All Mississippians could benefit from the rigorous new literacy standards.

Common Core Graphic
Photoillustration by Taylor McGraw

If I ever venture into the vicinity of self-parody, please stop me before I get there. Apparently the moderators of the Stop Common Core in Mississippi Facebook page don’t believe in extending such a courtesy.

Discontent about the once-noncontroversial Common Core State Standards has festered of late, particularly among Tea Party groups that view the new benchmarks as a sinister federal power grab (in fact, the standards were developed and adopted entirely at the state level — for more disproven Common Core myths, look at the fact sheet Mississippi First put out here.)

Opposition reached a fever pitch last week after Governor Phil Bryant, who had previously given credence to the conspiracy theories surrounding Common Core, had this to say:

“I think Common Core is a failed program, and the United States is beginning to realize that. Governors all across America are realizing states can do it better.” (Clarion-Ledger, June 19, 2014)

Of course, what makes Gov. Bryant’s comment logically absurd is that the standards will not go into full effect until this coming school year. Common Core has “failed” in the same way that Ole Miss has failed to win the 2015 Sugar Bowl.

There are plenty of arguments to be made for how the rigorous new standards will raise the caliber of K-12 instruction, particularly in English. We will have future Rethink Mississippi posts to that effect, but for the time being, I’ll let the above graphic, created by my brother Taylor McGraw, speak for itself.

In this article