I point out in my new Q&A publication, “60 Questions About Common Core: Answers for North Carolinians,” that Common Core proponents have a tendency to scoff at, rather than address the concerns of, their detractors.
53. How do Common Core proponents address criticism of the standards?
Unfortunately, proponents increasingly accuse critics of Common Core of being liars, conspiracy theorists, or crackpots. In a June 6, 2013 op-ed, for example, Chester E. Finn Jr. and Michael J. Petrilli of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute wrote, “For some time now, outside groups have been vigorously spreading misinformation about the Common Core State Standards. The effort has been relentless, and North Carolina has not been immune to the falsehoods.” State Superintendent June Atkinson remarked, “I just find it distressing that people have chosen to believe people who are actually lying, and I don’t use that word very often.”
True to form, the editors of the News & Observer write,
How do you respond to such baseless and paranoid objections to a sensible plan drawn up by two groups that are hardly radical: the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers?
Following in the footsteps of Finn, Petrilli, and Atkinson, the editors of the N&O have little or no interest in actually debating the issue of whether Common Core is good or bad. After all, it’s so much easier to simply call opponents’ objections “baseless” and “paranoid.”