Secretary of Education Arne DuncanArne DuncanTrump administration is putting profits over students Chicago to make future plans a graduation requirement: report Top Education official resigned over dispute with DeVos: report MORE said Friday that growing opposition to new education standards was coming from “white suburban moms who — 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 they were.”

Duncan, who described the phenomenon as "fascinating," was speaking to a group of state school superintendents about the new Common Core Standards program, according to The Washington Post.

The controversial initiative is designed to standardize a single set of education criteria for English and Math studies from kindergarten through 12th grade. All but five states have adopted the standards, which are supported by a $4.35 billion stimulus grant.

The administration has said the new, tougher standards are designed to better prepare students for their careers, while giving parents a better sense for the quality of their children's schools. They've acknowledged that test scores are expected to drop dramatically across the board but say the new measures would provide more meaningful insight into school and student performance.

But opponents, including some teachers unions, have criticized the program as placing more emphasis on teaching to a test. They've also accused the administration of botching the rollout of the standards. 

“You think the Obamacare implementation is bad? The implementation of the Common Core is far worse," said American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, according to Capital New York. 


This post was corrected on Nov. 19 to refect that the Common Core program is a state-led initiative.