Over the summer, when Zephyr Teachout was mounting a surprisingly potent primary challenge to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, I noticed a poll result that confounded some left/right stereotypes. When asked if "Common Core standards should continue to be implemented," a majority of voters said "no." Only 47 percent of Democrats wanted the standards. Independents, who were planning to vote for Cuomo, broke against Common Core by 14 points.
The situation can't have gotten any better for education reforms since then, judging by Cuomo's new TV spot. Among his education pledges is a solemn one "not to use Common Core scores for at least five years, and then only if our children are ready."
What a dizzying downward spiral it's been for Common Core. Just a few years ago, it was the joint product of agreements by 48 governors (minus only Rick Perry and Sarah Palin), an attempt to ameliorate the negative impacts of No Child Left Behind. (Cuomo was not elected until 2010, after the initial agreements.) Then conservatives rose in opposition – and for a while, progressives laughed at foolhardy lawmakers warning that these new standards would induct children into homosexuality. Later, as Tim Murphy has documented, suburbanites (in New York especially) started raging about the new testing that reflected poorly on their kids, and labor unions worried about the shuttering of underperforming schools.
That's how we ended up with this ad, from a center-left Democrat with heavy labor backing, promising voters that he will slow-walk the education standards that Glenn Beck had warned about first.