The Common Core: De Facto Federal Control of America’s Schools

Capitol Hill Briefing
June 11, 2013 12:00PM
2325 Rayburn House Office Building
Featuring Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Chairman of the Congressional Constitution Caucus; Neal McCluskey, Associate Director, Center for Educational Freedom, Cato Institute; and Lindsey Burke, Will Skillman Fellow in Education, Heritage Foundation; moderated by Laura Odato, Director of Government Affairs, Cato Institute.

The Constitution gives the federal government no authority to govern education, and numerous laws prohibit Washington from influencing school curricula. How has the federal government gotten around these barriers? Primarily by attaching demands to federal money, which is exactly what it did to get states to adopt the supposedly “state-led” and “voluntary” Common Core curriculum standards. This unprecedented drive to national uniformity is dangerous for many reasons, not the least of which is that it puts Washington in control of what almost all schools teach. But just as the federal government has been the most powerful entity behind forced standardization, it is also the key to halting it.