By Maggie Severns | With help from Caitlin Emma, Allie Grasgreen Ciara mella and Aubree Eliza Weaver | Politico Morning Education | http://bit.ly/1G9X9fY
10/12/2015 10:00 AM EDT :: A MESSAGE FOR 2016 GOP CONTENDERS: The Common Core has won the war, POLITICO's Kimberly Hefling reports. As Education Secretary Arne Duncan prepares to step down, the standards that naysayers love to call "Obamacore" have become the reality on the ground for roughly 40 million students - or about four out of every five public school kids. In more than half of all states, millions of students took new standardized tests last spring based on the standards, and the expected uproar over these test scores hasn't materialized. The conspiracy theories about how Common Core would require monitoring kids via iris scans, force teachers to use porn to help students learn to read or ban teaching cursive have largely quieted. After years of hand-wringing, very few of the 45 states that fully adopted the standards have attempted a clean break - and those that did found it wasn't easy to do.
- Republican presidential candidates haven't given up the fight. Donald Trump recently called the Common Core a "complete disaster," and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz proclaimed they should be abolished - along with the Education Department. Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal all renounced the standards, while Jeb Bush has grown increasingly tepid.
- Yet as Common Core becomes more commonplace in public schools (and in many Catholic schools), some prominent Republicans concede they've lost their battle. Take former Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona. As governor, she signed an executive order banning the use of the words Common Core by state agencies, though the standards themselves were still firmly in place. She wrote in a recent column on the Fox News website [http://bit.ly/1Qz7jai] that implementation of the standards is "succeeding." Kimberly has the full story for Pros: http://politico.pro/1LHnKU6.
- On a related note: Forty-four percent of parents surveyed in a new poll out today said standardized tests are fair and have had a positive impact on schools overall. And more than half of African American parents said either that too few tests are administered in schools or the number of tests given is just right. That's all according to Education Post: http://bit.ly/1MmnRz5.