses that drive Common Core. He condescendingly implies that the only reason “white suburban moms” object to Common Core is that their children are too dumb to score well on tests — which, by firsthand accounts of educators from urban New York City schools to rural Kentucky schools to every corner of the country, are a complete and utter mess.
Thousands of moms and dads immediately took to social media to speak truth to bigoted Fed Ed power. The nonpartisan Mothers Against Duncan (MAD) group on Facebook declared: “Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has insulted the Moms of America and our children! This MAD group is intended to be a gathering place where America's Moms can show him that he picked the WRONG group to mess with!”
Michigan home-school mom Karen Braun, who signed her letter to Duncan “Your boss,” ripped the tone-deaf bureaucrat: “Secretary Duncan, you and the feds may control the purse strings, but WE (moms of every color and location) control our ‘brilliant' children's shoestrings. We have the final authority, and we're saying no to your ‘higher standard' and your high stakes tests ... YOU work for US! Get that right, and you and the mothers of America will get along a whole lot better.”
Duncan now says his dog-whistle tirade was clumsily worded. But he's used the same talking points before. What's crystal clear is that Duncan and his top-down dictators presume that only technocratic elites in Washington can determine what quality standards and curricula look like.
The relentless Beltway attacks on Common Core critics also give lie to the oft-repeated claim that the top-down initiative was “state-led” and grassroots. It should not go unnoticed that the most vocal and defensive advocates of this beleaguered boondoggle are not local teachers or parents, but pale-faced Beltway bureaucrats and their corporate allies.
Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies” (Regnery 2009).
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ex-Penguins defenseman Niskanen still miffed by coaches’ firings
- New York farmers lament lost opportunity for gas riches
- Starkey: Chryst a miserable failure at Pitt
- Banged-up Steelers can clinch with win over Chiefs
- Energy sector adjusts to global oil plummet
- Police investigate alleged institutional sexual assault at Pine youth treatment center
- U.S. coal mines nearing record low in worker deaths
- Warning about cop-killer came moments too late
- Pitt football fights to overcome steppingstone status
- Kids treated to gifts, peaceful holiday party at Lincoln-Lemington church
- Pitt players support Rudolph for job