By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Republicans are widely divided on whether the controversial Common Core standards should be adopted or not. On Saturday, March 22 Dr. Chad Mathis denounced Common Core and attacked conservatives who support adoption of the controversial new national education standards.
The conservative Congressional Candidate said in a Town Hall opinion piece that, “You cannot be a rational, true conservative who opposes Obamacare but supports Common Core education standards.”
Dr. Mathis wrote, “I’ve chosen now to run for public office because I don’t want to see my kids inherit an America worse off than the one I inherited – it gave me the freedom to get an education, practice medicine, start a business, and raise a family.”
Dr. Mathis said, “That’s why it’s beyond me how anyone calling themselves conservative could support Common Core. Obamacare, which I’ve read cover to cover, is a blatant assault on free-market health care that puts government between doctor and patient. As a physician, I’ve lived the consequences of this bad policy. Similarly, Common Core is a blatant assault on free-market educational choice; it puts government between parents and children, wiping out school choice for the sake of uniform standards dictated by bureaucrats, not the needs of the child.”
The conservative Indian Springs orthopedist said, “I’m the founding board chairman of the Alabama Coalition for Charter Schools. In that capacity I’ve been on the frontlines of the battle for school choice. I was in the gallery of the state Senate last year when a bill repealing Common Core went nowhere, and like so many other Alabama parents, I fumed with anger at seeing Republicans keep this terrible policy in place.”
Dr. Mathis said, “We need Republicans in Alabama, and especially Washington, who’ll enact real conservative reforms when given the chance, not pay lip service in election years or spend more time putting their foots in their mouths than delivering results. We need common-sense education reform, not Common Core. What we need are reforms that leave education at the local level, empower parents with greater choices, and help children trapped in failing schools.”
Dr. Mathis favors unleashing, “The power of American innovation across the board instead of locking government-run failure into place. That goes for both health care and education.” “The government’s products are failing – in both spheres – and it’s going to take true conservatism to get it out of both the doctor/patient relationship AND the classroom.” “I’ve got no interest in reforming Common Core or diluting it enough just to say we’ve done something so we can then leave it alone. Like Obamacare, I want it sent to the scrap heap of history.”
Meanwhile former Alabama Governor Bob Riley (R) came out in defense of Common Core in National Review on Tuesday. Gov. Riely wrote, “There is simply no evidence that national education standards will lead to a national curriculum, or that they will stifle the ability of states to teach subject areas that matter to parents residing there. To the contrary, many of those who know the standards thoroughly, including the state superintendent of education in Alabama, insist that educators today retain full control in the development, selection, and implementation of the curricula used in our schools.”
Gov. Riley said, “To many educators and parents, the goals of Common Core are eminently reasonable, particularly in states that rank below average or far below average in the all-important areas of math and science education. Business leaders, too, are supportive of the higher standards. The Business Council of Alabama, which represents over 5,000 independent businesses across the state, is one of Common Core’s most vocal supporters.” “Common Core establishes uniform standards — standards that must be met regardless of the curriculum a state decides to adopt. The standards demand accountability. They give the things that really matter — reading, writing, and arithmetic — priority over subject matter that does little or nothing to prepare kids for college and the workforce. And ultimately, the Common Core standards will make American students more competitive with their international peers. All of these goals are worthy, and they deserve the support of both Republicans and Democrats.”
Alabama Republican Assembly President Don Wallace meanwhile wrote, “Camp Common Core coming to you with the new math. Some of the stuff is ridiculous. There are tried and true methods to learning math. Some of the methods I have seen in 3rd grade math are more suited to Kindergarten when we know a simple formula works by now. It’s time to repeal this stuff, get it out of our school systems and go back to some math principles that haven’t changed in 2000 years.”
Meanwhile Common Core’s big corporate backers are funding a statewide media blitz where school teachers tell TV viewers about the alleged benefits of the new standards.
Dr. Chad Mathis is running for Congress in Alabama’s Sixth District.
Incumbent Rep. Spencer Bachus (R) is retiring when this term (his 11th expires).