What Conservative Activists and Louis C.K. Have In Common: A Hatred of Common Core

The stand-up comic went on a Twitter rant against standardized testing.

Louis C.K. performs onstage at the 2012 A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Cure Parkinson's event at The Waldorf Astoria on November 10, 2012 in New York City benefitting The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.
National Journal
Elahe Izadi
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Elahe Izadi
April 29, 2014, 9:04 a.m.

Con­ser­vat­ive cru­saders against Com­mon Core have found an un­likely ally in the likes of the cel­eb­rated stand-up comedi­an who also wrote Pootie Tang.

OK, maybe it’s not fair to in­tro­duce Louis C.K. with that movie cred­it, since his more re­cent, crit­ic­ally ac­claimed work is a world away from Pootie Tang, a movie that he ac­tu­ally hated and calls a big mis­take. But I di­gress: Louis C.K. went on a Twit­ter rant against Com­mon Core and stand­ard­ized test­ing Monday, tweet­ing that it has tain­ted his daugh­ters’ love of math.

Loc­al tea-party groups around the coun­try have tar­geted Re­pub­lic­ans who sup­port Com­mon Core, cam­paign­ing that it’s em­blem­at­ic of big-gov­ern­ment in­ter­fer­ence in state mat­ters. Now maybe they’ll start us­ing Louis C.K.’s tweets in their mes­saging. (It’s already pick­ing up some buzz on con­ser­vat­ive Michelle Malkin’s site Twitchy, which writes, “Well, even a blind squir­rel’s been known to find a nut every once in a while. Maybe.”)

In 2010, 45 states ad­op­ted Com­mon Core stand­ards, which are grade-by-grade bench­marks for math and read­ing. Be­fore that, state stand­ards var­ied widely, and ad­voc­ates say the Com­mon Core en­sures sim­il­ar ex­pect­a­tions across the board. Some of its biggest ad­voc­ates do in­clude Re­pub­lic­ans, in­clud­ing former Flor­ida Gov. Jeb Bush, a po­ten­tial 2016 pres­id­en­tial can­did­ate.

Louis C.K., who isn’t shy about tack­ling hot-but­ton is­sues in his com­edy, isn’t known as a polit­ic­al com­ic per se. But he’s cer­tainly not a con­ser­vat­ive. He has called Pres­id­ent Obama a hero of his, telling Van­ity Fair, “I love Barack Obama. What a great man. I’m so lucky to have voted for that guy.” He also has this NS­FW bit mak­ing fun of people who say we need few­er en­vir­on­ment­al reg­u­la­tions in the name of eco­nom­ic growth. And then there’s that busi­ness of him drop­ping out from host­ing the Ra­dio and Tele­vi­sion Cor­res­pond­ents’ As­so­ci­ation Din­ner, after con­ser­vat­ive com­plaints of his past com­ments about Sarah Pal­in.

But edu­ca­tion, more than many oth­er areas of policy, can cer­tainly make for some strange polit­ic­al bed­fel­lows. Louis C.K.’s beef is with how Com­mon Core edu­ca­tion stand­ards are be­ing im­ple­men­ted in his daugh­ters’ school. Here are a few of his tweets:

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