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Not enough play for kindergartners under Common Core?
Last week, a TV production company that had done some propaganda work for the NYSED, the Rhode Island Education Department and ENGAGENY, released a You Tube video ad meant to defend Common Core.
The story about the ad from Politico:
WHEN GRANDPA TAKES ON GATES: Common Core proponents have been saying for a while that they’re going to shake up their PR and one novel approach is about to hit social media. It’s a two-minute video that mocks Bill Gates as one of the “rich computer guys in the nerdy glasses” (who frankly is “not making the best computers any more”) and ends with the decidedly modest tagline, “Common Core. It’s Better Than You’ve Heard.” The video follows a gruff senior as he grills his grandson’s seventh-grade teacher. “You’re not going to make him read stuff just because Bill Gates said so, are you?” he asks. Smiling, the teacher reassures him.
— The ad comes from the media firm Six One Seven Studios, based in a Boston suburb. Executive Producer Bryan Roberts said the firm self-funded the video after learning about the Common Core debate through work with clients including the New York and Rhode Island state education departments and EngageNY, a website that provides curriculum resources to New York teachers. “Too many of the pro-Common Core videos were PowerPoints and talking heads,” Roberts said. “So we put out this video to help folks see the power of telling a fun but simple story with real people.” He has more planned. Watch: http://bit.ly/1Bq4mST
This video showing a "simple story with real people" that was meant to defend the Common Core was itself put on the defense when critics pointed out how ham-handed and awful it was:
The video features a Cartoon Old Guy, who's insulting on so many levels. He's dismissive of the kid. He is wrapped up in his own stupid stories. He can't remember the teacher's name (aging brain function-- hilarious). He's ethnic. He's an ignorant war vet of some war-- he looks like a stereotypical WWII vet, but that would make him ninety-ish. Could be Korea, which would make him seventy-ish. He thinks Gates runs Apple (har!) and he measures the value of his grandson's ability to "figure" in how it can calculate money. Oh, and he plays the lottery.
He's worried about the Common Core stuff he's heard about on TV, and I'm wondering where on TV he's hearing bad things about the Core, because Core proponents have that media pretty well locked up.
The message here? Common Core critics are uninformed fools. Note that the nice teacher lady does not actually offer a single piece of fact-based data about the Core to contradict Old Bat-brained Granddad. She doesn't have to (though she might have mention that Hector will have to put a stop to figuring out math problems in his head). He's so obviously a dope that we are meant to simply discount his complaints because, well, he's a dope. He is truly the most wondrous animatronic straw grampaw ever.
I'd like to save the video for posterity's sake, but it was pulled from the Internet and the "Common Core" account that posted the video on You Tube was deleted.
So much for that defense of Common Core.
Earlier in the month, former Secretary of Education William Bennett wrote a pro-Common Core defense in the Wall Street Journal that was widely rebutted by Common Core critics and skeptics for doing exactly what Bennett claimed Common Core critics do in their criticism of Common Core - misleading people:
This morning, former Reagan administration education secretary Bill Bennett took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to make the “conservative” case for the Common Core. In that effort, he actually made a great case for Core opponents, illustrating the contradictions of the Core while furnishing several examples of all-too-frequent Core spin. And he did it, ironically, while implying that Core opponents have “badly and sometimes mischievously muddled” the Core story.
Read the rest of Neil McCluskey's piece, which takes apart every point in Bennett's WSJ column.
Rick Hess also did a good job of refuting the Bennett piece.
Bennett was further put on the defensive when he it was revealed he was paid to "write" the piece:
While in a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Wednesday, former Reagan Secretary of Education Bill Bennett put out what was described as the “Conservative Case for Common Core,” he admitted he is paid by a lobbying firm for his continued work in support of the controversial standards.
Bennett’s admission, reported by Politico, that the public relations, lobbying, and business consulting firm DCI Group paid him to write the op-ed perhaps explains why it doesn’t sound much like the writing of the Reagan appointee who agreed with his president that there was no real necessity for a federal Department of Education.
So we have two "defenses" of Common Core that were themselves put on the defensive this past week and a half and a whole host of headlines that show more trouble's 'a-coming for Common Core.
Given the inept pushback Core advocates, proponents and supporters have engaged in so far, I can't imagine the trajectory for the Core is going to turn around any time soon.
We keep hearing about how the pro-Core side is going to get serious in their defense of the Core, with serious dollars in pro-Core ads and other propaganda.
We keep hearing how the pro-Core side is going to stop talking down to people, stop mocking Core opponents, critics and skeptics.
We keep hearing how the pro-Core side is going to try and connect emotionally with parents and students to win them over to the Core.
But so far what we see are ham-handed attempts by Core proponents to defend the Core like the You Tube ad that's been pulled and the column Bennett got paid to put his name to.
We see continued obfuscation of the issues around the Core, particularly in the "the Core isn't a curriculum" defense, which is false since the testing that comes with the Core and the Obama administration NCLB waivers absolutely prescribes what must be taught in schools.
And we see continued mocking of critics from the pro-Core side, as best embodied in the grandpa in the pulled pro-Core You Tube video.
Good times if you are a Core skeptic, critic or opponent.