Editorial: Common Core, White Power

Editorial: Common Core, White Power
November 07
00:00 2013

Parents have been advised to expect their kids to bring home lower End-of-Course (EOC) and End-of-Grade (EOG) scores when they are released around Thanksgiving.

Lower proficiency scores are expected statewide as a result of the implementation of Common Core for English and math and the N.C. Essential Standards in all other subjects. By all accounts, the new standards are higher, so, as Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Dr. Beverly Emory, states, students have not learned less over the last year, the bar has just been upped a notch or two.

So is that a good thing? Many Tea Partiers say no, and the ranks of Common Core naysayers have swelled beyond conservative Republicans.

Common Core was developed by the National Association of Governors as a way to create uniformity in education standards across the nation while also raising the standard of learning to make American students more competitive with their counterparts around the world. Common Core has been adopted by 45 states, including N.C., whose Board of Education signed on in 2010.

Big government-despising Republicans, loud mouth Glenn Beck among them, have called Common Core nothing short of a nationalized education system and, of course, have accused the Obama White House of trying to nationalize the nation’s schools.

After the kinks are ironed out and teachers and students adapt, Common Core could turn out to be a good thing. But will it make it that far? N.C. Lt. Gov. Dan Forest has become a vocal opponent of the standard and wants it reviewed by the newly-appointed Republican members of the State Board of Education.

Regardless of how you feel about Common Core, it can’t be a good idea to keep moving the goal post for students. Let’s not make them political pawns. Common Core is a path they just set down. Let’s hold the detours until we have a firmer grasp.

Cory Booker gets sworn in.

Cory Booker gets sworn in.

Cory Booker is now one of just two African Americans in the U.S. Senate. The Democrat and former Newark mayor was selected by the people of New Jersey last week during a special election held to fill the seat of the late Frank Lautenberg. The last African American to win a U.S. Senate election is now in the White House. U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R- S.C.) was appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley earlier this year to finish the term of Jim DeMint and won’t face voters until November 2014.

Of the 98 other U.S. Senators, only three are people of color – Asian American Mazie Hirono (D–HI) and Hispanic Americans Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Tx).

So much is made about the nation’s first black president that it is easy to forget that there is still a great dearth of minority decision makers on Capitol Hill. Governor’s mansions lack black and brown inhabitants as well. Massachusetts’ Deval Patrick is the only black governor. Nevada’s Brian Sandoval and New Mexico’s Susana Martinez are Hispanic, and South Carolina’s Haley and Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal are Indian American. All of the minority governors, save Patrick, are Republicans.

The election of President Obama was said to be a game-changer, but the game is stubborn. The browning of America is happening everywhere we look – our schools, neighborhoods and even on our television screens. But where it really matters – in boardrooms and legislative halls (the true bastions of American power) – the good ol’ boys are holding firm.

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WS Chronicle

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