Conventional wisdom held that liberals and teachers supported the new Common Core curriculum standards.
Until the Badass Teachers Association crashed the party.
The 25,000 BATs, as they call themselves, are pushing back against the national standards with Twitter strikes, town hall meetings and snarky Internet memes. They have no qualms with the theory behind the new benchmarks, but they fear the larger movement places too much emphasis on testing and will stifle creativity in the classroom.
“It’s not just the Tea Party that’s skeptical of the Common Core,” said Bonnie Cunard, a Fort Myers teacher who manages the Facebook page for the 1,200 Florida BATs. “We on the left, like the folks on the right, are saying we want local control.”
The BATs represent a new wave of liberal opposition to the Common Core standards, which includes some union leaders, progressive activists and Democratic lawmakers. They are joining forces with Tea Party groups and libertarians, who want states like Florida to slow down efforts to adopt the new benchmarks and corresponding tests.
They face an uphill battle. The Common Core standards have a strong base of support that includes both Democrats and Republicans. What’s more, the standards are already being taught across all grade levels in Florida.
“Our commitment [to the Common Core] is strong because it is the best decision for the future of our state and most importantly, the future of our students,” interim state Education Commissioner Pam Stewart wrote in a statement.