A long, good look at Common Core politics

Common Core hearing
A Jan. 22 legislative hearing on the Idaho Core Standards.

The Republican infighting over the Common Core standards is not a new phenomenon.

It’s highly visible within Idaho GOP politics. Gubernatorial candidate Russ Fulcher, a one-time Idaho Core Standards supporter, has been trying to hammer incumbent Gov. Butch Otter on the issue. John Eynon, a music and drama teacher in Cottonwood, has tried to use the Common Core issue to differentiate himself from the three other Republicans running for state schools superintendent.

For a longer look — and a look ahead to presidential politics — here’s a good breakdown of the issue from the New York Times’ Jonathan Martin.

Writes Martin: “The health care law may be Republicans’ favorite weapon against Democrats this year, but there is another issue roiling their party and shaping the establishment-versus-grass-roots divide ahead of the 2016 presidential primaries: the Common Core.”

The fight over Common Core — new standards in math and English language arts — reflects two changes within the GOP, Martin writes. First, some Republicans are pushing for a decentralized approach to education, a departure from George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind overhaul, which passed Congress in 2001 with bipartisan support. Second, some Republicans are openly skeptical of the business interests that supported (and continue to support) the new standards.