You may have heard your neighbor talking about it or your kids’ teachers complaining about it.


But what exactly is Common Core?


Let’s start from the beginning.  Common Core State Standards (CCSS) was originally developed by a partnership between the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).  These organizations commissioned a handful of educators to create standards to be adopted for every public school creating a one size fits all standard for American education.  The Common Core was adopted and endorsed by the Federal government.  With generous grants awarded by the Federal Government through the Department of Education to those who adopt the standards, 45 of 50 states quickly embraced this un-tested attempt to nationalize education.  Over $10 billion has been allocated through these grants to states since this program was announced in 2009.


Why are people upset about this? 


Well, no matter how well-intentioned, the chances of Common Core’s success is very slim, because education was not meant to be legislated at the federal Level.  (In fact, this is a ‘common’ problem with the federal government: doing what the states should be doing on their own.)


After all, check out their success so far!


Since the Department of Education was founded in 1979, test scores haven’t improved as a result… even though the annual budget of this cabinet level department has more than doubled since 2009 to $69 billion.


What a waste!


Let’s face the facts.  Defunding of the Department of Education would result in no decline in the quality of primary and secondary education.  But we’d save hundreds of billions of dollars and the states would regain control of their kids’ educations.


This would create more local standards that are sympathetic to the circumstances of local communities.


Sounds like a win/win.


Local control over education is our best chance to improve education in the United States.


The commotion over “Common Core” is well-justified, because our kids can’t afford another educational gamble by faraway bureaucrats.


About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.