The Common Core ladies doth protest too much, methinks

fodamBy Brad McQueen

The Common Core ladies doth protest too much, methinks.  In this case, they’re no ladies; they’re the two Michaels, Michael Brickman and Michael Petrilli of the Fordham Institute, holding onto their Common Core Barbies with all their might knowing they are being pulled from their grips to be tossed upon the ash heap of history.

The two Michaels, as cartoonish as they are, have been criss-crossing the country over the last several years fueled by millions of dollars from Bill Gates and other Common Core loving companies pushing the Common Core Goebbels-like to the masses using the strategy where, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

Yet despite their efforts and their millions of dollars, the anti-Common Core tide still rises.

Last May, the two Michaels used an entire 5/25/14 Townhall article to repeat over and over, as they no doubt clicked their ruby slippers together three times, that opposing Common Core would not be a winner for conservative Republican candidates across the country this election cycle.  Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, nothing to see here, now move along.

If you know you’re winning the game, you don’t spend all your time trying to convince the opposition that you are winning, you just coast to victory.  The two Michaels and their Fordham Institute article revealed their biggest fear, that the Common Core loving crowd was on the run as anti-Common Core grassroots forces across the nation shined a light on all their Common Core lies.

Candidates running for governor and other offices across the country raced to embrace the anti-Common Core message. They actively courted the anti-Common Core grassroots voters who were voicing their disgust with the federally created and controlled Common Core learning standards, the NSA-like data suctioning systems, and the Common Core tests which were coerced into their states in exchange for federal stimulus money back in 2010.

The Fordham Institute squawkers used the same tired, disproven jargon that Common Core was a “state-led, teacher-supported attempt at education reform”. Even with the $5.45 million that Common Core’s pimp daddy, Bill Gates, gave to the Fordham Institute, Common Core’s cheerleader still couldn’t stem the tide of the anti-Common Core forces awakening across the nation.

Even with the $1.3 million the U.S. Chamber of Commerce used to create a pathetic pro-Common Core television ad using a Common-Core-chosen “National Teacher of the Year” and a cameo by Common Core profiteer Jeb Bush parroting their talking points, the anti-Common Core tide continued to rise.

And even with the $2.3 billion Bill Gates has spent on the creation and implementation of Common Core thus far, the anti-Common Core tide continued to rise.  The two Michaels, the Fordham Institute, and the other Common Core pushers were summarily slapped down by the election results.

Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and even far-right nut job New York Governor Andrew Cuomo all appealed to this growing national anti-Common Core sentiment in order to win their races.

Here in Arizona the anti-Common Core candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction, Diane Douglas, rode the anti-Common Core tide on her way to defeat two heavily financed Republican and Democrat establishment candidates.

Arizona Governor-elect Doug Ducey also claimed to be against Common Core during the campaign to garner the anti-Common Core vote.  We are still watching you Doug Ducey and your actions in office had better match your promises while chasing the office.

Roll up your windows and lock your car doors because those two shady characters heading your way with a spray bottle, squeegees, and dragging their big bag of Common Core B.S., are the two Michaels from the Fordham Institute again.

The two Michaels from Fordham are now attempting to convince us, in their 12/24/14 opinion piece in the Washington Post, that the Common Core learning standards are the new normal and they are just too difficult to replace, seeing how they are so much more rigorous than any other previous state standards, so we should all just give up on that quaint idea of repealing and replacing them.

They cite as evidence the fact that in states where Common Core has been repealed in just the last few months, like Indiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Missouri, it hasn’t been smooth sailing replacing the standards.

The two Michaels don’t mention that Common Core was adopted in 46 states back in 2010 by governors who circumvented their legislatures and instead used their hand-picked State Boards of Education to quickly, easily, and without public input, insert them in their states.

Now that the Common Core is in place it must be removed legislatively in each state and great pressure must be exerted upon those same governors that let it into their state to now repeal it.  Parents across the country have had to first educate legislators about Common Core and then get legislation created and passed onto each governor’s desk in order to repeal it.

Yes, Common Core is very difficult to repeal/replace, but anti-Common Core parents in Indiana, Missouri, South Carolina, and Oklahoma have done just that.  Ohio is on the cusp of repealing Common Core in their state.

However, those same governors that signed the bills to repeal/replace Common Core into law have in many cases turned the replace effort over to education bureaucrats loyal to the Common Core standards to do the job.

Has it gotten ugly? Yes. But the anti-Common Core parents in those states and others are still fighting against the well-funded pro-Common Core forces and bureaucrats in their states nonetheless.

As usual the two Michaels never mention that the Common Core learning standards were created in secret by a private group containing no K-12 educators.  They never mention that the Common Core is a federal takeover of the entire education delivery system in our states including learning standards, NSA-like data suctioning systems, testing, and teacher evaluations used to keep teachers in line.

The two Michaels also never mention that the Fordham Institute’s own 2010 comparison study found that Massachusetts, California, and Indiana had learning standards far superior to the never-before-tested Common Core standards and they all had at least a decade’s worth of data to support their superiority.

The truth is that if the Common Core pushers were interested in true education excellence they would have recommended that the proven superior standards of MA, IN, or CA be implemented nationwide rather than insist that the states dump their learning standards for the never implemented or tested Common Core standards.

But Common core has never been about bettering education, just like Obamacare has nothing to do with bettering healthcare.  Common Core is all about control and profit.

Learning standards experts Dr. Sandra Stotsky and Dr. James Milgram, who refused to certify the Common Core standards back in 2010, concur that the standards are subpar at best and leave our kids years behind other children in the world.

I will trust the wisdom of education experts Stotsky and Milgram over that of Brickman and Petrilli, who are experts on nothing, any day.

The Common Core crowd took a year to create their never-tested standards and have had the last five years to implement them.  Yet still, the more teachers and parents learn and experience the Common Core standards and their NSA-like data systems, they hate them.

The anti-Common Core tide continues to rise because its strength is coming from the grassroots and is rooted in the principles of liberty, parental rights, and state/local sovereignty over education, things that Common Core’s dirty money cannot buy.

Your days as one of Common Core’s attack dogs are coming to a close Michael Brickman, Michael Petrilli, and the Fordham Institute.  So hold onto your Common Core Barbies as long as you can and keep repeating your big lies. Common Core Barbie may be the only thing that buys into your nonsense.  The rest of the nation is awakening.

bradBrad McQueen is a former Common Core insider and current public school teacher in Tucson, Arizona and is the author of the anti-Common Core book “The Cult of Common Core”. Connect with Brad at

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About Letter to the Editor 353 Articles
Under the leadership of Editor in Chief Huey Freeman, the Editorial Board of the Arizona Daily Independent offers readers an opportunity to comment on current events and the pressing issues of the day. Occasionally, the Board weighs-in on issues of concern for the residents of Arizona and the US.