Politics don’t belong in education

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The future of Mississippi’s children just landed exactly where it doesn’t belong — deep in the middle of state politics.

On Monday, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves changed his stance on the state’s adherence to Common Core Standards citing the populist, but virtually fact-less stance that the evil federal government is being heavy handed with Common Core.

Reeves’ flip-flop reeks of politics. He fears opposition from political foes in next year’s statewide election.

Email newsletter signup

The ironic thing is that like many critics of Common Core, Reeves talks around the edges and ignores facts.

He suggested Monday that he couldn’t stand for the “heavy-handedness from Washington.” But Common Core isn’t a federal program, and it was adopted at the state level. Further, when asked Reeves could not cite any evidence that the federal government had been heavy-handed in any Mississippi education matter related to Common Core, but insisted that it was a problem “throughout America.”

We’re certainly no huge fans of Washington, but to blame the feds for something they haven’t done is a bit disingenuous.

Reeves’ political ambitions may prove to be another setback for our state’s education system, all for the sake of politics. Rather than listen to and trust the education experts in the state — like the state superintendent of education who supports Common Core — Reeves suggested the Legislature create a task force to create a new set of standards, bypassing the state’s own education department.

Such a move is mind-boggling. Mississippi just adopted Common Core in 2010. Wouldn’t it make sense to stick with it a bit longer before simply calling it quits?

Of course, leaving well enough alone won’t help you politically.