For several turbulent years, the Common Core State Standards Initiative, better known simply as Common Core, was the hot new trend in education. As such, it was finally at long last going to make our kids smarter and more academically well-rounded for college and career. Sold as a replacement for the George W. Bush-era No Child Left Behind program, Common Core got its big push from Barack Obama’s administration when it dangled federal stimulus money in front of the states during its initial Race to the Top program — but only for including Common Core standards in their efforts. No Common Core, no cash. At its peak, all but five states took the money.
But as our erstwhile colleague Allyne Caan wrote a couple of years back, “The real takeaway here is that the federal government makes an abysmal schoolteacher and is no better at being principal or superintendent. Perhaps that’s one of many reasons our Constitution does not include education among Congress’ enumerated powers. Instead, education is rightly a state, local and primarily parental responsibility.”