Photo of the day

Spring has finally sprung in NC (at least for a few days), so here’s a photo from the Big Picture’s spring gallery:

Turtles sun themselves on a log March 20, at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, DC. Balmy temperatures are making for a great first day of spring. (KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

Common core opponents vs. reality

So, at first I was just going to share the first-hand observation (via FB) of a friend who was at a hearing yesterday on Common Core in NC:

Tough call which comment at this public hearing on Common Core is the most bizarre. One contender: “My exceptional children are a blessing to North Carolina, but the schools of NC are not a blessing to my children.” Nice! Also the women who fretted that Common Core teaches pornography and read aloud from The Bluest Eye were interesting. But the guy who held up the bible and said feminism is ruining this country surely takes the cake.

And then I read this N&O story and the crazy is even worse.  Yikes:

RALEIGH — Critics of the Common Core State Standards charged Thursday that the education guidelines are doing everything from promoting abortion and globalism to causing children to hate to go to school.

Opponents of the Common Core made up the majority of the speakers Thursday at a public hearing of a state legislative research committee that is considering whether to recommend dumping or overhauling the standards used in North Carolina’s public schools. Legislators, who could draft legislation next month, heard from 60 passionate speakers, on both sides of the issue.

“I demand that you listen to the will of the people and obey Jesus Christ,” said Alan Hoyle of Wake Up Call Ministries, who held up a Bible as he charged that Common Core promotes “sodomy, abortion and feminism.”

And there’s more!

“Hear the cry,” said Rick Hopkins, chairman of the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association. “Stop Common Core now. Return our schools to a system of education, not indoctrination or social engineering. Leave the sex education, religion and political views of the children up to their parents and churches.”

The conspiracy theme was echoed by speakers from the Stokes County Tea Party, such as E.A. Timm, who charged that Common Core is a “stealth federal takeover” that will help communists gain control.

“Education is a fundamental natural right of the parents and is best handled locally,” he said. “Common Core makes that natural right untouchable by the parents and opens the door to national totalitarian control.”

Speaker Frank Livingston charged Common Core is not about federalization but about globalization, linking such parties as Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the United Nations, education theorist Bill Ayers and the Muslim Brotherhood to the standards.

I only hope the majority of NC Republican legislators are half-sane enough to recognize how completely batshit crazy this stuff is (sadly, you actually get some NC legislators saying stuff this nuts).  I’d like to think the crazy speaks for itself, but I just don’t have a good feel for what passes for sanity in the Republican echo chamber.  Sure, these comments are the more extreme elements, but this is absolutely your Tea Party.

Again, Common Core is not perfect, but for the most part it is about raising standards and teaching critical thinking.  I would be so saddened if this effort in NC is undermined by a group of nutcases with such a tenuous grip on reality.   We really need the Chamber of Commerce Republicans to speak up against this embarrassment and loudly.

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