Blogger, author, television personality and conservative firebrand Michelle Malkin brought an audience of about 400 to its feet Thursday at the La Vista Conference Center.
Malkin was in town, courtesy of the Nebraska chapter of Americans for Prosperity, to campaign against Common Core, an educational initiative of the National Governors Association that has been embraced by the administration of President Barack Obama.
Common Core attempts to create common standards of education across all 50 states.
Although the initiative is a creation of the nation’s governors, its adoption has been made a requirement for states to receive a portion of the $3.4 billion that funds Obama’s Race to the Top educational initiative.
The program has been adopted by all states except Nebraska, Texas, West Virginia and Alaska. The state of Minnesota has embraced only the English language arts portion of the curriculum.
Malkin, who spoke for about an hour before taking audience questions, told the gathering that Nebraska, and the rest of the holdout states, are under great pressure to adopt the national standards.
She urged continued resistance to what she described as the latest iteration of previous attempts to dilute the power of states to devise their own standards.
Malkin’s criticisms cut across party lines as she denounced similar initiatives such as President George W. Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” program.
All such attempts to impose a national curriculum, she said, are unconstitutional, expensive, reduce the quality of education and violate the parental right to guide the education of children.
“I always think of myself as my kids’ primary educational provider,” she said. “I’m first. We are all our children’s primary educational providers.
“Keep your hands off my kids.”
She criticized Republican leaders who have lined up behind the Common Core program for failing to understand the importance of local control of education.
“How does your unyielding support of these fed-ed schemes comport with your purported conservative, limited government principles,” she said. “This does not compute.”