Obama Education Chief Sparks Fury with Common Core Comments

By:  Alex Newman
Obama Education Chief Sparks Fury with Common Core Comments

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said opposition to “Common Core” national education standards was coming from “white suburban moms” whose kids are not as smart as their parents thought.

Obama administration Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (shown in photo) unleashed a firestorm of outrage after claiming that opposition to the nationalization of schooling through “Common Core” standards, foisted on states via taxpayer-funded federal bribes, was coming from “white suburban moms” whose kids are not as smart as their parents thought. The false statement sparked an outcry for a variety of reasons, but opponents of the deeply controversial standardization scheme are seizing the opportunity to go on the offensive against Common Core and the establishment’s broader “education reform” agenda. Calls to remove the administration’s top education bureaucrat are growing louder, too.

U.S. Education Secretary Duncan was speaking at a meeting with state education bosses late last week when he dropped the bombshell that quickly morphed into the embattled administration’s latest scandal. “It's fascinating to me that some of the pushback is coming from, sort of, white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn't as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn't quite as good as they thought they were, and that's pretty scary,” Duncan claimed at the meeting. “You've bet your house and where you live and everything on 'my child's going to be prepared.' That can be a punch in the gut.”

As if the out-of-control Education Department was hoping to throw fuel on the fire, a spokesman went on to demonize opponents of the radical scheme even more. “The far right and far left have made up their minds,” the bureaucracy’s taxpayer-funded mouthpiece Massie Ritsch was quoted as saying, implying that parents and teachers concerned about their children’s education could be dismissed by falsely trying to marginalize their views yet again. “But there's angst in the middle — which includes many open-minded suburban parents — that needs to be addressed.” So far, however, other than shills on the Common Core payroll — either receiving funds from taxpayers, billionaires, or Big Business — backers of the dubious standards have mustered virtually no support. Outrage is still growing, too.

With most school officials across the country under overwhelming public pressure to reject Obama administration bribes and bullying aimed at imposing the standards on students, Duncan was trying to keep state authorities onboard with the agenda, the spokesman said. Duncan also suggested to reporters later that his goal was to prod education officials into defending Common Core from the escalating uprising. When his “white suburban moms” remark was first reported, however, the outcry was swift and brutal — and it came from all demographics. By the next day, a petition on the White House website was demanding that Duncan be removed from office. Even his strongest allies were speaking out.

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Photo of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan: AP Images

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