Common Core has emerged as the newest Republican litmus test for gauging candidates’ conservative bona fides, and experts say the controversial national education standard will help shape elections from school boards to the White House for the foreseeable future.
Whether prompted by pressure from grassroots groups and well-funded political action committees, or simply by a realization of what is involved in the sweeping K-12 reform, Common Core has become a hot button issue within the GOP. Several Republican governors, including some rumored to be considering 2016 White House runs, have turned against the plan and critics have coined a loaded term for it that lays bare the political divide: “ObamaCore.”
“The center of gravity on the right has clearly shifted in recent months,” said Frederick Hess, of the American Enterprise Institute. “The Common Core is now like comprehensive immigration reform: there are respected leaders who endorse it, but they’re clearly crosswise with mainstream conservative sentiment.”
“Common Core has become a flashpoint election issue.”- Emmett McGroarty, the American Principles Project
The issue’s prominence is expected to rise as Common Core is widely implemented next fall, and as fellow Republicans at the local, state and federal levels battle it out in primaries. Experts predict it will become a potent issue in November’s midterm elections, and eventually, in 2016.