Head of La Raza Explains Why New Jersey Must Maintain Common Core State Standards

Rafael Collazo, Director of the National Council of La Raza and a New Jersey public school parent, addressed the Education Standards Review Committee  on Monday as part of the Committee's "listening tour" instigated by Gov. Christie's recent flip-flop on the Common Core State Standards.

So what does a leader of the nation's largest Hispanic civil rights organization think of N.J.'s "review" of the Common Core?

“Being a parent is tough,” Collazo said but “one of those anxieties has been addressed the last few years by the Common Core State Standards in New Jersey. When I received the benchmarks that my son Troy needed to achieve in kindergarten, it was a relief to have a clear understanding of what it would take for Troy to be ready for 1st grade. I also made me feel good that all children throughout the state of New Jersey are being to achieve standards that are preparing them equally.”

Collazo then notes that “only 78% of Latino students graduate from New Jersey high schools on time…compared to 93% of their white peers. And Latino high school graduates are largely inadequately prepared for college and/or career. 32% of N.J. Latino state college and university students required remediation and 70% of first time full-time community college students were enrolled in at least one remediation course.”

He then explains to the Committee that maintaining the Common Core, will help  “level the playing field for all students” and “promote equity.” Also: “accountability is essential.” He concludes, “my sons Troy and Maxwell will be ready.”

Reality check: here we have the leader of a national Hispanic leader explaining the necessity of higher-level common standards and accountability metrics while NEA and AFT, which historically have lent great support to minority communities, lobby for the antithesis of what La Raza says minority children need. 

Time for a CCSS survey of current presidential wannabees. Only two of the ever-evolving GOP presidential candidates, John Kasich and Jeb Bush, support La Raza’s position. Among the Democratic candidates, frontrunner Hillary Clinton is a cipher; she has supported CCSS in the past but could likely temper her support in order to smooth relations with the ever-increasingly anti-CCSS teacher unions. Bernie Sanders has been silent (except for a “nay” vote on an anti-CCSS vote back in March, and he’ll stay that way in order to nurture continued rebellion among anti-Clinton AFT and NEA members.) Martin O'Malley supports CCSS.

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