In GOP Wave Election, Anti-Common Core Rhetoric Fails to Make A Splash
Examining the results of last Tuesday’s election results, the Collaborative’s director Karen Nussle notes candidates who successfully ran on anti-CCSS platforms were outliers, not the norm. Nussle points out Republicans’ win was largely attributable to moderation and efforts to, “crowd out dogmatic and divisive ideologues in favor of candidates with broad appeal and a capacity to govern.” Addressing opponents’ claims momentum is building in states to repeal the Standards, she identifies that among the 44 states to adopt Common Core, only six governors and three superintendents have sought to repeal the Standards. “Far from being a political loser, support for Common Core does not jeopardize a candidate’s political prospects.”
In a memo outlining her thinking, Nussle points to the evidence:
Even amidst a Republican wave, candidates elected to statewide governing positions largely resisted pressure to call for repeal of the Standards:
- 86% of Governors in pro-Common Core states have not expressed interest in repealing the Standards (38 of 44 Governors);
- 90% of state Superintendents in Common Core states have not taken steps to repeal the Standards (40 of 44 Superintendents); and
- Among the 44 states with Common Core on the books, only six Governors and three State Superintendents have sought to repeal it.
She goes on to note that even after two national elections, including the most recent GOP wave election, statewide officials bent on repealing the Standards are in the minority.
Of the 36 gubernatorial races voted on this past Tuesday, Common Core was a notable factor in only four races, and among those four races (CO, NY, PA, AZ), the candidate who was most supportive of Common Core prevailed in three of them (CO, NY, PA).
The fact is, voters continue to overwhelmingly support higher education standards and increased accountability, despite the onslaught of attacks against Common Core orchestrated by activists in both parties. Politically, support for uniform high standards is a net plus among both Republicans and Democrats capable of articulating the case for them.
Nussle ends the memo with this:
“Common Core is perhaps the most consequential education reform of the past quarter century. Implementation of those Standards has not always been easy. But the Standards have demonstrated remarkable political resilience because, fundamentally, the public supports higher education standards and increased accountability.”
Read the full memo here.