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Chicago History Teacher to New York Times: Stop Smearing Common Core Opponents



By Paul Horton


(Editor: In his article Paul Horton takes issue with the New York Times characterization of Common Core (CCSS) opponents. In recent New York Times editorials written by Bill Keller and Paul Krugman, opponents of CCSS are deemed “right wing extremists.” Keller’s snarky column on 8/18 stated:

“But — as with that other demonic federal plot, Obamacare — the Republicans aren’t interested in making reform CCSS work. They just want it dead.”

Krugman, always hostile to anything with whiff of conservative thought or connected to the Republican party titled his column: Stupid Is A Strategy. Krugman argues that no thinking person could be opposed to the CCSS saying:


“I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.”


Krugman goes on to state with absolute confidence that only right wing extremists could oppose CCSS.

“And I think that the best model is, as I said the other day, the Corey Robin notion that it’s about preserving hierarchy. The idea of a common core disturbs a lot of people on the right not because they fear that it will lead to left-wing indoctrination — it’s far too bland for that — but because it could get in the way of right-wing indoctrination, which is what they believe schools should be doing.”

One gets the sense that Krugman is not so much supportive of CCSS as he is opposed to anything conservative.

Mr. Horton believes that any thinking person concerned about the state of education in America should be concerned about the impact of CCSS regardless of his politics. Here he states that the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times “create a canard” that only right wingers oppose CCSS).

Yesterday Bill Keller and Paul Krugman fell prey to the canard created by Arne Duncan’s press secretary that all of those who oppose common core are right wing extremists. Daren Briscoe was sent from the LA Times via the White House to fix Arne’s problem of mumbling incoherently to the press (I am not making light of his stutter and I think he is a very decent person, it is his policies I object to). Daren decided that the best way to fix Arne’s problem with the press was to invent the “everybody who disagrees with us is a right wing extremist response.” This response appeals to liberals who know nothing about Education policy issues and it is a nice twist for TFA graduates who have become congressional staffers to use with their bosses. Daren, having blown this smoke so effectively will now move on to a “consulting firm” that promises to fix problems and find solutions through the use of “social engineering.” This consulting firm, GMMB, is yet another Gates funded start-up, designed to lobby and promote digital solutions for every social problem. It is worth noting that the Duncan Education Department policies are dominated by individuals who Arne hired from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation who seek to extend Bill Gates empire. Please read this link which explains how the “Conspiracy Theory” canard works.




Paul Horton is State Liaison Illinois Council for History Education and a history Instructor at the University High School The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

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