The New Tone Of Common Core

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The New Tone Of Common Core

Those of us engaged in polit­i­cal debate know the term ‘new tone’. We’re used to see­ing the hyper­bolic, vit­riol packed state­ments from leg­is­la­tors, talk­ing heads and the like. See­ing peo­ple called racists, big­ots, ter­ror­ists and worse have increas­ingly filled the air­waves and have been pounded out into arti­cles and blogs all over the inter­net. Sadly, this is par for the course when it comes to polit­i­cal debate. I’ve been sub­jected to var­i­ous incar­na­tions of new tone in my time and have come to dub such attempts as ‘shutup­pery’ — as that is really a truer con­no­ta­tion of what these tac­tics are about; get­ting the oppos­ing opin­ion to shut up.

In a rather unset­tling series of events, we’re now see­ing it dis­played in dis­cus­sions and forums on edu­ca­tion. When forced off their talk­ing points and scripts, offi­cials are get­ting ugly. Specif­i­cally, those deal­ing with Com­mon Core. Most upset­ting was the recent state­ments from Obama’s Edu­ca­tion Sec­re­tary, Arne Dun­can. Dun­can took aim at mom’s recently. Yep, moms. Not just any mom’s, but “white sub­ur­ban moms”. War on women any­one? Heck, War on Moms? Dun­can has per­formed an apoloat­tack, say­ing his com­ments were “clum­sily phrased”. Yeah, right…whatever. Here’s what the Wash­ing­ton Post reported:

U.S. Edu­ca­tion Sec­re­tary Arne Dun­can told a group of state schools super­in­ten­dents Fri­day that he found it “fas­ci­nat­ing” that some of the oppo­si­tion to the Com­mon Core State Stan­dards has come 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.” – Wash­ing­ton Post

Just con­sider for a moment that the top edu­ca­tion offi­cial in our coun­try has just gone after par­ents — moms in par­tic­u­lar - in a rather rude and big­oted man­ner. Not really con­fi­dence inspir­ing and, in fact, it’s a rather hor­ri­fy­ing attempt at bul­ly­ing on a national level.Dan Sav­age, call your office!

Here is the full quote as posted by the Daily Caller:

It’s fas­ci­nat­ing to me that some of the push­back is com­ing from, sort of, 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, and that’s pretty scary,” Dun­can told edu­ca­tion offi­cials at a con­fer­ence in Rich­mond, Va.

Yeah, it’s fas­ci­nat­ing how par­ents across the coun­try are push­ing back to the stealth adopted, untested, unproven, age inap­pro­pri­ate, unrig­or­ous, poorly planned and poorly imple­mented, costly edu­ca­tional fed­eral over­reach of Com­mon Core. Many of us have fig­ured it out, oth­ers are fig­ur­ing it on a daily basis. Revolt is going on in every sin­gle state that has adopted it. Par­ents might be more bril­liant than you think, Arne and I am sure that’s pretty scary for you. To bor­row a sen­ti­ment from Instapun­dit: He’s a putz. He should go. YEP.

Michelle Malkin jumped right on the Wash­ing­ton Post story’s report with two feet and pushed back in her cus­tom­ary, straight-​forward style:

The pre­pos­ter­ous­ness of Duncan’s tirade is out­weighed only by its arro­gance and falsehood.

As a brown-​skinned sub­ur­ban mom opposed to Com­mon Core, I can tell you I’ve per­son­ally met moms and dads of ALL races, of ALL back­grounds, and from ALL parts of the coun­try, who have sac­ri­ficed to get their kids into the best schools pos­si­ble. They are out­raged that dumbed-​down, untested fed­eral “stan­dards” pose an exis­ten­tial threat to their excel­lent edu­ca­tional arrange­ments — be they pub­lic, pri­vate, reli­gious, or homeschooling.

Duncan’s deri­sion betrays the very control-​freak impulses that drive Com­mon Core. He pre­sumes that only tech­no­cratic elites in Wash­ing­ton can deter­mine what qual­ity stan­dards and cur­ric­ula look like. He pre­tends that minor­ity par­ents and stu­dents in inner-​city char­ter and mag­net schools with locally-​crafted, rig­or­ous clas­si­cal edu­ca­tion mis­sions sim­ply don’t exist. A text­book lib­eral racist, Dun­can white­washes all minor­ity par­ents and edu­ca­tors who oppose Com­mon Core out of the debate. And he con­de­scend­ingly implies that the only rea­son “white sub­ur­ban moms” object to Com­mon Core is that their chil­dren are too dumb to score well on tests that are…a com­plete and utter mess.

Read the Whole Thing.

Per usual, Malkin hits the nail on the head. You can­not paint this move­ment with a sin­gle brush stroke. Those speak­ing out come from all walks of life, reli­gion and socioe­co­nomic sta­tus. They also aren’t all moms — as Ethan Young can clearly attest to. Pretty sure Nick Hladick can back that up as well. Try­ing to Alkinsky-​ize Com­mon Core oppo­nents isn’t going to work. These are our kids. In a nut­shell: We’re not shut­ting up.

Some related sto­ries for your shutup­pery view­ing pleasure:

Robert Small in Mary­land: Forcibly removed, arrested and then all charges dropped after he dared ques­tion offi­cials at an open meet­ing in Bal­ti­more. This par­tic­u­lar inci­dent went viral as it was cap­tured on video:

http://​youtu​.be/​X​E​Q​m​U​n​isDEM

Lt. Gov­er­nor Dan For­est of North Car­olina sent a 20 page let­ter of ques­tions on Com­mon Core to the state school super­in­ten­dent, Dr. June Atkin­son. The response he received was less than help­ful if not down right snarky, claim­ing she’d need 10,000 pieces of paper to answer him. The Lt. Gov­er­nor did finally receive a reply, and it was incred­i­ble. Dr. June Atkin­son had sent over dozens of boxes con­tain­ing thumb dri­ves, CD’s and over 40,00 doc­u­ments. That means each answer to his orig­i­nal list of ques­tions took 597 pages. Watch the video the Lt. Gov­er­nor posted about it:

http://​youtu​.be/​p​j​l​r​q​5​eK-g8

Par­ent Natalie Adams of Col­orado was given a no tres­pass order for ask­ing ques­tions about data col­lec­tion of the Com­mon Core by inBloom.

A par­ent in North Car­olina was told by their child’s prin­ci­pal they were caus­ing ‘unrest’ by attempt­ing to dis­cuss Com­mon Core with other parents.

Par­ents in NY were treated to Edu­ca­tion Com­mis­sioner John King can­cel­ing forums when dis­sent and rejec­tion of the pre-​packaged pre­sen­ta­tion at the Pough­keep­sie event was over­whelm­ing. King has since rein­sti­tuted the forums, how­ever you now need a ticket to enter and the events have ‘fixed’ for­mats. That didn’t stop par­ents from con­tin­u­ing to speak out in Albany, Port Chester and Whites­boro. Here is a clip from the forum at Ward Melville High school of an edu­ca­tor that went viral. In it she tells King he’s “awoken the mom­mies” and he’s in trouble:

http://​youtu​.be/​x​Q​b​j​v​y​1iSH0

AMEN!

In Florida, school board mem­ber Amy Kneessy called 911 over what she claimed intim­i­da­tion by another board mem­ber. The Blaze reported the incident:

Bre­vard County School Board mem­ber Amy Kneessy says she called 911 after school board can­di­date Dean Pat­er­akis refused to give up the micro­phone, intim­i­dated her and hurled alle­ga­tions at school offi­cials. A short time after the 911 call, Pat­er­akis claims a deputy forcibly removed, or tres­passed, him from the Sept. 12 meeting.

In Wis­con­sin, Dr. Gary Thomp­son tes­ti­fied on the neg­a­tive effects of Com­mon Core test­ing on at-​risk youth. His reward was not to be asked ques­tions and engage in debate but to be asked who paid for his tes­ti­mony and smears of ‘extrem­ism’. Dr. Thomp­son was unde­terred and shot back, “Let me get straight to the point: On behalf of every African-​American, Latino, Autis­tic, gifted, depressed, anx­ious and learning-​disabled child in the state of Wis­con­sin, I demand your imme­di­ate res­ig­na­tion from pub­lic office.

Those of us engaged in political debate know the term ‘new tone’. We’re used to seeing the hyperbolic, vitriol packed statements from legislators, talking heads and the like. Seeing people called racists, bigots, terrorists and worse have increasingly filled the airwaves and have been pounded out into articles and blogs all over the internet. Sadly, this is par for the course when it comes to political debate. I’ve been subjected to various incarnations of new tone in my time and have come to dub such attempts as ‘shutuppery‘ — as that is really a truer connotation of what these tactics are about; getting the opposing opinion to shut up.

In a rather unsettling series of events, we’re now seeing it displayed in discussions and forums on education. When forced off their talking points and scripts, officials are getting ugly. Specifically, those dealing with Common Core. Most upsetting was the recent statements from Obama’s Education Secretary, Arne Duncan. Duncan took aim at mom’s recently. Yep, moms.  Not just any mom’s, but “white suburban moms”.  War on women anyone? Heck, War on Moms? Duncan has performed an apoloattack, saying his comments were “clumsily phrased“. Yeah, right…whatever. Here’s what the Washington Post reported:

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told a group of state schools superintendents Friday that he found it “fascinating” that some of the opposition to the Common Core State Standards has come 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.” – Washington Post

Just consider for a moment that the top education official in our country has just gone after parents – moms in particular –  in a rather rude and bigoted manner.  Not really confidence inspiring and, in fact, it’s a rather horrifying attempt at bullying on a national level.Dan Savage, call your office!

Here is the full quote as posted by the Daily Caller:

“It’s fascinating to me that some of the pushback is coming from, sort of, 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, and that’s pretty scary,” Duncan told education officials at a conference in Richmond, Va.

Yeah, it’s fascinating how parents across the country are pushing back to the stealth adopted, untested, unproven, age inappropriate, unrigorous, poorly planned and poorly implemented, costly educational federal overreach of Common Core. Many of us have figured it out, others are figuring it on a daily basis. Revolt is going on in every single state that has adopted it. Parents might be more brilliant than you think, Arne and I am sure that’s pretty scary for you. To borrow a sentiment from Instapundit: He’s a putz. He should go.  YEP.

 

Michelle Malkin jumped right on the Washington Post story’s report with two feet and pushed back in her customary, straight-forward style:

The preposterousness of Duncan’s tirade is outweighed only by its arrogance and falsehood.

As a brown-skinned suburban mom opposed to Common Core, I can tell you I’ve personally met moms and dads of ALL races, of ALL backgrounds, and from ALL parts of the country, who have sacrificed to get their kids into the best schools possible. They are outraged that dumbed-down, untested federal “standards” pose an existential threat to their excellent educational arrangements — be they public, private, religious, or homeschooling.

Duncan’s derision betrays the very control-freak impulses that drive Common Core. He presumes that only technocratic elites in Washington can determine what quality standards and curricula look like. He pretends that minority parents and students in inner-city charter and magnet schools with locally-crafted, rigorous classical education missions simply don’t exist. A textbook liberal racist, Duncan whitewashes all minority parents and educators who oppose Common Core out of the debate. And he condescendingly implies that the only reason “white suburban moms” object to Common Core is that their children are too dumb to score well on tests that are…a complete and utter mess.

Read the Whole Thing

Per usual, Malkin hits the nail on the head. You cannot paint this movement with a single brush stroke.  Those speaking out come from all walks of life, religion and socioeconomic status. They also aren’t all moms – as Ethan Young can clearly attest to. Pretty sure Nick Hladick can back that up as well. Trying to Alkinsky-ize Common Core opponents isn’t going to work. These are our kids. In a nutshell: We’re not shutting up.

 

Some related stories for your shutuppery viewing pleasure:

Robert Small in Maryland: Forcibly removed, arrested and then all charges dropped after he dared question officials at an open meeting in Baltimore. This particular incident went viral as it was captured on video:

 

Lt. Governor Dan Forest of North Carolina sent a 20 page letter of questions on Common Core to the state school superintendent, Dr. June Atkinson. The response he received was less than helpful if not down right snarky, claiming she’d need 10,000 pieces of paper to answer him.  The Lt. Governor did finally receive a reply, and it was incredible.  Dr. June Atkinson had sent over dozens of boxes containing thumb drives, CD’s and over 40,00 documents. That means each answer to his original list of questions took 597 pages.  Watch the video the Lt. Governor posted about it:

 

Parent Natalie Adams of Colorado was given a no trespass order for asking questions about data collection of the Common Core by inBloom.

 

A parent in North Carolina was told by their child’s principal they were causing ‘unrest’ by attempting to discuss Common Core with other parents.

 

Parents in NY were treated to Education Commissioner John King canceling forums when dissent and rejection of the pre-packaged presentation at the Poughkeepsie event was overwhelming. King has since reinstituted the forums, however you now need a ticket to enter and the events have ‘fixed’ formats. That didn’t stop parents from continuing to speak out in Albany, Port Chester and Whitesboro. Here is a clip from the forum at Ward Melville High school of an educator that went viral. In it she tells King he’s “awoken the mommies” and he’s in trouble:

AMEN!

 

In Florida, school board member Amy Kneessy called 911 over what she claimed intimidation by another board member. The Blaze reported the incident:

Brevard County School Board member Amy Kneessy says she called 911 after school board candidate Dean Paterakis refused to give up the microphone, intimidated her and hurled allegations at school officials. A short time after the 911 call, Paterakis claims a deputy forcibly removed, or trespassed, him from the Sept. 12 meeting.

 

In Wisconsin, Dr. Gary Thompson testified on the negative effects of Common Core testing on at-risk youth. His reward was not to be asked questions and engage in debate but to be asked who paid for his testimony and smears of ‘extremism’.  Dr. Thompson was undeterred and shot back, “Let me get straight to the point: On behalf of every African-American, Latino, Autistic, gifted, depressed, anxious and learning-disabled child in the state of Wisconsin, I demand your immediate resignation from public office.