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DFER-IL’s Common Core Pop Quiz
May 21, 2014

Owen Kilmer | 708.560.3388 | Owen@dfer.org


DFER-IL’s Common Core Pop Quiz

Today, Democrats for Education Reform Illnois is releasing a pop quiz. Can you match the quote from a prominent Common Core critic to the speaker?

For months, Tea Party leaders have been criticizing the Common Core curriculum as a federal takeover of education, with some states even opting-out of its adoption. The Common Core State Standards were established to make sure that American children have the necessary skills and learning to compete against their peers around the world. 

[Note: extra credit for identifying the only Democrat in the group]


A. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas)

B. Governor Mike Pence (R-Indiana)

C. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida)

D. Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky)

E. Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin)

F. Governor Bobby Jindal (R-Louisiana)

G. Glenn Beck (Conservative Radio Host)

H. Karen Lewis (President of the Chicago Teachers Union)


_____ 1. "There's got to be a way for us to put our fingerprints on it. The standards we have in the state should be driven by people…"

_____ 2. "Instead of teaching kids about our Constitution and our heritage, Common Core will teach students to be 'global citizens.' It gets worse. Common Core also mandates that school districts track everything about our nation’s children and report it back to the federal government."

_____ 3. "I don’t think the federal government has any role dictating the content of curricula. I think education is a state issue and a local issue, and ideally at the local level, because that way parents can have direct input and control of what’s being taught to their kids."

______ 4. "I'm from the school that believes education is a matter best left for local control. The notion of Washington determining curricula is something most states are simply not interested in. It's a non-starter…"

______ 5. "Besides being dumber, our kids are going to be indoctrinated with extreme leftist ideology."

______ 6. "To those who would have preferred that we deferred more to out of state experts from Washington, D.C., to the East Coast to the West Coast, I ask, isn’t that the kind of elitist thinking that got us Common Core in the first place?"

______ 7. "I agree with educators and parents from across the country, the Common Core mandate represents an overreach of federal power into personal privacy as well as into state educational autonomy."

______ 8. "This effort to coerce states into adhering to national curriculum standards is not the best way to help our children attain the best education. Empowering parents, local communities and the individual states is the best approach."

Answer key:

1: E
2: D
3: A
4: F
5: G
6: B
7: H
8. C

“I’m disappointed that Karen Lewis would take sides with the Tea Party, and not President Obama, by attempting to throw out consistent education standards that will ensure our kids have the skills to pursue higher education and be successful in the 21st century economy,” said Rebeca Nieves-Huffman, State Director of Democrats for Education Reform - Illinois. “As a mother of two, I’m appalled that the CTU would let political gamesmanship with City Hall trump the need for a more rigorous curriculum in every classroom. Our kids deserve better.”


Statement from Rebeca Nieves-Huffman, State Director of Democrats for Education Reform Illinois, on a Potential Strike in 2015
May 6, 2014

Owen Kilmer | 708.560.3388 | Owen@dfer.org


Statement from Rebeca Nieves-Huffman, State Director of Democrats for Education Reform Illinois, on a Potential Strike in 2015

“With the safety and education of thousands of Chicago children on the line, a strike should be the last possible resort - not a political tactic. The parents sending their children to Chicago's schools should never be made to feel as though their kids are political pawns, but Karen Lewis always seems to put their interests second to her attempts to boost her own image. We hope union leadership will focus more on ensuring the contract puts the futures of Chicago's children first - that should be the primary mission of any responsible education advocate.”


DFER Illinois Statement on Mayor Emanuel's Expansion of International Baccalaureate Curriculum
April 22, 2014

Owen Kilmer | 708.560.3388 | Owen@dfer.org


DFER Illinois Statement on Mayor Emanuel's Expansion of International Baccalaureate Curriculum

Rebeca Nieves-Huffman, State Director of Democrats for Education Reform - Illinois, issued the following statement applauding Mayor Emanuel And CPS For expanding International Baccalaureate curriculum to five additional schools:

“The expansion of the IB program over the last three years is making the city of Chicago the nation’s capital for one of today's most effective curriculum models, and because of this, more students will be given a path towards attending a four-year college than ever before. No city leader has put greater effort in to promoting more rigorous standards in the classroom than Mayor Emanuel, and we applaud his continued focus on promoting education opportunity for Chicago students.”


DFER Congratulates State Rep. Christian Mitchell On Decisive Primary Victory in Chicago
March 18, 2014

Devin Boyle | 202.445.0416 | Devin@dfer.org
Owen Kilmer | 708.560.3388 | Owen@dfer.org


DFER Congratulates State Rep. Christian Mitchell On Decisive Primary Victory in Chicago

Education reform message clearly resonates with city's Democrats

Washington, DC - March 18, 2014 - Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) congratulates Illinois State Representative Christian Mitchell today for his win in the Illinois primary election.

In an election that served as a referendum on the future of education in Chicago, Rep. Mitchell overcame an onslaught of attacks and resources from political groups within his own party who opposed his commitment to education reform. The Chicago Teachers Union and its allies contributed more than $300,000 to Mitchell's challenger in an attempt to unseat him, pledging to make this election a cautionary tale for other elected officials committed to ending the education status quo that exists in Chicago and throughout the country.

“For too long, the debate among Democrats in the city has been hyper-focused on the politics surrounding reform rather than on the urgent need to transform a system that is failing so many of our kids,” said Joe Williams, Executive Director of DFER.

While in office, Mitchell has campaigned for equitable school funding and promoted effective public charter schools that provide Illinois parents with options for educating their children. He has pledged to continue advocating for education while serving the people of Chicago, and his track record proves that he will stand by that promise while in office for the next 2 years.

“The groups who hoped to use this election to write Representative Mitchell’s political obituary and send a message failed,” said Rebeca Nieves Huffman, State Director of DFER-IL. “Despite a barrage of negative attacks, Mitchell’s vision to provide every student in Chicago with a high-quality education resonated with voters. We are proud to have supported such an emerging, progressive champion for education. We are confident that Christian’s decisive victory will help him come out on top once again in the general election on November 4.”


About Democrats for Education Reform

Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) is a political reform organization with 13 state offices that cultivates and supports leaders in the Democratic party who champion America’s public schoolchildren.

Because you’ve already blown your other New Year’s resolutions…
January 27, 2014

Let’s not kid ourselves friends, most of our New Year’s resolutions ended two weeks ago with our first whiff of [insert favorite calorie-laden food here].

But, it’s not too late to set a 2014 goal that will last much longer than your next craving for deep dish by donating to our January Reformer of the Month, Illinois State Rep. Christian Mitchell, as he fights for re-election.

By clicking here to donate as little as $5-$25 or as much as $500 to Rep. Mitchell’s campaign you can make a resolution to re-elect a proven DFER to our Statehouse!

Christian, who was elected to the 26th district of Illinois’ House of Representatives in 2012, has made it a priority to improve our schools, make our streets safer, and create jobs. He has also led the fight for education funding reform and the replication and expansion of high-quality charter schools in our state.

But, he now faces a tight race against a radical opponent working to derail his hard work. Mitchell’s challenger is attempting to make support for charter schools a poison pill for our legislators. So, we need your help to keep Christian in office. Click here to support him now!

Raised by a single mother who was a nurse and his grandfather, a union steelworker, Christian was inspired to devote himself to public service. Before stepping into office, he worked with Attorney General Lisa Madigan, 4th Ward Alderman Will Burns, and Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, all bona fide ed reformers working to improve the lives of Illinois’ families.

The re-election of Rep. Mitchell will ensure the presence of a strong education champion in the Statehouse who will fight for what’s best for kids for years to come. Click here to donate now!

Any contribution, large or small, will help Christian in this pivotal race. Let’s start 2014 with a resolution you know you can keep. Donate here to support his efforts today!

Thanks for standing with our kids!

Rebeca Nieves Huffman

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