If you’ve been on Twitter, you’ve likely seen Kay Hagan’s timeline in the past few days promoting teachers. That’s great in and of itself, teachers should be promoted. However, Hagan’s choice of guest for the State of the Union address was a teacher who just loves the hotly debated and increasingly loathed Common Core. That teacher was 2013-2014 Teacher of The Year, Karyn Dickerson.
As Teacher of the Year, Dickerson has supported the Common Core State Standards, which have been adopted by North Carolina and most other states. She has also called for more innovation in education to better prepare students for the future workforce. – News and Record
There was video, of course, but fair warning – it’s clearly well choreographed and highly saccharine. You were warned, click here.
Teacher of the Year is pretty much known as a politically charged popularity contest in North Carolina. That assessment is not without merit, especially in this case given Ms. Dickerson made comments at a far Left Moral Monday rally. It’s folks like this who are questioning why we are dropping an experimental set of standards. I think NC should be more worried about replacing these folks. That includes Kay Hagan.
Hagan’s Education statement on her site is devoid of any language even close to Common Core. Clearly, she doesn’t want to be asked or bothered – yet she left the door open with her School Turnaround and Rewards (STAR) Act which calls for a re-authorization of the failed No Child Left Behind, of which waivers were handed out for in order to get states locked into Common Core through the Race To The Top.
“Failure is not inevitable – the STAR Act zeroes in on our nation’s lowest-performing schools, helping them to take intensive steps that improve student performance, and awarding schools that demonstrate progress. I look forward to working with my colleagues in a bipartisan manner to include the STAR Act in the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind – because our students don’t have time to wait for better schools.” – Hagan.Senate.Gov
So, another government program likely to fail and not hit the proposed target propping up another failed government program? Sounds like a winner.
Hagan sits on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP). Both Senators from NC serve on HELP and the Republicans are outnumbered on this committee. Meanwhile, some of the most far Left Democrats join Hagan on the committee including Elizabeth Warren and Al Franken. HELP has held hearings on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Hagan’s STAR Act also relies on and is tied to the re-authorization of ESEA.
In fact, the former President of the Council of Chief State School Officers Steven Paine (CCSSO is one of two D.C. trade groups holding the copyright on the standards), went in front of Hagan’s HELP committee in April of 2010 telling them that Common Core’s success hinged on the re-authorization of ESEA. Amazing testimony, since the Common Core Standards were not released until June of 2010 and Paine was basically asking them to help support and fund something they had not seen yet. And yes, Hagan was present at this meeting and the analysis of the meeting is as follows, emphasis added:
Analysis: Overall, Members of the Committee expressed their support for the Common Core Standards Initiative and the development of common assessments. Members were concerned over the level of flexibility currently available to states as well as ensuring that the Common Core remained a state-led process and not a federal initiative. One particular area that received a lot of attention throughout the hearing was the expanding use of technology-based adaptive assessments.
Kay Hagan, it would seem, is a Common Core proponent.
Good luck trying to find a quote from her using the actual words ‘Common Core’, she seems determined to run from any sort of controversy and certain the Koch Brothers are to blame for anything and everything. The Koch’s aren’t culpable for Hagan trying to make sure states get stuck with a top-down set of flawed, experimental standards though. She can try to make that stick, but there’s no ‘there’ there.
While Kay was orchestrating more big government in North Carolina schools, her opponent Thom Tillis put into place a Common Core Legislative Research committee, who has released their findings and are expecting to put a bill into the short session freeing North Carolina from federal intrusion and the dictates of unaccountable, outside trade groups in favor of standards that would serve the needs of North Carolina and it’s children. All that need be done now is to pass that bill and get the Education Commission set up and get them to work.
Run, Kay, Run. Maybe you’ll catch up to the 25% of the Democrats who didn’t vote for you last night…