New York Rallies Against Common Core

New York is a deep blue state but having a liberal voter base is not translating into automatic support for Common Core.

In fact, the political momentum in the Empire State is rapidly shifting against the education standards.

The growing resistance to Common Core in New York was summarized by Slate’s political reporter David Weigel after he analyzed a recent Siena poll:

In a very short time, opposition to Common Core has evolved from a fringe Republican position that blue-staters laugh at to a position that clearly wins out in blue New York. When independents break against something by a 14-point margin, politicians generally look awkwardly for the escape hatches.

The Siena poll found 60 percent of conservatives, 53 percent of Independents, and 40 percent of Democrats support stopping the implementation of Common Core standards.

The poll results reflect the growing rage against Common Core from disparate ideological groups ranging from the Tea Party to teachers.

The right is opposed to one size fits all and the command and control approach to education and some teacher union members are outraged over the overbearing testing requirements, as well as the revenue generating motive for the companies that cash-in on student testing.

Last month, a group of members with the New York State United Teachers Union protested at the State Education Department building in Albany, New York, about the huge profits generated by Common Core testing company Pearson PLC. According to The Times Union, Pearson has a $33 million contract from the state for testing and teacher training.

Most important, supporting Common Core is becoming a political liability as the education standards are now part of the state’s governors race.

Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) is facing a long shot primary challenge from Fordham University law professor Zephyr Teachout. Among other issues, the extremely progressive Teachout is promising to “…slam the brakes on the barrage of high-stakes testing” that is central to Common Core.

Republican challenger Rob Astorino is promising to end Common Core. In an extremely creative effort, Astorino led a successful strategy that got thousands of petition signatures to add, “Stop Common Core” as a third party line to November’s ballot.

If approved by state election officials, the “Stop Common Core” ballot line would allow Astorino to get Independents and Democrats to vote for him without voting “Republican.”

Facing increasing pressure over Common Core, Cuomo has criticized the testing and he supported a delay in using the test results to evaluate students and teachers.

The fact that Common Core is under pressure in liberal New York shows the momentum is growing to stop Common Core.

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