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Common Core's hustle

| Sunday, May 4, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Recently on “Fox News Sunday,” anchor Chris Wallace credited his guest, Republican Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, with leading the nation as the “first state to fall out of the Common Core national education standards.” If only it were true.

Reality check: Recently Pence faced the anger of hundreds of Indiana parents, educators and activists at a public Indiana Business Roundtable meeting to discuss his phony charade. They roared their disapproval when he claimed that his “new” standards were superior and homegrown.

Indiana mom Heather Crossin, one of the earliest and strongest grassroots voices against the federalized standards/textbook/testing racket, exposed the truth: “The proposed standards are simply a cloned version of the Common Core rebranded.”

Indiana native and Hillsdale College professor Terrence Moore, who reviewed the “new” English standards, concluded that if the proposal were turned into him as a college paper, he would give it an F and write “plagiarism” across the top.

The “new” regime recycles old Common Core ideology, eschews phonics and fails to define “what constitutes good reading and good literature.”

It wasn't just opponents who spotlighted the “new” Indiana standards' eerie echoes of the federal Common Core program. A pro-Common Core educator in Indiana, Tami Hicks, counseled her colleagues: “(D)on't stop your work on CCSS (Common Core State Standards) — they are just getting a new name. ... If you compare the new drafted standards to the CCSS ... they are practically (or even exactly) the same.”

A spokesman from Pence's office sent me materials purporting to refute the critics. But the documents he sent revealed a fascinating tidbit: Common Core architects have generously waived copyright claims on their materials, will not sue Indiana recyclers and “did not see any problems with Indiana using excerpts or portions of the Common Core State Standards within Indiana's standards.” How convenient.

GOP Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer pulled a similar move, issuing an executive order last fall to whitewash “Common Core” from state government documents. She replaced the name with “Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards.” But the old racket is still in place. And Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded lobbyists from Achieve Inc. and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers are still in the driver's seat.

This retreat-and-rebrand strategy was explicitly championed by fed-ed advocate and former Arkansas GOP Gov. Mike Huckabee. He told his allies at the Gates Foundation-funded Council of Chief State School Officers earlier this year that since Common Core had become “toxic,” the group needed to “rebrand it, refocus it, but don't retreat.”

While disingenuous Republican governors tout their “withdrawals” from Common Core, it's more of the same old, same old: diluted standards, tied to testing/textbook/technology cash cows and big-business interests, in violation of local control and state sovereignty.

Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies” (Regnery 2009).

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