WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Education Secretary Arne Duncan said he finds it “fascinating” that opposition to the Common Core State Standards program is coming from “white suburban moms” who are realizing their kid “isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were.”

Speaking with a group of state school superintendents in support of the near-nationwide – but controversial — student standards, Duncan said some of the opposition to the standards is coming from “white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were,” the Washington Post reports.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a single set of education criteria for kindergarten through 12th grade students and teachers in English language arts and math. The Obama-administration backed education reforms established benchmarks for English and math proficiency.

The program is supported by $4.35 billion given to states through President Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus.

Common Core State Standards “provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn,” the program’s website declares. “The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers.”

Forty-five states, the District of Columbia, four U.S. territories and the Department of Defense Education Activity have already adopted the standards.

Texas, Alaska, Nebraska, Minnesota and Virginia are the only hold-out states from the standardization program.

However, the program has had its share of opposition from critics who say the testing standards are actually hurting students and schools. Others have taken shots at the ongoing rollout of the state standards.

According to Capital New York, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten told the National Education Writers Association in New York: “You think the Obamacare implementation is bad? The implementation of the Common Core is far worse.”

Lana Ajemian, the head of New York’s Parent Teacher Association, told NBC New York that standards have moved far too fast for some students to keep up. “It’s like the train’s pulling out of the station without everybody on board.”

She said that her 300,000 group members are launching a campaign for less testing and a slower pace of change for teachers.


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