Selling Common Core

Common Core and the TruthCommon Core uses ambiguous language, deceptive marketing,  and relativism, used to create gray areas to weaken beliefs, to make the sale. The government and corporate creators of the standards use the same carefully chosen key words and phrases over and over to hammer the lies into the minds of the American people, all to create the illusion of truth in the Common Core Standards.

Think, for a moment, about the advertisements that we are bombarded with almost every day. What is their purpose? The goal is to get you to buy something, right? Many of them are designed to invoke emotional responses such as sympathy or the “Awwwwwww…” moment.   Advertisers strive to appeal to our sense of urgency, needs, wants, or the outright “I can’t do without it” response.  Think about the extensive sales psychology research that is conducted on consumers and their habits. The federal government does no less, and they have become the sleaziest used-car salesmen on the lot.

The government and corporate Common Core players use ambiguous terminology that requires capable detective skills to dissect and uncover the true meaning of almost every word. Understanding this is imperative to understanding what the government and corporations are trying to accomplish. Read between the lines and the underlying goals will be clear.

Make no mistake about it—large corporations are leading policy decisions in our government, and education is no exception. While I am not going to lead us into a debate about political systems, I am going to point out here that a hallmark of Marxism is government by corporation.  None of it can be truly understood in a vacuum, either. Common Core, like Obamacare and other issues this country faces, must be viewed in the context of the big picture.

Common Core plays with language to sell people. “Creative, deep learning, collaboration and analytical work” that David Coleman and his cohorts state that teachers want, is subject to the federal government’s interpretation, meaning that creative is fine as long as it remains within the boundaries that are set, deep learning based on ridiculous, non-evidence based attempts at establishing ‘rigor,’ collaboration meaning the individual is no longer relevant and becoming collectivist robots should be the goal instead, and analytical work is the ever present “how did you arrive at your answer” to the 1st grader on an addition problem convoluted by “new math.”

Common Core likes the phrase “rich data.” The word “rich” has always had a yummy sound to it—rich chocolate, rich colors, rich leather—and creates a sensation of being awesome, set apart, elite…”rich” is used to cloak a deeper meaning, allowing it to get lost in the feelings it invokes.  “Rich” in this context means extremely broad in scope, detailed, and private—no stone will be unturned.  The perceptions one can easily get from hearing the justification for gathering “rich data” and what it will be used for might sound pretty good upfront—“specially designing products to meet individual needs”—almost makes me feel like my daughter’s education would be custom-designed just for her, except that it won’t be under Common Core within the public school system.

While it was initially claimed, and I can still find it on government, school and common core-affiliated websites, that the “rich data” would not go to a third party or, this information will not be shared or accessed, think again.   It has already been admitted that the data collected will be sold to the highest bidder so they can develop products for a growing new market. I want to repeat that:  the data collected will be sold to the highest bidder so they can develop products for a growing new market.  Bill Gates later confirmed this by saying “…identifying common standards is just the starting point.  We will only know if this effort has succeeded when the curriculum and tests are aligned to these standards … When the tests are aligned to the common standards, the curriculum will line up as well, and it will unleash a powerful market of people providing services for better teaching.” Follow the money.

Read this line and think about it for a moment: “… (students will) be open and responsive to new and diverse perspectives (theirs); incorporate group input and feedback into the work.” Both of these concepts are salted throughout material written to promote Common Core.  I certainly support teamwork and good skills to work together in a group, and I am a strong proponent of being open to new ideas.  I want my daughter to be open to new ideas, and to have the skills to analyze each one thoughtfully before accepting or rejecting them.  I want her to know the truth, and to reject the lies. I value research and critical thinking skills; however, while the phrase “critical thinking skills” crops up often in pro-Common Core material, this is not what they mean.

Common Core wants children to question their family values, and to adopt very liberal, very different beliefs from what most students now hold.   How do we know this? Take a look at some of the assignments that are posted in the Facebook group, Inappropriate Common Core Lessons, the mandatory “Gay and Lesbian Appreciation Day,” the pro-Muslim and anti-Christian rhetoric, rewriting the 2nd Amendment, and the messages hammered at us from notorious pundits such as Arne Duncan, Mister schools-should-be-open-12-14-hours-a-day-7- days-a-week-365-days-a-year, and Melissa Harris-Perry  “we’ve always had have a private notion of children, your kid, is yours and totally your responsibility. We haven’t had a very collective (just thought I’d highlight that little gem) notion of these are our children support even as we have to break through our kinda private idea that kids belong to their parents or children belong to their familiesto recognize kids belong to whole communities wanted everybody’s responsibility and not just the households…”  So, you want to give me the whole “it takes a village” speech?  Well, guess what…I AM the village!

Riddle me this: What are teams and groups comprised of, and why are they not only sometimes desirable, but also often successful? Teams and groups consist of individuals with their own unique perspective, expertise, skills, knowledge base, strengths, weaknesses, ideas, creativity, experience and resources.  Isn’t that the beauty of the concept?  Common Core doesn’t like the individual–it likes the collective.

Some marketing strategies are more blatantly devious.  For instance, the Common Core website and some publications about Common Core go so far, still, as to claim that the Common Core standards were written by a task force of education experts that included teachers, parents, content specialists and community experts, among others.

The authors of the standards themselves are David Coleman, Susan Pimentel, and Jason Zimba.  David Coleman is head of the College Board, and is currently busy rewriting the ACT and SAT so that they align with Common Core as well.   He describes the Common Core Standards idea inception by saying “think of a napkin” and “few people in a room with an idea”. The room, incidentally, was a bar. And the standards were adopted, according to Coleman, “because Obama liked them.”  State-led? Written by experts? Hardly.

The Common Core Standards are touted by supporters as being only standards, leaving curriculum choice in the hands of the states and school districts; however, Common Core does include a curriculum that states are strongly “encouraged” to use as well to ensure that students are successful on the tests. Again, that language.  “When the tests align with the standards, the curriculum will have to align as well,” states Bill Gates.  In other words, states have no choice but to use the federal curriculum to at least have a chance to pass the standardized tests. What’s more, the standards are protected by copyright, which means they can never be modified—ever.  How comfortable are you with corporations writing public policy that cannot be repealed or modified?

Eventually  the creators of the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) realized the need to present a facade of state involvement, and therefore, enlisted the National Governors Association (NGA), a trade association that does not include all governors, and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), another DC-based trade association. Neither of these groups have grant authority from any particular state or states to write the standards. The bulk of the creative work was done by Achieve, Inc., a DC-based nonprofit that includes many progressive education reformers who have been advocating national standards and curriculum for decades. Massive funding for all this came from private interests such as The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Common Core supporters are now beginning to water down the language they use, particularly when referring to their being “internationally benchmarked,” which we all now know they are not. Now they say the standards were “informed by” international standards, which is funny to hear, because Common Core only vaguely resembles the standards from countries whose students are doing well academically.

And when that doesn’t work, they just lie.  Take this for an example:

Still, the deception by Common Core advocates continues unabated. One of the most incredible recent examples reviewed by The New American came from the “Higher State Standards Partnership,” a front group for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable. The astroturf group paid to publish a propaganda advertisement in The Daily Caller headlined “How Common Core state standards prevent federal control of education.” The Big Business front-group’s ad, with a format designed to make it look like an actual article, never explained how the nationalized standards would prevent federal control of education. Instead, the ad made the preposterous claim that abandoning Common Core “would only bolster the hand of the Administration and invite federal control into our schools.”

The feds dangled money from the get-go, tightening the noose they already had around states’ necks.  “Voluntarily” means they seemingly had no other good choice.

We all question the claims made about products we buy. Are you willing to question Common Core claims before buying that story? I certainly hope so. You’ll find it’s a lemon.


Recommended Reading:

Common Core: An International Failure

Federal Control of Common Core