Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Big Business Takes On Common Core Opponents

Stephanie Simon at Politico reports the business supporters of the CCSS are launching an expensive and widespread counteroffensive against Common Core opponents starting this weekend:

A coalition including the Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will launch a national advertising blitz Sunday targeted at Republicans skeptical about the standards. Spots promoting the Common Core will air on Fox News and other conservative outlets.
The campaign — a major ad buy that could last months — aims to undercut dire tea party warnings that the standards amount to a federal power grab, akin to Obamacare. The TV spots and online ads will project a positive tone, featuring teachers praising the Common Core. 
In a parallel effort unfolding mostly in deep red states, thousands of small-business owners and corporate executives have been bombarding state lawmakers with emails, calls and personal visits to press the point that better standards will mean a better workforce and ultimately, a better economy. They’ve been joined in some states by military officers who argue that not just the economy, but national security is at stake.
The strategy: Give conservatives reasons to support the Common Core — and make clear they will reap dividends if they do.
“We’re telling the legislature that this is our No. 1 issue,” said Todd Sanders, CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. “We will be watching.”

And according the Politico article, the business interests behind the Common Core think they are starting to win the battle over the standards:

The business coalitions, working with allies from the education community, have scored some key victories in recent weeks. They blocked a bill that could have torpedoed the Common Core in Georgia. They derailed a similar bill in Arizona, too, though that fight is not yet over. They slowed a breakneck drive to get alternative standards approved in Indiana. And they blocked a bill in Wisconsin that would have empowered the legislature to shape new standards.

“It feels like there’s a bit of a momentum shift,” said Cheryl Oldham, vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

This is just whistling past the graveyard propaganda from the CCSS proponents and business interests looking to take back some  of the momentum from CCSS opponents and critics.

The CCSS is under assault all across the country, proponents are trying to keep states from throwing the standards out, one of the first states to implement the standards and align them to high stakes tests (New York) is seeing one of the strongest assaults against the CCSS in the country and according to the Politico article, the poll numbers for CCSS get worse by the year with the public.

I would agree with one of the CCSS proponents in the article who says this is a pivotal moment for the Core - that what happens in the next year or so will determine whether the Core remains a viable education reform or joins education reforms from the past in the junk pile.

But there has been no momentum shift toward the CCSS from the public and in the culture at large, even if proponents have managed to save the Core in the political arena by threatening legislators with loss of donations or primary challenges.

That they're having to threaten legislators to stay the CCSS course even as those very legislators are hearing ir from their constituents over the CCSS and other ancillary reforms shows just how tense the education reform environment is these days.

I don't see opponents and critics of the Core dropping their opposition and criticism just because the Chamber of Commerce or other business interests run some ads - not even on the right, where those ads are aimed.

Instead I see proponents having to continue to fight a losing battle to save their precious Core in state after state as it comes under attack.
That proponents of the CCSS are having to wage this expensive and this desperate a counterattack at this point in the CCSS implementation scheme shows you just how bad things are for the Core.


  1. Careful. I read this and saw a centrist bipartisan political establishment ready to lash out at anyone on the wings. What can happen to the further right can happen to the further left as well.