Business groups often believe the talking points that proclaim Common Core will end rising phenomena like workers who won’t show up on time, can’t read or do basic math, and loaf around on the job. These are business’s biggest complaints about the kids our education system turns out. Oddly, business interests seem to ignore not just the evidence that Common Core graduates will not be internationally competitive, but that family degradation is a major—perhaps the major—reason for workers’ eroding soft skills and academic incompetence. Ironically, White and George’s devotion to their families makes them the kind of mothers whose kids will be the productive citizens employers want schools to produce.
George has talked to moms in her library’s toddler reading group and held potlucks to tell others about Common Core. A Kansas Tea Party group passed around a blue bucket last year to pick up donations from a room of retirees and parents to cover an out-of-town speaker who criticized Common Core. Grassroots folks in New York tried a crowd-funding site to cover travel expenses for their two February Common Core speakers. They raised $1,005 toward their $5,000 goal.
Common Core opponents typically don’t have much money or prestige. They do have a common motivator: their kids. George’s biggest concern is her ability to have a say in the policies that affect her family.