- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Education Secretary Arne Duncan, facing an onslaught of pressure from the mom community, has walked back his comments that those who oppose the federal government’s Common Core school testing standards were primarily “white suburban moms” and has issued an apology.

He said his remarks were “clumsy,” Politico reported. And that he regretted making them.

What he said last Friday to a group of state superintendents: “White suburban moms” were shocked and upset at the new testing standards of Common Core because “all of a sudden, their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought … and that’s pretty scary.”

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He now says his statement was “clumsy phrasing that I regret,” Politico reported. But that quasi-apology didn’t come until after a firestorm unleashed on social media. One Twitter poster wrote, as reported by The Huffington Post: “This white suburban mom thinks Arne Duncan is intentionally covering his own botched rollout.” And another: “I hope a lot of you will choose the same moniker I have. White Suburban Mom, AND DAMN PROUD OF IT! Take that, @arneduncan. #StopCommonCore.”

Meanwhile, another angry parent has taken a more direct approach and written an open letter to Mr. Duncan. It reads, as The Washington Post reported: “I am a white suburban mom, and I’m reaching out to you in an effort to explain what seems to be very confusing to you. Your statement … leads me to believe that you’ve been spending too much time in D.C. Perhaps you would like to come to Long Island and meet with some of us, and our friends who are not white, living in suburbs, cities and in rural areas. It might do you some good and help you to reframe your thoughts. … I don’t like to be lumped into any one group.”

The self-described mother of four also said: “Just so you’re clear that I’m not a bored housewife, I work full time. I am also an elected Board of Education Trustee for the Comsewogue School District, and my local public library. I’m a uterine cancer survivor; this month marks one year cancer free for me after two years of very difficult treatments. I’ve been a very active member of my community for many years.”

She wrapped with a final admonishment: “I would encourage you to visit some of us suburban moms before you dismiss us. I would be happy to host you in my suburban home at any time that is convenient to you. I’m no Bill Gates, but I make a mean chocolate chip cookie.”

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