A panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Thursday criticized the Common Core standards as a top-down, centralized system of government intervention that threatens state and local school autonomy, student privacy, and the continued expansion of more school options for parents and children.
In a standing-room-only venue, moderated by the Heritage Foundation’s Lindsey Burke, the panel included Robert Enlow, president and CEO of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice; Phyllis Schlafly, founder of the Eagle Forum; and Jim Stergios, executive director of the Pioneer Institute.
“After 50 years of failed initiatives in education, conservatives aren’t exactly sold on this notion that this time Washington will get it right,” said Burke.
As Heritage.org reports, Enlow provided the central theme that the Common Core standards are growing increasingly controversial as more parents are pushing back, letting Washington elites know that parents are in charge of their children’s education, not politicians.
Noting the various iterations of federal involvement in education, beginning with the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, then later national standards, and now Common Core, Schlafly said all of them have in common an emphasis on government control rather than student-centered learning.