“Common Core is to education what Obamacare is to health care,” Joy Pullmann said in a speech to students and professors gathered Tuesday night.
Pullmann is the managing editor of the Federalist and author of the upcoming book “The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids.” She graduated in 2009 from Hillsdale College, where she met her husband, Nathanael. She is one of the most influential education journalists in the country and became such by listening to those who were being ignored by others.
As the former managing editor of School Reform News at The Heartland Institute, Pullmann first learned about Common Core by talking to mothers in her neighborhood and attending a local Tea Party meeting about the program.
“I was a bit nervous it would turn into a discussion of conspiracy theories, “ Pullmann said. “Instead, it was about an educational program constructed by wealthy businessman that completely rejects the concerns of parents.”
After being impressed by the presentation, she said she learned everything she could on Common Core and was shocked that news outlets rarely discussed the new program. She has spent the better part of the last five years reporting on and discussing the determinants of Common Core.
In her speech, Pullmann warned students of the tendency for both parties to govern through use of experts.
“Our politicians keep turning our education over to experts,” Pullmann said, citing No Child Left Behind under President George W. Bush and Common Core under Obama.
Junior Sarah Schutte said she didn’t know much about Common Core besides recognizing the name.
“I was homeschooled, and I had heard of Common Core, but I didn’t know the details of how it was made,” she said. “I really liked how much detail Pullmann gave in the speech about the many closed door meetings of businessman and bureaucrats had concerning the program.”
Freshman Sara Garfinkle said she enjoyed how the speech connected the importance of politics to education.
“Those looking at becoming teachers need to pay attention to how politics shapes education,” she said.
Many professors said they enjoyed reconnecting with Pullmann at the speech. She is a wonderful example for all Hillsdale students, Associate Professor of Education Daniel Coupland said.
“It is great that she knows the topic so well and that she knows Hillsdale so well,” Coupland said. “This gives her a wonderful position to teach the students about these issues and provide an example.”
Pullmann spends most of her time as the managing editor for the Federalist and being a mother to four children, all while working on plans to open a classical private school of her own.
“She is practicing what she is teaching,” Coupland said. “She understands this stuff on the policy level, and she is also doing it on the ground level in her home. That is what makes her impressive. This is what the college is trying to encourage, and it is exciting to see former students excel at it in their own lives.”
At the close of her speech, Pullmann encouraged students to accept the responsibility that accompanies freedom.
“Americans are gullible,” she said. “We want to believe that we can surrender the responsibility of self-government and still expect freedom for ourselves. You can let someone else run your life, but you will like it even less than doing it yourself.”