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New Hampshire’s Common Core debate reaches a new low

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The Common Core debate has entered a whole new stage. Exhibit A is an oped today in the Union Leader.  It’s by Betsy McCaughey, the fact-challenged author of the Obamacare “death panel” meme.  Here’s a sample:

“Move over Obamacare. Mid-term elections will also be referendums on ObamaCore.

“Contrary to what the public is told, Common Core is not about standards. It’s about content: what pupils are taught. In the Social Studies Framework approved on April 29 by New York state’s education authorities (but not parents), American history is presented as four centuries of racism, economic oppression, and gender discrimination. Teachers are encouraged to help students identify their differences instead of their common American identity. Gone are heroes, ideals, and American exceptionalism.”

If I understand Ms. McCaughey, the message is,”We failed to kill Obamacare so we’ll see if we can do a death panel thing on Obamacore.”  (Just for the record, there is no “Social Studies Framework” in the Common Core State Standards.)

Exhibit B is the windshield flyer left during the wonderful Common Core forum presented last night by Rep. Carolyn Gargasz (R-Hollis) and Rep. Melanie Levesque (D-Brookline).  Five amazing teachers, along with State Board of Education chair Tom Raffio, NHDOE’s Heather Gage, Nashua Community College president Lucille Jordan and business advocate Fred Kocher spoke about how well the Common Core is working in Hollis/Brookline and around the State.  I’ll post more about the forum itself, held at Hollis/Brookline High, when the video is available but here is the flyer:

Anti Common Core Windshield Flyer fin

Political opponents of the Common Core have lost five big votes in the Legislature. The debate now seems to have entered an entirely new stage.

UPDATE 6/17/14: My wife thought the tone I’d taken this morning was a “bit sharp,” as she put it.  And, really, I agree.  I apologize for the intemperate outbreak.  That’s just the opposite of how I think this debate should be carried on.  So I’ve edited this post to point out what I think are inaccurate assertions about the Common Core, but do it without quite as much attitude.


  1. A little lady Sandra Stotsky, many know as the “Doberman Grandma”from Brookline MA , turned up at a rally in New York to cheer on a growing concern by “mommy’s” not happy about “Common Core”
    Speaking to Common Core opponents rallying in the Well of the LOB, Assemblyman Al Graf called their cause a “mommy-led movement.”
    “One thing I learned in my house a long time ago was if Mommy’s not happy, no one is happy. If Daddy’s not happy — who cares?,” said Graf, a Long island Republican who has introduced a bill that would scrap the implementation of the Common Core altogether.
    A keynote speaker was Emerita Sandra Stotsky, a professor emeritus at the University of Arkansas who served on the national Common Core Validation Committee in 2009 and 2010, but refused to endorse the standards. She has become an outspoken critic of the standards who feels that teachers, state legislators and school board members were absent from the development of the Common Core.
    “They were not among the standards writers directly,” said Stotsky at a press conference that preceded the rally. “We’ve had a peculiar process for development of so-called national standards.”
    Several senators and assembly members joined Stotsky and advocates from the group Stop Common Core in New York State in decrying the state’s implementation, arguing that it takes the power from local school boards to control education reform.
    Graf’s fellow Long Islander, Sen. Lee Zeldin, echoed another complaint made by Stotsky about the lack of coordination between state education officials and teachers. Zeldin, whi is running for Congress, said this has created an environment where teachers teach to the test, and that there was enough time remaining to address the problem before the end of the legislative session.
    “I believe there is strong support in the state Legislature for stopping Common Core,” Zeldin said. “As many issues are being negotiated over the course of these last few days, we are advocating for our efforts to be part of those discussions.”
    Assembly members Ed Ra, Phil Palmesano, David DiPietro and Claudia Tenney — Republicans all — also spoke at the press conference.
    In this year’s state budget negotiations, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers agreed on certain delays to the implementation of Common Core, including their force in determining student promotions and evaluations for teachers and principals.
    Glen Dalgleish and his wife Yvonne Gasperino, from Port Chester, heard about Common Core about a year ago when they read that classical literature would be shortchanged by the standards. They helped start the Facebook group for Stop Common Core in New York State, which they claimed had 13,000 members and active representation in all 62 counties. Dalgleish said issue will not go away with the end of the session. And with elections looming, the organization’s plan is to get as many people as possible registered to vote, and make them aware of candidates who oppose the Common Core.
    “Putting a bill on hold doesn’t mean we’re going to stop; it doesn’t mean we’re going to go quietly until January until (the Legislature) comes back,” Dalgleish said. “We’re going to continue to fight this, continue to rally, and with the elections coming along we want (legislators) to know we’re watching.”
    Many of the rally participants headed out to meetings with lawmakers.
    Here’s WGNA’s Richie Phillips entertain the crowd with his original ditty, “Cure for the Common Core”

    • Bill Duncan says:

      Many New Yorkers – mommies, daddies, teachers, administrators and voters – who are concerned about the way the State has implemented the Common Core. And they’re right.

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