Riley speaks for Common Core

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 26, 2014

In late 2010, the Alabama School Board voted 7-2 to join Common Core, an education reform effort led by state governors and education advocates. Among the seven yes votes was Bob Riley, who was then Alabama governor and much loved by Republicans.

Four years later, many members of his party are out to “repeal” the standards, claiming they are part a plan by the Obama administration to control education and plant evil in the minds of schoolchildren.

Writing in National Review this week, Riley reminded his fellow Republicans and others about the national standards now known as Common Core were adopted. He said the standards are “eminently reasonable.”

“Not only should Washington, D.C., not be dictating how Alabama’s children are educated, neither should Washington state — or any state other than Alabama. But voluntarily agreeing to participate in a program that ensures that Alabama schools will offer an education equivalent to what a child would receive in 44 other states? I can’t argue with that.

“There is simply no evidence that national education standards will lead to a national curriculum, or that they will stifle the ability of states to teach subject areas that matter to parents residing there. To the contrary, many of those who know the standards thoroughly, including the state superintendent of education in Alabama, insist that educators today retain full control in the development, selection, and implementation of the curricula used in our schools.”

He also pointed out that business leaders are supportive of the higher standards.

“The Business Council of Alabama, which represents over 5,000 independent businesses across the state, is one of Common Core’s most vocal supporters. The BCA understands that by adopting the education standards used by the vast majority of states, Alabama has signaled to the rest of the country that it will educate its children and future business leaders on the same level as any other state in the country, if not a higher level. Businesses,” Riley wrote.