Common Core Didn’t Just Have a Communications Gap Problem

Teachers at Maxwell AFB Elementary/Middle School (Air Force photo/Kelly Deichert)

Pat Reilly of PR & Company has a piece up a EdSource about how the education advocacy communications gap needs to be closed. There is merit to that general argument. When you change policy then you need to be able to persuade people which naturally means you need an effective communications strategy.

The problem with reforms like Common Core is that they essentially got it pushed through and adopted quickly and under the radar. If you want to persuade people to adopt a reform it’s typically better to do that before you implement it, not after. Otherwise there can be no real public buy-in.

That was certainly mistake number one.

Her article addresses Common Core directly.

“Common Core” was a smart approach to elevating math, until it was turned into a sinister symbol. On the right it was a liberal attempt to impose a national curriculum, while the left saw it as a misguided perpetuation of George W. Bush’s discredited No Child Left Behind (NCLB) policies.

A phrase meaningless on its own, Common Core became an easy target for misinformation because no one invested resources to determine the best terminology to bring the Common Core’s important purpose to life.

First I’m not so sure she totally understands what Common Core is since it involves more than just math. Second, this is a simplistic way of looking at the Common Core problem. The problem wasn’t branding. The problem was the standards themselves.

It wasn’t the smart approach because it was a top-down, centralized reform that circumvented the primary stakeholders – parents and taxpayers through their elected representatives. This was by design however. Also no amount of branding would make the Common Core math standards help prepare students for STEM programs in college. No changes in messaging would make the Common Core age appropriate for early elementary students. Even if Common Core didn’t become a “sinister symbol” it still would not have changed the fact it diminished the use of classical literature.

Changing up the communications strategy would not change the fact that invalid and expensive tests were being foisted on schools, and that student data privacy was at risk.

Changes in communications strategies surrounding Common Core has just put lipstick on a pig. It may look prettier, but it’s still a pig.

4 thoughts on “Common Core Didn’t Just Have a Communications Gap Problem

  1. How could one sell “Common Core” when it was designed to be the “Trojan horse” for everything critical to the success of reforming America through education. Designed to follow the standards the rest of the initiative; data collection and individualized learning plans for each student by assessments and data tracking through advanced technology, i.e., digital textbooks and one to one computerized instruction and social emotional learning. The words “Common Core” were never intended to be the critical aspect of systemic education reform for improved learning and academic achievement. It is not and never was about providing better academic curriculum and learning for students. The goal is and was about cultural social reformation and redirecting the workforce of the future. The designers could never share the real goal of their experimental psychological programs being visited upon an unsuspecting citizenry. There was no way they could sell Common Standards if the people knew what was to follow and the outcome that was intended. They needed time to role out the entire plan and institutionalize it by incorporating it in laws, ESSA, WIOA, HEA, CTE, etc.. Just my two cents worth.

  2. She lost all credibility when she said, ““Common Core” was a smart approach to elevating math…” She’s done NO research to see the results of a 30-year enforced progressive math ideology that has now been encapsulated into Common Core standards. Some of those results include a $5-8 billion tutoring industry; 1 in four of all college freshmen taking remedial courses, primarily in math, with 45% of those from upper and middle class homes, and 60% of community college students enrolled in math remedial courses; 75% of those in remedial college courses never completing college; etc., etc.

  3. If you want to persuade people to adopt a reform it’s better to do that before you implement it, not after. In Education system they’re do it usually AFTER. Most of the leaders look like they’re cheated with degree. She’s only non-qualified PR-manager, apparently one of (Huffingtonposts article those) who hadn’t time to graduate in ‘honest” way.

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