'Children Belong to All of Us,' Common Core Promoter Says; Opponents Are 'Tiny Minority' of 'Fringe Voices'
"The children belong to all of us," Paul Reville, an education professor at Harvard and former Massachusetts secretary of Education, said Friday in explaining why states should adopt the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
"What we're doing at the national level ... is what a lot of our states thought made sense individually. Why should some towns in cities or states have no standards or low standards and others have extremely high standards when the children belong to all of us and would move. And the same logic applies to the nation," he said, making the case for national standards.
His comment regarding children is similar to a controversial statement by MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry in April. In an ad for MSNBC, she said, "We have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents, or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities."
Reville was a panelist for an event hosted by the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, and the National Center on Time & Learning in Washington, D.C., introducing a new CAP report, "Redesigning and Expanding School Time to Support Common Core Implementation."
The CAP report argues that school days need to be extended in order to successfully implement Common Core.
"Redesigning schools with significantly more time for both student learning and teacher professional development and collaboration is one significant way to make certain that Common Core implementation is successful," the report states.
At the CAP event, Reville also complained that the implementation of the Common Core, a set of educational standards adopted by 45 states, tends to amplify a "tiny minority" of "fringe voices" that believe in state's rights and federalism.
"To be sure, it's always a small voice [that opposed the Common Core] and these voices get amplified in the midst of these arguments of people who were never in favor of standards in the first place and never wanted to have any kind of testing or accountability ... ," Reville said. "But those are a tiny minority. The argument about where [Common Core] came from, I think privileges certain fringe voices about states' rights and federalism, and things of that nature."
Reville's remarks mirror two myths often heard about the Common Core: the standards are only opposed by conservatives, and opponents support the status-quo.
Conservatives and liberals, Democrats and Republicans, can be found among both opponents and supporters of the Common Core. Just last week, for instance, the board of directors for a New York teachers union voted to withdraw support for Common Core.
Those opposed to Common Core are not opposed to high standards for education. Many reform proposals, both liberal and conservative, can be found among those who dislike the Common Core.
While there was little debate about the Common Core when it was first adopted, the standards have come under greater scrutiny now that they are being implemented. With that greater scrutiny, there is a growing movement of opponents. Truth in American Education has a list of state-level actions against the Common Core.
A clip of Reville's remarks was posted by the Media Research Center, a conservative media watchdog organization. You can watch it below.