Thank you FreedomWorks, Concerned Women of America, Americans for Prosperity & Glenn Beck!
Is this good news for Texas? MOST ASSUREDLY!
National advocacy groups powered by the Koch brothers and other conservative megadonors have found a new cause ripe with political promise: the fight to bring down the Common Core academic standards.
The groups are stoking populist anger over the standards — then working to channel that energy into a bold campaign to undercut public schools, weaken teachers unions and push the federal government out of education policy.
The Common Core standards, which have been adopted in 45 states plus the District of Columbia, are meant to guide rich and rigorous instruction in math and language arts. They have substantial bipartisan support. But they have also drawn sharp bipartisan criticism as Big Government overreach.
What started as a ragtag opposition led by a handful of angry moms is now a sophisticated national movement supported by top donors and strategists on the right. Conservative groups say their involvement already has paid dividends in the form of new members and troves of email addresses.
But that’s just the start.
A draft action plan by the advocacy group FreedomWorks lays out the effort as a series of stepping stones: First, mobilize to strike down the Common Core. Then push to expand school choice by offering parents tax credits or vouchers to help pay tuition at private and religious schools. Next, rally the troops to abolish the U.S. Department of Education. Then it’s on to eliminating teacher tenure.
“This is going to be a huge campaign,” said Whitney Neal, the group’s director of grass-roots activism. She plans to kick it off within weeks with a series of videos that will “connect the dots” between killing Common Core and enacting other conservative priorities.
The campaign will build to a march on Washington this summer, perhaps in partnership with radio host Glenn Beck. “This is definitely an institutional priority for us in 2014,” she said. “We’re putting a lot of time and resources into it.”
A key battleground: Missouri, where conservatives are pushing to get measures promoting vouchers and ending teacher tenure on the fall ballot. Increasingly, the issues are being linked to Common Core. Concerned Women for America held a conference outside Kansas City, Mo., this weekend that opened with denunciations of Common Core and built to an address by state Sen. Ed Emery, a voucher proponent who has compared the current public education system with slavery because it traps students in government-run schools. Concerned Women, which is part of a Koch-backed network of conservative organizations, will hold additional seminars across the state this month.