Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Common Core Edition

February 6, 2014 18:29 pm

by Eric The Younger · 57 comments

Monday I had the privilege of watching a trainwreck  Anti Common Core rally/press conference at the Capitol. It’s attendees included Jane Robins, Jack Stivers, Sen. Judson Hill (Though he wasn’t there the whole hour), Sen. William Ligon, Ralph Hudgens’ wife, and a few of the other usual suspects.

It’s OK, I get it. Some people don’t like Common Core and that’s fine. The problem arises when you criticize something on grounds that flat out don’t exist or are just plain crazy talk.

2014-02-04 14.08.03

Common Core is not the Department of Education partnering with the Muslim Brotherhood (pink sign, top right). I can promise you that the standards do not have any basis in the writings of Sayyid Qutb, I’ve read both.

If you’re going to criticize something and lead a protest or rally against an issue, it might be best you have your ducks in a row.

Common Core does have some issues but overall is a step in the right direction. And on Tuesday a new coalition was announced in support of Common Core in Georgia.  The Group is called Better Standards For A Better Georgia, and includes a diverse group that was brought together through the Georgia Chamber. The Group includes 100 Black Men, Georgia Association of Educational Leaders, Georgia Association of Educators, Georgia Bio, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, Georgia School Boards Association, Georgia School Superintendents Association, PolicyBEST (My Employer), StudentsFirst, Technical College System of Georgia, and the University System of Georgia

The Origins of the Common Core State Standards are here in Georgia with our former governor Sonny Perdue and State School Superintendent Kathy Cox. 90% of the Math standards are the same as the previous Georgia Performance standards, and 81% of the English Language Arts standards are the Georgia Performance standards.

The Standards themselves are more rigorous and some students may have some trouble with them, but overall these standards will better prepare these students for college, trade school, or the workforce.

{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

peachpundit (@peachpundit) February 6, 2014 at 6:29 pm

New post: Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Common Core Edition http://t.co/RQJbcFU6fU #gapol

2g Strategies (@2gstrategies) February 6, 2014 at 7:35 pm

From @peachpundit Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Common Core Edition http://t.co/MKtI9Zhg7y

Thomas Adams (@GeorgiaCRE) February 6, 2014 at 7:48 pm

Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Common Core Edition – Monday I had the privilege of watching a trainwreck  An… http://t.co/HdNBU2N3RE

View from Brookhaven February 6, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Hilarious.

Dave Bearse February 6, 2014 at 9:44 pm

No gathering of local wingnuts is complete if Field Searcy isn’t in attendance.

Dr. Monica Henson February 6, 2014 at 10:29 pm

You can’t fix stupid…and you can’t cure crazy.

Harry February 7, 2014 at 12:36 am

It’s one thing to respectfully state one’s own position, but to put down opponents of Common Core as crazy can’t possibly win anyone to your side. You folks don’t understand something….the same as with global warming, the Common Core agenda is being defeated all over the country because of the assumption of all of you so-called elites that you have all knowledge, and anyone is crazy and stupid who opposes your politically correct brainwashing. Keep up the good work!

Eric The Younger February 7, 2014 at 7:35 am

I have no problem engaging in a constructive dialogue on Common Core. In fact, just yesterday I had a great conversation with a state rep who is opposed to the program. We had a constructive dialogue about the actual problems with Common Core and the advantages of it. We still disagree on the program, but it was a rational discussion that involved facts and reason, not conspiracy or crazy talk.

What is unacceptable and what I have absolutely no problem with “putting down” is assertions that have no basis in fact or reality. To hold up a sign that alleges the Department of Ed is somehow connected with an organization that has connections to terrorism is deplorable and foolish.

Harry February 7, 2014 at 7:44 pm

There’s plenty of over the top on both sides.

Dave Bearse February 8, 2014 at 1:12 pm

Yeah, fair ‘n balanced.

griftdrift February 7, 2014 at 8:21 am

It’s past time to call crazy for what it is

John Konop February 7, 2014 at 7:06 am

Eric,

I went to a common core meeting a few months ago…..some of the accusations were over the top…..as you pointed out we do have some real issues with how it was implemented. By not addressing the issues it has fueled the problem…..the one size fit all teach to the test system is the problem it seems many on your side ignore…..the testing industry had grown to over 50 billion and administrative staff has mushroomed while we scramble for money for classrooms,…….I guess you do not see the problem….
.

Dave Bearse February 8, 2014 at 1:16 pm

$50B in K-12 testing works out to $1,000 per pupil.

John Konop February 8, 2014 at 9:23 pm

Do not include extra administrative overhead

John Konop February 9, 2014 at 12:12 pm

Does not include mushrooming administrative cost to facilitate, monitor…….the growing teach to the test industry….

seenbetrdayz February 7, 2014 at 8:10 am

I’ve not heard much about how federal grant money will play into common core. Perhaps no such connection exists and if so then there’s not much to fear, as it just boils down to a bunch of nice ideas we’d like to put on paper.

However, and this is a big however:

I will not be the least bit surprised if a decade from now common core morphs into yet another top-down program where states must jump through hoops in order to fight over scraps of grant money that have been divvied up by bureaucrats until states become so dependent on the remaining funding that they will unapologetically defend the program, and anyone who opposes it must just not want “free” money from Washington, D.C. —Kind of like what we keep hearing about Medicaid and how states are really stupid for not taking the money—as if it does not ever come with strings attached.

Eric The Younger February 7, 2014 at 9:15 am

Currently the funding associated with Common Core was extra funding in the form of Race to the Top, and not the established funding from DoE.

I think what we may see in the future is something like the Medicaid expansion we see today. There may be some incentive to change, but with the SCOTUS ruling in the Sibelius case, it’s been established that the Feds can’t just yank the funding for not adopting a new program.

Anyone But Chip February 10, 2014 at 12:52 pm

If our state continues to de-fund education at the current rate and the localities top out at the 20 mill max where else will they go? We question why the schools rushed to get the Race to the Top grants, but we only have to look as far as the billions of dollars in funding reductions. You can cut teachers and administrators all you want, but there is a basic cost of education. There are three funding sources available to schools and we would be asking serious questions if they didn’t explore each as a means of providing the best education possible to each student.

Don’t want any strings attached from the Federal government? Pony up the money at the state level.

seenbetrdayz February 11, 2014 at 7:23 am

I’m not necessarily opposed to increasing state level funding, it’s best to keep the funds more localized (and there’s the bonus of added accountability, as a few dozen people with pitchforks and torches at a county courthouse will get you much more responsiveness from government than a few emails to the intern who reads and creates form-letter responses for U.S. Senators).

Speaking as someone who has no kids, but has to pay taxes to educate other people’s kids even though history shows that throwing more money at the problem hasn’t yielded the best results, I just want, at a minimum, some accountability for what we’re paying. Theoretically, it should be easier to hold state B.O.E. officials accountable than Fed. Dept. of Education officials. The former live in our communities; we know their faces and names. The latter, we know very little about.

John Konop February 11, 2014 at 7:57 am

A real issue is that the one size fit all teach to a standardized test to force every student to college does not work. The best eduction places in the world track students based on aptitude , pay less( huge savings in testing and adminstrative overhead) and get better results….

This is the problem with many leaders in the anti common core movement…..the lady from anti common core running for office(SS) is pushing one size fit all but on a local level. When I challenge that thought in her meeting most agreed with me that the issue is more educational option tracks not one size fit all…..

This core debate gets drowned by crazy conspiracy talk……I do think money interest is part of the problem via this one size fit all birthed a 50 billion dollar testing industry…yet the other part of the problem is us….I have seen both sides for years debate how their solution will somehow change the bell curve on aptitude….both sides are doing a disservice for students, teachers, parents and tax payers.

Charlie February 11, 2014 at 8:01 am

Every time you type “a real issue is that the one size fits all…” it tells me you haven’t moved on from No Child Left Behind.

Read Sonny Perdue’s interview with Hassinger. CC was done by Governor’s as a response to NCLB.

Georgia has had a waiver from NCLB for years. John Barge was able to introduce the career academies with 17 different education tracks under Common Core. It’s quite clear that CC doesn’t restrict students to one size fits all.

It’s time to move on to the education debates of today, and quit clinging to the ones from the Bush administration.

John Konop February 11, 2014 at 11:43 am

Charlie,

I think you are missing my point…..if you read this article I wrote you will understand my point…..How we should re shape the system….I understand the issues via having kids in the system…Common core current set up promotes wasted time for some….and hurts other by not moving toward aptitude….If this testing is aptitude based on a track they will grasp concepts better than it being abstract with no context….

………..Sharing resources across our higher education system (colleges, universities, community colleges, and vocational schools) and our high schools will substantially answer these challenges. The goal is to create clear and cohesive vocational and college prep paths starting as soon as the 9th grade.

New vocational tracks will allow high school students to attend local vocational schools to receive marketable job training and a high school diploma. The requirements for graduation/certification should be set by the current accepted vocational/community college system. Students that pass a state-approved vocational school program earn a high school diploma, regardless of whether they have or not they have met all of the high school’s other curriculum requirements……..

….High school students who are enrolled in a higher education program could have their annual No-Child-Left-Behind (NCLB) standardized testing requirements waived because they would have already exceed NCLB-equivalent requirements to get into their program. This will decrease the burden on Georgia schools and taxpayers by eliminating redundant end-of-year testing and tracking costs.

Resource sharing will lower Georgia’s dropout rates by giving high school students education options that meet their aptitude, rather than using today’s failing one-size-fits-all approach. (Requiring a student with an aptitude for mechanical work to pass Algebra II in order to graduate high school creates far more dropouts than it does mechanics who factor polynomial equations during their lunch break.) It would also stimulate the economy by creating more work-ready job applicants…

http://www.ajc.com/weblogs/get-schooled/2014/jan/03/improve-vocational-track-georgia-high-schools/

.

@kenmlibby February 7, 2014 at 11:07 am

Muslim Brotherhood #corespiracy: http://t.co/ldXde9PczG (w/ interesting note about pro-CCSS push in GA)

Tina Trent February 9, 2014 at 11:41 am

Young Eric — While I prefer to converse with people who have the integrity to use their real names, I’ll make an exception for you on the possibility that regular readers may know you as more than an anonymouse.

First, I doubt you know much about the Common Core fight. Vague assertions — “it have problems but lots of it am good” — do not inspire confidence that you are making an informed comment.

You did clearly read the press about the governors’ association founding it, etc.

What you did not do is read it critically.

This is what is called propaganda, and while it may seem more sophisticated than the propaganda you dislike, it is still propaganda. And liking one taste of propaganda over another is not a compelling argument for discernment.

Yes, the southern governors are now claiming to have birthed Common Core by meeting long ago and deciding that we needed common standards. This is not in dispute. This is also bears virtually no resemblance to Common Core as it is manifested today — either politically, bureaucratically, financially, or in the all-important alignments of curriculum manufacturing and purchasing to activist imperatives and the alignment of both teacher and teacher-educator certification mechanisms to Common Core — all done behind closed doors and foisted on the public as done deals.

And again, I feel pretty confident surmising that you actually know nothing of significance about any of this. Reading your comments to this post strengthen my sense of this. You say, weirdly, that Common Core involved only “extra funding and not established funding” from the DOE? Requirements to promote CC come attached to virtually every “established” as well as bloc grant funding line. It has been thoroughly institutionalized, thus throwing the ball back in tot he court of who controls what at every level of educational bureaucracy.

But you have to look beyond the press release that lands on your desk telling you how to think to get to that.

Please learn the rudimentary beyond the press release. For example, the “suddenly” organized (in your view) “coalition” springing forth Zeus-like from the head of the C of C is actually a long-standing group of rent-seekers that just invented a new name — populated by people who have been actually caught publicly lying about the money they have received to promote this cause and doing a plethora of other shifty things to conceal from prying journalists (not too hard in your case) their many financial interests in centralizing all educational decision-making power in their own hands.

These are paid political activists, not concerned citizens. Think about that.

Think about it for more than two minutes. I thought you professional journalist types liked following money trails and exposing politicians cozying up to giant corporations?

Oh. Not all of them?

The Common Core fight is not about the “standards.” They are a distraction, and in the ELA at least — I know less about the math ones SO I DON’T PRETEND TO KNOW — they are written so vaguely that they are meaningless vessels, impossible to criticize because they say virtually nothing. By design, of course, and this have become an effective method for pulling people into un-constructive arguments, including activists on my side.

The Common Core fight is about shifting even more local educational decision-making to unelected, unaccountable NGOs and textbook companies (curiously often one and the same); appointed higher-level bureaucrats (and in some states appointed state boards); politicized educational corporations, and the DOE. But you don’t know anything about that, do you? Do you know how much money each of those groups at the good-lookin’ rally are getting for consulting and advising and administering and administrating the Common Core brand?

Understandably, you were distracted from these things. You saw a sign you didn’t like at a rally that was indeed a bit amateurish because it was participated in by actual political amateurs, aka concerned citizens — not the empty suit “concerned citizens” of the C of C and their fellow career board-profiteering pirates whose sartorial grace impressed you so much. Go brag about the rubes at some hipster bar or start a gossip column. You did nothing to accurately interpret what you saw at either rally.
Snark will only get you so far. Read more widely. Do some journalism next time before engaging your mouth, child.

John Konop February 9, 2014 at 12:31 pm

I do agree this is about money over helping kids……but in fairness I went to an anti common core meeting held by the lady running for state school superintendent……

1) Her solution was one size fit all local testing…..not getting the problem….local or federal we need more tracks not less…

2) She seemed very anti vocational tracking…..sounded like she thought her idea could change the bell curve on IQ….in my opinion same bs…..different spin….not all kids need to go to college….

3) She made claims about crazy stuff being taught in our schools….a parent asked if this is happening in our county( Cherokee) mind you we have a school board member in the meeting Kelley Marlow who said nothing……I had to stand up and explain in our county we do not have AP kids teaching kids not at their level during their class time, I had to explain we have a home school public school option, we have an excellent AP and joint enrollment options…….it was clear the people throwing this had an agenda….made a lot of tin foil hat comments…..what they do not realize they are hurting more than helping when it gets tin foil based over the real issue…..

Charlie February 9, 2014 at 12:45 pm

Mam, your ignorance is only surpassed by your condescension. In this field, that’s hard to do.

I hope you get a hug and a participation trophy.

Tina Trent February 9, 2014 at 2:10 pm

last name?

Charlie February 9, 2014 at 6:30 pm

Ma’am, we have an established community that’s been discussing politics around these parts for about 8 years. I’d suggest a bit of an attitude check and possibly doing a bit of research on your own of who we are and what we do here before you keep posting, because right now, you’re just proving Eric’s point about the Common Core opposition.

Thus far, you haven’t posted anything that dignifies a response. And you’re not going to get one unless you figure some things out on your own part real quick.

Will Durant February 9, 2014 at 8:37 pm

Congratulations, you’ve managed to write a lengthy diatribe so boorishly and without a single cogent fact to reinforce your opposition to Common Core that you have convinced someone who was previously ambivalent on the issue to pay attention. You have also greatly reinforced the notion that at least some of its opponents are indeed conspiracy laced wingnuts.

Mary Grabar February 9, 2014 at 9:27 pm

Well, “Eric, the Younger,” one thing that can be said about the people who came to the rally: they were not afraid to show their faces and be identified. So who are you? Why should we believe anything you say if you won’t identify yourself? There were a variety of people at the rally/press conference. There were parents, grandparents, teachers, professors, students, Tea Party activists, citizens, members of policy groups, Republicans, and at least one Democrat (whom I know). They were all opposing Common Core. I can’t begin to name all the reasons for opposing it, but had you posted a clearer photograph of the signs (maybe the camera was blurring because you were running and hiding so fast?), readers would have been able to see an example of the crazy math that is being promoted under Common Core standards that value so-called “process.” Had you bothered to follow the topic you purport to be reporting on, you would have known that such crazy math is what spurred many parents to become involved with Common Core in the first place. So your editor suggested I post here to learn your identity. Who are you? I would like to know. Sincerely, Mary Grabar

Charlie February 9, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Hi Mary,

When you sent the email demanding Eric’s contact information the other day, we declined to give it to you for obvious reasons. Based on yours and Tina’s comments above, it’s clear that your intention isn’t to inform, but to bully.

Neither of you have come here to debate. You can’t even get close to the merit. Saying ” I can’t begin to name all the reasons for opposing it,” is nothing but sleight of hand when you refuse to mention any.

Those math standards? Adopted by Kathy Cox pre-Common Core in Georgia about 2005-06. So those “problems” were around well before Common Core if that’s your issue.

The problem with much of the opposition that showed at the Cap on Tues is that whether you’re battling Chemtrails, Diebold, or claiming that UGA is trying to create Chimeras in research labs, it’s exactly the same people.

And y’all don’t debate. You bully.

A lot of us are tired of your BS. It’s time to put up or shut up. And frankly, the tone you and Tina have set above is not acceptable for our blog or public discourse.

If you want to debate a topic, have at it. But if you want to make this personal, you’re not going to get far. The voters of Georgia are tired of it, and I for one am saying “enough”.

And I’m willing to place a sizable bet of my time to prove others will too.

Welcome to the show. I hope you’ve come prepared.

Mary Grabar February 9, 2014 at 10:09 pm

Hi, “Charlie.” What is your last name? You are the editor? And you won’t give your full name? How unprofessional. And then to accuse me of bullying. What kind of editor uses “BS” in a response? This is the first time I’ve commented here, but it’s obvious that the anonymous people here don’t want an informed debate. Nor do they want a civil tone. The only contact information you have is an email listed “editor”@. I would be happy to show that email where I simply inquire of the “editor”:” Would you tell me how I can get in touch with Eric the Younger?” That is not a demand.
This is an unbelievably unprofessional site.
Charlie, were you at the event? Do you know who was there? You are doing nothing but smearing the citizens of Georgia with your stereotypes about “much of the opposition.”
Talk about bullies. The best way to be a bully is to hide behind anonymity. As I said, the people at the rally came from various backgrounds–business, the military, education, journalism, etc. But all of the men were gentlemen. You can have your “show.” I won’t debate at this level, and certainly not cowards that hide behind anonymity.

Charlie February 9, 2014 at 10:24 pm

Hi Mary, I’ve been here for about 7 years. If you would do any research, you would know who I am and wouldn’t sound as ignorant.

As for “professional”, take a look around. We’re all volunteers here. We’re more interested in fostering public debate than shutting it down by bullying. But it’s what you do, so I give you credit for still trying. If the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, every problem’s gonna look like a nail.

I’ll also repeat because you appear to be a bit slow on the uptake is that you can contact Eric right here in the comments section. You have no other business with him than to address what’s here on this blog, so there’s no reason for you to have any other avenue to harass him outside of this.

You keep calling us “unprofessional”. I prefer the term “volunteer”. None of us, including myself, are paid to be here. As such, we spend our time trying to foster a debate. We would really have to make a lot more than $o to put up with harassment from people such as yourself outside this blog. As such, this is your one chance to talk to us. And if your tone doesn’t improve, you’ll lose that privilege.

I was briefly at the event, but also had to attend a committee hearing at the same time on the other side of the Cap. As such, Eric wrote the full event up, as he did attend in full.

But as I’ve not only attended part of this event but many others, these aren’t stereotypes. Michael Opitz? Read a letter aloud at the Cobb GOP in May calling Common Core the creation of Bill Ayers and The Weather Underground. He’s also paranoid about Diebold and many other things.

I’m going to save the list of others and the causes they have latched onto. I’ve been around. Time for you to do your own homework.

What you should learn first is that before I “introduced” myself here, I spent over 3 years blogging in true anonymity. What I learned by doing that is that if I waned to influence a debate, I needed to use reason, persuasion, and logic to win people over. I couldn’t demand to know who someone else was, or use their personal information to cast dispersions on them or to attack them in their job, personal, or family life.

As our people here are volunteers, you will treat them with respect if you wish to participate. They do not owe you any more information than is readily available here. Your continuation to demand that as if that is somehow relevant to how you will debate Common Core demonstrates your motives are not pure, and your intention is to bully.

Quite simply, I won’t stand for that.

I hope you have a great life, but it appears you won’t. Bullies lurk in shadows, and only come out to the microphones when they feel it safe. You’re trying to spread ignorance and fear. I have no intention of helping you do that.

Mike Hassinger February 9, 2014 at 10:41 pm

“This is an unbelievably unprofessional site.”
Well, I’ll be damned, she’s right. Let’s give Mary a refund.

Dave Bearse February 10, 2014 at 12:03 am

Please tell us the story of how Weatherman Bill Ayers’ vision of education as classroom-based “revolution” has become the dominant teaching philosophy in schools of education, including Common Core.

Charlie February 10, 2014 at 12:09 am

I have no freaking idea, because Opitz used the Q&A time of John Barge, who spoke to the Cobb GOP Breakfast on Common Core, to read some diatribe of crap instead of asking a question. Most in the audience were asking/screaming “what is the question?”, but Opitz being Opitz remained undeterred and continued reading his non-question statement. In it was a clear tie to Bill Ayers and the Weather Underground (his words, not mine), but his point? Who the hell knows?

Common Core has it’s flaws. But we’re never going to get to address them with people like Tina, Mary, and Opitz being the voice of the opposition. As such, I’ve decided I would rather support as is than cast my nets with the folks that don’t want to debate, but prefer to revel in paranoia and bullying.

John Konop February 10, 2014 at 11:40 am

I agree!

Tina Trent February 10, 2014 at 5:07 am

So, it’s OK to call people crazy and paranoid, to call their efforts a “train wreck,” and to descend into routine character assassination, but only if you’re doing it.

Otherwise, it’s bullying.

I’m sure the DOE has an app for reporting that, but meanwhile, you people are political activists engaging in public discussion of … politics, with the aim of influencing … politics.

Not teacakes. Gosh, man up a little.

Now, regarding the subject of this thread: Young Eric (sorry, I don’t go to all the right places to know his name, and I just can’t change my core belief that it is pathetic to routinely post political commentary anonymously) appears to be writing about Common Core as an objective political analyst. It is perfectly valid to ask him to disclose whether he has any involvement in the groups and partisan cause he is promoting. And if he isn’t disclosing them and you know about it, that discredits this website.

So if this sort of query about ordinary disclosure bruises the sanctity of the comment thread, so be it. He started the discussion by promoting the influence of politically well-connected NGOs in decisions that should be made solely by elected representatives of the people. If he is associated with the groups he is promoting, he should be quite clear about that. If he isn’t, the question should not bother him.

Now, since you expect us to google you, though I don’t know how we would do it with just first names, practice what you preach.

If you want to read a well-researched report about Bill Ayers’ influence over the educational establishment (he was the keynote speaker at this year’s National Association of Teacher Educators conference in Atlanta –we didn’t see you there, but, then again, how would we know?), you can start with Mary’s excellent report at Accuracy in Media: http://www.aim.org/special-report/terrorist-professor-bill-ayers-and-obamas-federal-school-curriculum/. In a story Mary (also as a volunteer, while teaching as an adjunct) took the time to explain to the public with her book, Bill Ayers: Teaching Revolution, Ayers served as VP for Curricular Studies at the AERA, the research arm of the teacher’s schools establishment: there is arguably no higher position in K – 12 curriculum development.

When you’re done with that, you can move on to Mary’s three-part series, Common Core: Teaching to the New Test, at the Selous Foundation (the link seems broken, go to the site and search under her name).

Several here are claiming that the problem with the anti-Common Core movement is that they don’t present well. A secondary concern is that they’re mean to you. As to the first issue, you don’t seem to actually know anything about the research and testimony done by the anti-Common Core movement and are falling into character assassination based on a few people you have heard speak up at meetings. Perhaps if you spent more time reading widely and less time volunteer policing your comment threads and judging political rallies based on the number of suits present, we could have that nice issues-based chat you claim to want about what’s wrong with Common Core.

But I haven’t seen a single substantive response to any issue I raised — not the lie told about whether Georgia accepted Gates funding, nor the alignment of teacher certification, teacher trainer certification, and curricular materials from the largest companies to Common Core prior to the development of state rules, nor the implementation of Common Core requirements for every funding stream at the DOE — not, as inaccurately claimed here, just to RTTT funding. If I wanted to get dragged into 20-questions-for-each-of-my-points sort of one-way talk, I’ll talk to libertarians. This is almost as bad: low-denominator political operative bean counting mistaken for policy debate.

Politics needs its operatives, of course. But if you’re going to wander into policy, you’ve got to bring something to the table more than political gossip. And if you’re going to base your support or opposition to a cause based on how you perceive you’re personally being addressed in a comment thread, well, that’s quite a curious political compass, “Charlie.” And sorry that I don’t know who you are. I don’t care who you are.

I recommend that once you guys calm down, you should review the actual information Mary was seeking, which was merely a request to reach Young Eric to ask him to disclose any ties he might have to educational groups and causes he is promoting. And if you guys won’t disclose that, well, that speaks volumes about your credibility.

Charlie February 10, 2014 at 6:40 am

You came in here, spent a heck of a lot of keystrokes to call a grown man a child because he disagreed with you while offering not substance to support your cause at all.

Your attitude is vile and offensive. I didn’t read past your first paragraph. You’ve entered a well established community here yet seem to think that everyone here is supposed to operate on your rules. It’s not how it works, nor will it be.

Start off with an apology and a change in tone, and we can continue. If not, we won’t miss you.

analogkid February 10, 2014 at 8:03 pm

So I read the entire 5000+ word “report” that Tina links to above, because I am apparently a masochist. Here’s the TL;DR version for those that don’t enjoy wallowing in absurdity for that long:

It is not clear what Ayers spoke about at this particular conference. But my analysis of his courses and methods at the University of Illinois determined that his purpose is to radicalize future teachers—and by extension their students—for the purpose of sparking a revolution and overthrowing capitalism.

It is shocking that Obama Education Department officials would appear at a conference that also featured someone like Ayers. On the other hand, their boss, President Obama, worked with Ayers in Chicago, and this kind of collaboration is not entirely surprising. We are left, however, wondering about the precise nature of the role that Ayers is playing in the development of this federal education plan. But his participation in this conference clearly suggests he is playing a role of some kind.

In other words, there’s no actual link between Common Core and Bill Ayers, but there must be because… Obama?

I also enjoyed this paragraph:

Gates’ efforts are aligned with the federal government’s, of making reparations, as it were, by allocating money to low-income and minority students and making them “college-ready.” Such allocations are quite frequent in the tax return.

You TPers are hilarious.

Tina Trent February 10, 2014 at 7:02 am

You accuse me of being “vile and offensive” while also flinging “chemtrail” nonsense at me? Repeating messaging about being reasonable is not the same thing as actually being reasonable.

I now know you’re Charlie Harper, who promotes himself, quite extraordinarily, in a press release as the following:

“Harper has a reputation for fairness and for eschewing partisan talking points in favor of reasoned debate based on fact.”

Do remind me how accusing people of believing in chemtrails is reasoned debate. Or factual. And while you’re at it, let’s take less time with bruised feelings and get to at least one of the points I made in my original comment.

But if you wish to pony up on apologies, you can start by apologizing to Mary. You seem to be conflating my admittedly snarky tone with her entirely separate, single, polite inquiry, and your attempt to humiliate her by piling on was the only truly personal attack that has occurred in this thread.

That was disgraceful and unchivalrous, and I don’t have a thin skin. She did nothing to merit you and your acolytes’ crude and deeply personal attacks. If you’re going to cleanse your comment threads, at least feign consistency.

Charlie February 10, 2014 at 7:30 am

Around here, you usually get what you give.

And what you’re currently giving, no one wants or needs.

And no one here is going to attempt to debate you until you change your tone, accept the fact that you and Mary came in here unprepared and hurling invective, and have frankly been quite rude.

I make no apology for responding in kind. You now have a choice to make. I suggest you think on it carefully if you wish to try to turn this into something constructive.

Lea Thrace February 10, 2014 at 9:45 am

Seriously Tina? You and Mary are waaaay off base with your comments. You may or may not have good or valid points about CC but NO ONE IS LISTENING because you come off like childish idiots. Raging idiots. Charlie has asked you several times to change your tone but neither of you seem to get it. Is your goal to get blocked? Then you can run around screaming about how PP is against you? If it is, that is a really really DUMB way to get your message across.

Please note that this is coming from a bystander in this CC debate. Someone that you could sway to your point of view if you at least attempted to have a reasonable discourse…

Ellynn February 10, 2014 at 11:20 am

Have you read some of the other postings on this site Tina? Eric has been writing on common core for a long time with a long list of dofferent opinions and points of sourcing. Charlie posts his news paper column and his other work here. The front page posters you direct access to their blogs and some times what they do for a living.

Those of us who do not post their full names or how to find us do so for good reasons. Most of us have interests in the cause and effect of what is passed by polical types and what is discussed here. We work in all sort of fields that have knowledge of different things that are related to each other. Some of us are lawyers, engineers, researchers, and such. We discuss things collectively.

Personally, I have a profession where I cross paths with many public servants and elected officials daily – some who comment to posts and/or read PP; some who are the subject of posts. When I talk to them in real life they need to know I understand the meat and potatoes of how things like Common Core, the new farm bill, any current federal, state, and local bills, and changes in different tax streams effect their body of government and the people they serve – not my polical interests. I frankly could care less if you agree with me or not, but when you (or some one else) can attack me personally for not agreeing with you or mess around with my clients, I’ll stay quiet and use just a first name.

And before you confidently reply about what I have or have not researched, I have read Mary Grabars work, some of your own blog pieces and many other pieces from all view points. Don’t confidently judge what you don’t really know (and treat us like children while doing so…).

griftdrift February 10, 2014 at 7:10 am

I do love a good witch hunt. They usually start with a naming or names.

Mike Hassinger February 10, 2014 at 7:52 am
griftdrift February 10, 2014 at 8:23 am

Goody Trent might need verification he is who he says he is

analogkid February 10, 2014 at 9:35 pm

Frankly, I wasn’t convinced that Common Core was a good thing. However, I found the elementary school curriculum online, and now I am totally on board.

Below is the “core” knowledge that each student must possess to advance to the next grade:

1st Grade: Emphasis on the virtues of sharing. Upon completion, student should be able to express rudimentary anti-capitalist beliefs.

2nd Grade: Ability to read a compass. Student must be able to locate the direction of Mecca at all times without assistance.

3rd Grade: Emphasis on exercise/ physical health, particularly the virtues of walking on sidewalks in lieu of the street. Upon completion, student should be able to articulate and enthusiastically support the fundamental tenets of Agenda 21.

4th Grade: Satisfactory completion of an internship with Acorn or Planned Parenthood.

5th Grade: View and discuss both orally and through written exams, the film “12 Years A Slave.” If student is white, he or she should be able to articulate profound guilt and/or self-loathing. Non-white students advance automatically.

6th Grade: Thorough understanding of the merits of Sharia Law.

Charlie February 10, 2014 at 10:51 pm

It’s on the internet. It must be true. ;-)

John Konop February 10, 2014 at 11:13 pm
Harry February 10, 2014 at 11:56 pm

Charlie please comment:
Some of us have a philosophical objection to the trend towards centralized, nationalized educational policy no matter what political flavor the curriculum takes. This country has very disturbing educational results that are noncompetitive, but mandating top down straitjacket solutions will not improve anything; to the contrary we need a bespoke system that addresses and builds on one’s individual strengths and weaknesses.

We need to do what works for other countries: Restructure higher education and introduce Numerus Clasus to limit the oversupply of underqualified college entrants and uneconomical college loans and subsidies, and for those who are not college matriculates set up a program of Lehrlinge that is beneficial for the employers also. Yes, this probably means that the employers pay little or nothing until the person starts to add value.

The more I learn about Common Core, it’s just a bureaucratic attempt at a cosmetic bandaid that doesn’t really do anything to fix a failed system. Maybe the US as a society is at the end and destined to fail anyway, but at least give the youth a chance in this world.

Tina Trent February 11, 2014 at 10:15 am

“Personally, I have a profession where I cross paths with many public servants and elected officials daily.”

So Ellyn, you’re a lobbyist. And herein lies the problem: you’re being paid to promote issues while coming here to promote them anonymously. All we were asking for was disclosure of those interests when discussing the very policies being affected by the political conversations had in media like this — and it is media. How that messes with your clients I don’t know, since this is a political forum and if I wish to oppose your client’s positions I’ll simply do so openly, and if they’re trying to hide those positions while pressing them (i.e.. in comment threads), then I’m not sure precisely what you’re complaining about. Perhaps you have developed some misapprehension based on Charlie’s borderline defamatory accusations towards Mary Grabar for merely asking for an e-mail address.

The only reason we were asking is that such nondisclosure while lobbying is a dishonest strategy but a much-used one. It’s mounting a multi-platform whisper campaign rather than engaging in real debate. All politics is about dancing with who brung you. It’s politics. You can choose to pretend that what you say and do here is not lobbying under another guise, but that’s just not true.

Case in point: PolicyBEST.

Charlie is using a double-standard here — there’s no criticism of the churlish name-calling (saying I’m a man?) directed at those who disagree with his employers’ policy positions baldly poised alongside histrionic claims of bruised feelings towards those who disagree with his employer’s policy positions.

I can live with the name-calling, but I recoil at the inconsistency. When civility is invoked in the name of shilling planned political messaging — i.e.’”the opponents of Common Core are irrational and fear driven” — that’s just exploiting demands for civility, not really practicing it.

Charlie is weaponizing pseudo-civility for other means — in particular a probably market-tested (and pointedly personal and pointedly uncivil) message attempting to brand opponents of Common Core as irrational while branding supporters of Common Core as rational and disinterested. And I think everyone here knows it — after all, most of us are political operatives, whether we disclose it or not.

xdog February 11, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Full disclosure, my name is not xdog, I am not a lobbyist, and I am not in the pay of any advocacy group or elected official.

Now given that, Tina Trent, why don’t you dial down the rhetoric a bit and make your case why you oppose CC?

Charlie February 11, 2014 at 12:43 pm

As I’ve said before, you came in here full of ignorance of your surroundings. Now that you’ve done some research, you seem to be excelling in your ignorance of topic. You also have failed at basic reading comprehension, but maybe I can’t judge you on that, as you demand a world without standards.

Your posts remain vile and histrionic. I repeat that this is a tone that you established, and thus, one you are receiving in return. Your posts are also beginning to be counter productive to what we do here.

You’ve been given enough chances. It’s time to decide if you can make one post without inflammatory attacks or self-serving misdirection. Because while you are providing us some limited entertainment value, you are also wasting time for all of us.

Your original post chided a grown man for being a child for disagreeing with you. If you want to start with the required apologies in an attempt to re-set to a civil tone, you can and will start there. If not, your next comment with us will be your last.

Ellynn February 11, 2014 at 1:09 pm

I’m not a lobbyist. I have nothing to do with passing a bill, making regulation, creating mandates or promoting a thing. My profession is not related to policy or one that would even fall under the tent of poltical science or government. My profession is effected by all the laws, codes, regulation, and mandates and how they will be enforced. So I need to know all points of the policy. I read block grants. I read bills (including the drafts). I read the O.C.S.G., the white papers, the think tank reports and the papers of ivory tower types, including their citation and primary sourcing (M. Grabar by the why should look at a different style formate of sourcing for her polical work vs. her English research… IMO). I look at who controls the funding and what strings are attached to what others have created. I need to make sure my clients know what the strings are.

I know this is really hard for you to grasp, but not every one who sees or talks to elected or appointed government types have anything to do with politics. Not everyone who works in the private sector and is contracted by a Title II entity is into advocacy or lobbying.

griftdrift February 11, 2014 at 10:43 am

Weaponized civility. Sounds like Ms. Manners with a DOD contract.

griftdrift February 11, 2014 at 11:21 am

Oh and by the way. My name is James Williams. It is no secret and has been published here and elsewhere. Also, unlike apparently everyone else in your mind, I am not an “operative” nor a lobbyist.

If you want more information, Ms. Trent, expect the response to be nothing but quotes by Joseph Welch.