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Education policy maven Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute think tank offers straight talk on matters of policy, politics, research, and reform. Read more from this blog.

Federal Opinion

Bait and Switch: Update

By Rick Hess — February 19, 2010 1 min read

The relentless Robert Pondiscio of the Core Knowledge blog followed up on this morning’s post regarding Department of Ed official Kevin Jennings’ surprising declaration that the Department’s view on Common Core standards is currently “focused on the academic standards” and is “starting” with math and language arts, but that “down the road” the effort will expand to incorporate “school climate” standards.

When he contacted the Department, Pondiscio was told by a Department spokesman, “We do not believe in national standards for school climate. Kevin Jennings was taken out of context.” Asked if the Department is claiming that Phi Delta Kappan misquoted Jennings, the spokesman said, “Let’s just leave it at that.”

Well, it’s good to hear that the administration isn’t pursuing national standards for school climate. In the interview, though, Jennings seemed pretty straightforward. If he didn’t mean it, or if he was speaking out of turn, it’d be nice if the Department would say so more clearly. You know, as part of that whole “transparency” thing.

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