Step One: Catchy Title
The title is an important part of any anti-Common Core piece. A popular choice is to incorporate the word “rotten,” which too many just can’t pass up (here, here, here, here, and here). Also popular: something connoting or indicating a leftist/Marxist conspiracy, for instance, “Common Core: Rotten to it’s leftist core,” “Obama Trying To Take Over Public Education With ‘Common Core’ Curriculum That Teaches Socialism,” “‘Common Core’ The Marxist Brainwashing Of America’s Schoolchildren,” or “Common Core GED textbook: ’9/11 hijackers were poor Afghanis.’”
Step Two: Select Your Boogeyman
The obvious choice is President Obama, but don’t limit yourself to the guy in the White House. And, ObamaCore might be catchy (here, here, here, and here), but it’s not terribly creative. Seriously, it just takes ObamaCare and changes ONE LETTER! Bill Ayers is a strong choice for a boogeyman (here, here, here, here, here, and here). Linda Darling-Hammond is the leading boogeywoman (here, here, and here). Combine two or all three for the most potent boogeyman concoction.
Step Three: Pick a Persuasive Argument
Big choice here. Once you have an irresistible title and boogeyman (or more), you need to actually construct your anti-Common Core argument. You have a few options.
You can go with the “Common Core is a socialist/Marxist/communist plot” – but those arguments are getting a lot of airplay already (here, here, here, here, here, and here). Another popular choice is the Common Core is a UN conspiracy (here, here, and here). If you’re more familiar with pedagogy, you could run with the Common Core as a progressive takeover of schools (here, here, and here).
Less common arguments are that Common Core is a secret attempt to indoctrinate students about immigration (here); that the new standards will eliminate cursive instruction (here); that examples of suggested texts are too sexually graphic (here); promotes a “homosexual agenda” (here); that it’s part of “the apology tour for American exceptionalism (here); or that the standards promote “extreme environmentalism” (here).
For those seeking bolder arguments, there is “Common Core forcing Marxism/Nazism on America’s children,” or that it’s comparable to what Hitler did while in charge of Germany (here, here, here, here, here, and here).
The argument that Common Core is federal intrusion into public education? Please, that’s soooo pedestrian and boring. It’s probably important to include so you can say something about the Constitution or states’ rights, but it’s a less flashy argument than some of the ones listed above.
Step Four: Construct a Conclusion
The title, boogeyman, and argument are all essential, but you really need to build to your concluding remarks. The smart move seems to be suggesting the new standards will be an absolute disaster (here), that we must overthrow tyranny (here), the standards cost too much (here), or that anything the feds are involved in is bound to fail (here and here).
In seriousness, opposition from a few key right-wing pundits (Malkin and Beck) seems to have stirred up the anti-Common Core hysteria of late. It’s also possible that the standards didn’t get much attention when they were simply words on a page as opposed to something actually happening in the classroom (at least in some places), complete with assessments tied to the standards. And, it’s completely plausible that the right just needed another topic to cause a stink about.
[Disclosure: I am working for the American Federation of Teachers this summer, although none of my work relates to the Common Core. Additionally, I composed this post on my own time.]