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How Establishment Republicans Anchored States to Common Core

Establishment Republican politicians have boasted the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) prohibits the U.S. secretary of education from coercing states into adopting the Common Core standards.  However, many who have studied the law say not only is that claim unfounded, but also that ESSA actually imposes Common Core on the entire country.  In December of 2015, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, touted that he and Democrat Sen. Patty Murray (WA) had facilitated the “bipartisan” passage of the ESSA measure that would replace the George W. Bush-era No Child Left Behind (NCLB). President Barack Obama signed the bill into law almost immediately, referring to it as a “Christmas miracle.”

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