Across the country campaigns are in high gear as we near the selection of those political leaders that will have a direct impact on our everyday lives including state legislators, state governors, chief state educators, state Attorneys General, state treasurers, secretaries of state, U.S Congressional representatives, U.S. Senators, and in the case of Arizona’s John Huppenthal, local dog catcher (don’t worry dogs, he won’t be elected).
Establishment Republican and Democrat political machines ignore this election cycle’s stealth factor, the anti-Common Core Moms, at their own peril. These are the moms that started the grassroots, anti-Common Core movement and continue to fuel its rise, although some media types have tried to jump in front of the parade and co-opt it.
These moms were the ones who felt in their gut, before they could even verbalize it, that something was getting in between them and their kids.
They began voicing their concerns about this thing called Common Core to school boards, legislatures, and governors across the country. These moms didn’t know all the correct education-ese or acronymns to use that pompous, insecure legislators and educators hide behind. Yet they bravely confronted the “leaders” in charge.
Rather than being provided with clarification about their concerns, progressive establishment leaders in both the Republican and Democrat parties brought out their shared Saul Alinsky playbooks and began to isolate and ridicule these brave moms.
These moms were denigrated as “ill informed”. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan went so far as to ridicule these moms as “white suburban moms” who all of a sudden are finding out that there kids aren’t as brilliant as they think they are and there schools aren’t as good as they thought they were. Arne is quite the charmer and a jack-ass. Wonder what he called the moms in Chicago when they complained about his subpar performance as the CEO of the Chicago Public School System?
Establishment politicians underestimated the tenacity and perseverance of these moms as their anger grew along with their numbers. Moms like Jenni White in Oklahoma and Heidi Huber in Ohio began educating themselves about the insidious nature of the Common Core including not only the dumbed down learning standards and the NSA-like data suctioning systems, but also the national Common Core tests that were being developed to track their kids’ progress towards “college and career readiness”.
They and countless other moms began organizing anti-Common Core groups across the country to share information and pressure local politicians. Flash forward to the present and we are seeing the anti-Common Core Mom effect growing exponentially and it now includes dads, grandparent, aunts, and uncles, and other Americans concerned about our country’s exceptionalism.
We are witnessing governors like Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, a former stalwart supporter of Common Core in his state, suddenly reading the political tea leaves and doing a 180 degree turn and coming out against the Common Core machine. Other political leaders, like Governor Mike Pence of Indiana, give lip service to being against Common Core to get through the next election cycle yet their actions belie their true motives of keeping it fully in place just in another form with possibly another name.
Common Core isn’t just about education, just as Obamacare isn’t just about healthcare and just as the EPA’s overreach into our states has little to do with controlling pollution. Common Core ends state sovereignty and local control of education.
With Common Core we no longer own or control our state learning standards, they are owned and copyrighted by two private groups in Washington, D.C. They control the development of our kids’ minds.
Common Core also gives over control and access to your kids’ most personal information to the U.S. Department of Education and any other agency or private company that they decide to share your kids’ information with.
Establishment Republican candidates here in Arizona are now lining up to register their lukewarm opposition to the Common Core as they too sense the politically shifting winds.
During his entire four years as AZ State Treasurer, Doug Ducey never opposed the Common Core. He could have opposed it based solely upon the devastating financial impact it will have on our state.
However, now that it is politically advantageous to oppose the Common Core he states on his campaign website that he, “will resist over-reach from the federal government, including Common Core, and protect our schools from federal intrusion into the state and local responsibility of public education.”
That is the extent of Doug Ducey’s opposition to Common Core. He rarely talks about it during candidate debates with any depth beyond his website sound bite. Where’s your plan to rid our state of Common Core? Why aren’t you shouting about it at every turn?
Doug Ducey is too busy chasing down establishment endorsements to care much about Arizonan parents’ growing anger over the federal take-over of our kids’ minds through the Common Core. He doesn’t think he owes them an explanation. In fact he skipped out on one of the few candidate debates taking place in Tucson recently. He doesn’t need Tucson either, I guess.
Doug Ducey might be vaguely wearing the anti-Common Core jersey, but he’s not really on our anti-Common Core team.
Ken Bennett similarly spent the last four years as AZ Secretary of State. During that time he has never opposed the Common Core. Now he’s having somewhat of a conversion we think, but we’re not sure.
On his campaign website, Bennett states, “…these new (Common Core) standards are a distinct improvement to the previous ones, particularly regarding critical thinking and logical reasoning, and there is some truth to that.” Then in typical Bennett form he wants to take both sides of the argument just in case the political winds change when he continues, “However, the Constitution of the United States clearly leaves education to the states…”
Bennett’s waffling on Common Core is indicative of a candidate not grounded in conservative principles, but rather at the mercy of the prevailing political winds. I don’t even know if Bennett is wearing the anti-Common jersey, so he’s not dependable enough to be on our anti-Common Core team.
Christine Jones made her fortune as legal counsel at Go Daddy so she can afford shiny campaign ads that blanket print, television, and online media. Just recently we discovered that her former boss and founder of Go Daddy, Bob Parsons, has been secretly funding attack ads against Jones’s opposition to the tune of $1 million. I guess even a multi-millionaire needs a sugar daddy.
On Jones’s website she has only a quick allusion to Common Core when she says “No Common Core” during a video explaining her position on education. She never once mentioned the Common Core at a candidate forum here in Tucson recently. Jones has falsely claimed to be a prosecuting attorney and to being in the air force.
Jones has said that sending a “bill” to President Obama for the expenses incurred to Arizona in connection to illegal immigration is pointless, yet says she’ll do just that in a campaign ad to look tough on the border.
Perhaps now is the time to drag Sheriff Babeau down to the border, video cameras focused, as Jones turns to Babeau and says “Build the dang fence!” Isn’t that what our double talking establishment candidates do?
So when Jones says “no to Common Core” on her website, can we trust even that minimalist opposition to Common Core to be true? Christine Jones just isn’t the real deal. She’s trying to wear the anti-Common jersey, she’s even bought one in every color, but we can’t trust her to be on our anti-Common Core team after the election is over.
Scott Smith, the current mayor of Mesa, AZ, is the only Republican candidate for governor that supports the Common Core along with with Fred Duvall, the Democrat’s candidate for governor. They both praise and mirror current governor Jan Brewer on Common Core. So if you like Common Core and love what Jan Brewer has been doing with education, Scott Smith and/or Fred Duvall is your man. Neither man is on our anti-Common Core team.
Andrew Thomas is the former Maricopa County Attorney who was disbarred in 2012 for investigating his political enemies and is now running for governor. Thomas claimed his disbarment was a political witch hunt. To quote Hillary Clinton, “at this point what does it really matter” if Thomas supports Common Core, which he says he does, he comes with way too much baggage to be effective as governor.
Besides, if Thomas could not defeat the AZ Bar Association, who he claims railroaded him, in his own defense, he would not be of much of a warrior against all the moneyed interests that want to keep Common Core in place. He might have an anti-Common Core jersey, but do we really want him on our anti-Common Core team?
Frank Riggs is an Army and police veteran, and a three term U.S. Congressman who was the leader of the Gang of 7 that exposed Congressional abuses of power in the late 1990’s. He was chairman of the House Education committee and authored the Charter School Expansion Act of 1998 which helped fund the start-up of charter schools nationally.
Frank Riggs doesn’t just talk about school choice, he lives it. After leaving Congress, Riggs became a founder and CEO of the Charter Schools Development Corporation, which helps charter schools with start-up financing and physical structures, and he is President of Arizona Connections Academy, an on-line charter school.
Frank Riggs understands that Common Core is about more than education when he says, “Common Core and the Obamacare Medicaid expansion infringe on Arizona’s constitutional responsibilities for K-12 education and indigent health care.” At all the forums I’ve attended he is the only candidate that can deftly articulate Common Core’s dangers to our state and country.
While other candidates spout the political talking point of being against Common Core then bemoaning that AZ’s governor cannot rid the state of it, Frank Riggs is the only candidate that articulates a plan to end it on day one.
He easily supports his plan by citing from the AZ’s Race to the Top (RTTT) application and our Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Common Core/PARCC testing group as well as noting that Jan Brewer easily pulled our state out of the Common Core/PARCC testing group at lightning fast speed when it suited her purposes a couple months back.
Frank Riggs walks his talk on school choice, Common Core, and illegal immigration. I watched Frank Riggs spend the better part of a day in Oracle, AZ to protest the lawless transport of illegal youths to the town. He was the only governor candidate that showed up that day and he stayed long after other politicians had their photo op and left.
Unlike the other candidates for governor, you get the sense that Frank Riggs doesn’t need to be governor for reasons of ego or as a stepping stone to higher office, rather he reluctantly wants to be governor to restore Arizona’s sovereignty for future generations.
Riggs isn’t the establishment candidate and he isn’t the big money candidate. Riggs is AZ’s stealth, grassroots candidate whose support is growing exponentially each time people hear him speak. He’s the adult on the stage at the every GOP governor candidate debate or forum. When you hear Riggs talk, you sense his depth of understanding and caring about the issues that affect Arizonans. Frank Riggs resonates with Arizonans, he’s the real deal.
Anti-Common Core Moms and Frank Riggs have something in common. They are both underestimated by the establishment, they are both vehemently against Common Core, they are both reluctant warriors for their causes, and they will both ultimately triumph over those forces eyeing our parental and state sovereignty.
The “anti-Common Core Moms” will have an ally with Frank Riggs as governor of Arizona in the battle against the Common Core. Frank Riggs has been wearing the anti-Common Core jersey even before it was politically cool to do so, and he is definitely on our anti-Common Core team.
Brad McQueen is a former Common Core insider and current public school teacher in Tucson, Arizona and is the author of the anti-Common Core book “The Cult of Common Core”. Connect with Brad at firstname.lastname@example.org