An Implied Threat to Remove Exxon Mobil From States That Refuse Common Core?

Filed in Common Core State Standards by on December 13, 2013 14 Comments
rex-tillerson

Rex Tillerson
CEO of Exxon Mobil

I was disturbed to read a letter sent from Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil,  to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett last May after Governor Corbett announced a brief pause in the implementation of the Common Core State Standards.  Below is the text of the letter.  You can read the original here.

Dear Governor Corbett:

Exxon Mobil applauds and shares your commitment to ensuring that every child in Pennsylvania is prepared with the skills to compete in today’s workforce.  I also appreciate your strong support for the Common Core, including changes to reflect a “Pennsylvania Common Core,” and the potential it has to help your state’s students and teachers.  Your counterparts in New Jersey and Wisconsin, Governors Christie and Walker, and many other leading policymakers have been equally supportive.  However, I was disappointed to learn of the misinformation opponents of this critical effort are advancing, which subsequently led your administration to delay its implementation.  I urge you to make the necessary clarifications quickly and move forward with the Pennsylvania Common Core.

Like you, I believe the Common core will help ensure our students develop the skills and knowledge they need for success in college and careers.  This voluntary state-led effort developed by educators, parents and business leaders has the potential to turn around our underperforming public education system and produce the workforce that businesses need to remain competitive in the global marketplace.  The standards stipulate what all students should know, but leave it up to Pennsylvania to determine how it teaches its students.

Exxon Mobil has significant operations in Pennsylvania, and we are committed to enhancing the quality of life for all your citizens.  Last year, we contributed $3.3 million to Pennsylvania universities, hospitals, environmental research efforts and arts and civic organizations, but I believe there is nothing more important than improving the quality of education.  The Pennsylvania Common Core will go a long way to achieving that goal, and it gives Exxon Mobil the confidence that the educational standards we require for employment will be met by your state’s graduates.  Furthermore, it sets the groundwork for students to be prepared to compete globally for 21st century careers and help Pennsylvania prosper.

Sincerely,

Rex Tillerson

The letter was also sent to the Pennsylvania House and Senate Leadership and members of House and Senate Education Committees.

The first thing I want to mention is that he reiterates an absolute lie that educators, business leaders, and parents developed the standards.  Actually I learned today that even the architect of the Common Core ELA standards thought they were unqualified.  Then these are special interest-led (including Exxon Mobil), not state-led.  And evidentially states that don’t toe the line will be rebuked by Exxon Mobil.

This really seems like a veiled threat to pull ExxonMobil from the state if Governor Corbett did not move forward with the implementation.  ExxonMobil’s advocacy for the Common Core State Standards has been odd to say the least.  I don’t remember any company getting so involved in education policy to the point they send letters like the one above to a sitting Governor, writing misleading op/edsrun ads during the Masters Tournament in support of the Common Core, and then threaten not to hire workers from states that do not implement the Common Core.

What a bully.

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About the Author ()

Shane Vander Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Caffeinated Thoughts, a popular Christian conservative blog in Iowa. He is also the President of 4:15 Communications, a social media & communications consulting/management firm, along with serving as the communications director for American Principles Project’s Preserve Innocence Initiative.  Prior to this Shane spent 20 years in youth ministry serving in church, parachurch, and school settings.  He has taught Jr. High History along with being the Dean of Students for Christian school in Indiana.  Shane and his wife home school their three teenage children and have done so since the beginning.   He has recently been recognized by Campaigns & Elections Magazine as one of the top political influencers in Iowa. Shane and his family reside near Des Moines, IA.  You can connect with Shane on Facebook, follow him on Twitter or connect with him on Google +.
  • Kristi Walker

    And no one asks why the CEO of Exxon is so interested in making sure students are pushed into CCSS? As a side note: The standards, which IS curriculum, weren’t voluntarily led by anyone but Bill Gates and the Governor’s Association. Period. Get your hands off our kids! They are NOT economic tools of the State and not one single educator or parent had anything to do with the implementation of these standards. The two teachers who helped with the math and English standards wouldn’t even sign off on them because they are so awful. States were forced to adopt them for money before they were even finished. This is nothing more than a federal and corporate take-over of education.

    • Tawn

      Kristi, I agree with everything except one key point. States chose to accept CCSS in exchange for federal dollars. These states chose to sell out.

      • Kristi Walker

        States have to be able to pay to have a school. I think the Dept. of Education should be banished, because it is utterly and completely unconstitutional. However, until that time, we still have to provide a public educational system. I do wish people like the CEO of Exxon would stop lying about how and why the States were forced into this, as well. Saying they “adopted” them without coercion is a complete and total lie.

  • Leslie Beck

    Sounds like a threat to me.

  • Barrie

    wow, what a letter. I would certainly like to know why Exxon Mobil cares so much about Common Core.

  • Sylvia_Allen

    Obama has Big Business pushing (funding) the Democratic Party agenda everywhere. Bill Gates is behind the Common Core. In Indiana, the battle for gay marriage is being waged by a coalition comprised of Eli Lilly, Cummins, Inc., and 4 or 5 national gay-rights non-profits (the Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry, and America Unity Fund, the ACLU). And Mary Cheney is spokesman! See the “Freedom Indiana” campaign for details. This pattern of cronyism is everywhere. Obama and Dems have pressured Big Business into becoming chief activists of the Democratic Party.

  • SovereignMary

    Well, with that kind of controlling dictatorial threat from CEO Rex Tillerson, of Exxon Mobil I’ll be sure to practice my unalienable right to skip fueling up at any Mobil station from now on.

    • Concerned parent

      Same here. I’m in NY and will be happy to boycott them with you.

  • Amie McCountry

    Extortion.

  • mac

    Common Core is to education what Obamacare is to health care.

  • http://www.amissingingredient.com/ Victoria M. Young

    Exxon provided funding for COMAP, the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Application (which provides curriculum materials).

    COMAP executive director, Sol Garfunkel, sat on the original Common Core Development Team.

    Essentially, Exxon can pay on the side to “produce” and control production of its workers through the education-industrial complex rather than the old-fashioned way of paying fair taxes and having those pesky government/local-control schools educate children the way they have seen fit. That has meant re-training costs for companies.

    Are they just looking to use OUR school system to reduce their costs?…Never mind what the public wants for its children!

  • Diane Marie

    And from what I can find he is linked well with the Bush Family! Time someone brings them down all the way from Daddy Prescott to Jebbie and his son!

  • GlobalEducationComing

    Rex Tillerson has ties with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). CFR is a New World Order leader with a strong relationship with US government UN, etc. Acts such as this will not be limited to PA. Take it from there.

  • madgrandma

    Attention Democrats… notice has been served. You will NOT touch our children!