West Chester Township Politics And Issues

Common Core In Ohio – Another Government Overreach


Two things that no longer shock me

A) The left’s creative ability to serve up incremental government intrusion, control and expansion.

B) The Republican Party’s inability to see this let alone respond intelligently…or care.

Perhaps my opinion on the Republicans assumes too much. Often we attribute things to ignorance that are actually intentional. This is why I often tell people that the Republican Party as it stands today is nothing more than Democrat lite. While on paper we may still have a two party system, the reality is that the GOP took the left’s empty seats vacated by Democrats in their race to the left. This is nothing but political expediency and evidence that the GOP represents the GOP, and not the people.

One need not look any further than John McCain for an example. If by some miracle, every Democrat and Liberal politician were to suddenly disappear in some left version of the rapture, the entire establishment GOP, politicians, consultants and their super pac’s would knock each other over fighting to take the empty chairs. Looking back, is that not exactly what happened when the people gave the GOP complete control of Washington in the early 2000’s? The establishment GOP is a strange creature indeed. We have three parties in the USA, We have the ideological left represented by the Democrats, the ideological right represented by conservatives and the self serving establishment sandwiched between the two. It’s important to understand the mentality of the GOP to comprehend the incrementalism strategy and why something as obvious as Common Core could get as far as it has.

Common Core Quacks like a Duck

We’ve all heard the axiom “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck”. This is basic inductive reasoning and we all use it in our lives everyday. One does not need to be a highly educated, highly funded and powerful member of the consultant class to recognize that Common Core fits perfectly into the left’s “big government” puzzle, right next to Obamacare.  I could grab any liberty minded individual off the street, give them a thumbnail view of Common Core and without much mental processing, they would easily identify this duck. My first question for the GOP, and frankly one I’ve not heard or read would be…how did you NOT see this coming?

Some might remember the Sesame Street segment “One of these things is not like the other“. It’s an example of applying the “duck test”. We teach preschoolers to be able to spot simple differences Susanthesethingsbetween objects, letters and such. Most 4 year old’s can deduce that “W” is not a “2”. Even if the three numbers were different, I don’t think they would have any difficulty identifying “what doesn’t belong”.

Does Common Core = Government Expansion?

Using the lessons above, let’s look at Common Core and try and determine if it was that hard to spot as an incremental expansion of Federal Government power.

Exhibit “A” Follow The Money

“The Department of Education offered $4.35 billion to states in Race to the Top grants, conditioned in part on adoption of “standards common to a significant number of states.” The only standards option that qualified at the time (and currently) was the Common Core State Standards Initiative” (heritage.org)

How convenient (and obvious). The Federal Government is barred from implementing national education standards.

“The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Since education is not mentioned in the Constitution, it is one of those powers reserved to the states”

By tying Federal grants to an “idea” and using a (bogus) state initiative, Washington has effectively circumvented the 10th amendment to the constitution. Imagine if your local government said you had to have your lawn mowed by an “approved” landscaper and there was just one that was approved. How hard would be to see through that? Anyone with a 6th grade education would be able to see the connection.

Exhibit “B” The people behind Common Core

Since the Federal Government has whitewashed itself constitutionally, lets look at the (bogus) State initiative and who’s behind it.

WASHINGTON—Three of the nation’s leading education policy organizations today united to ensure American students in every state are receiving a world-class education. The National Governors Association (NGA), Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and Achieve, Inc. have joined to provide states a roadmap for benchmarking their K-12 education systems to those of top-performing nations.(nga.org) 9-8-08

According to the NGA link, three groups were behind the creation of Common Core. So far that seems pretty innocent. A trade association of governors, A trade Association of School Officers and a non-profit education reform organization. All three claim to be “independent & nonpartisan”. But (there is always a but), I decided to dig further. It’s been my experience that many agenda has been hidden behind front groups claiming to be independent & nonpartisan. For example, The Center for American Progress (CAP) claims to be “independent & nonpartisan” but is funded by George Soros and uses it’s funding to support (and created) Media Matters. It also has close ties to the DNC and Obama. It wasn’t hard to find a single common connection to all three…The Bill Gates Foundation.

According to this page (A Brief Audit of Bill Gates’ Common Core Spending) all three of these organizations and their involvement with Common Core were funded by the same Foundation. The article was dated Aug 27th, 2013 so I’m assuming numbers were current as of that date.

Gates Foundation Funding:

  • Achieve, Inc.: $25,787,051
  • The Council of Chief State School Officers: $71,302,833
  • National Governors Association Center for Best Practices: $30,679,116

Exhibit “C” The reality

gates foundation
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Donations

So, we’ve chased this down to a single source, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The final question relates to the claim of  “independent & nonpartisan”. It took less than 30 seconds for me to determine if the The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was independent & nonpartisan. This alone would seem to me to be a huge red flag if I were a leader of the GOP.

What about other motives? Who stands to gain financially from Common Core? We’ll address this in our next article but I’ll wager that we see the Bill Gates name come up again.

Back to the question…how did the Republicans NOT see this coming or not try to stop it?

The GOP, Common Core And the Duck Test

So here’s what I was able to research in just a few minutes using a desktop PC, Google and common sense. I don’t have staffers, consultants and a budget

  • The Obama Administration tied Federal Funds to implementation.
  • The Groups behind Common Core have a common benefactor.
  • The benefactor supports liberals and progressive policies.

Just at face value this doesn’t pass the smell test. I realize this did not go through congress and some might be prepared to give the GOP a pass on this for that reason. My position is that if the GOP via the RNC cannot exercise some sort of unified opposition as a party, what use are they? I find it hard to believe there wasn’t any red flags or warning signals. Where were the policy wonks in the consultant class that get paid millions by the politicians?

Perhaps I’m asking the wrong question. The question assumes that the establishment GOP shares my values about government overreach.


For more information about Common Core in Ohio, visit our resource Page: Common Core in Ohio