Critics Promulgate Misinformation about Misinformation on Common Core  

Writing for the CATO at Liberty blog, Neal McCluskey argues that proponents of the Common Core dismiss opponents “as ignorant, maybe even loony.” A recent Funny or Die video, McCluskey says, is “highly misleading” and put out “misleading and woefully incomplete information.”

What McCluskey overlooks is that the video is not mocking parents who care about their child’s education, rather it is mocking the misinformation being fed to parents by a clearly biased opposition to confuse them on the issue. The video does not blame parents for the confusion, but rather seeks to bring to light the ridiculousness of the opponent’s claims.

Too often debate about the Common Core State Standards has perpetuated misleading, and frequently downright false, claims. Critics have alleged everything from that the Common Core indoctrinates students into the Islamic religion to that it will turn students gay. Such claims are patently untrue. The Common Core State Standards are just that—standards that provide a roadmap of what students should know and be able to do at each grade level to become college- and career-ready.

Last year, former U.S. Secretary of Education Bill Bennett explained, “Lies, myths, exaggerations and hysteria about what the Common Core means and does have dominated the ‘debate’ and the real issues have been obscured…It is time for integrity and truth in this debate. The issue of honest standards of learning for our children is too important to be buried in an avalanche of misinformation and demonization.”

Addressing the issue, Karen Nussle wrote, “Misunderstandings and misconceptions continue to color opinions about the standards…False or misleading information found in new stories published by trusted sources is detrimental to the important work that so many educators, administrators and state education officials have undertaken over the last five years.”

While McClusky argues that supporters of Common Core Standards have dismissed critics, the fact is many have chosen to mischaracterize and spread lies about what the standards are. As others have pointed out, it is time for an honest debate about the merit of high education standards that prepare students for college and careers.