Standards Rustling and Rebranding

We have now seen at least three distinct styles of rebranding of the Common Core State Standards.  There may be other styles as well as variations of one or more of these styles. You will likely recognize at least one, if not all three of these styles.  It is possible your state matches one of these styles.

Styles of Common Core Rebranding

  • Alabama Style—simply remove the name Common Core State Standards and slap on a new brand name of your own choice.  Leave the standards the same, of course. There are many variations of this style that may include, among other possibilities, adding or altering some standards.
  • Alaska Style—don’t adopt the Common Core State Standards.  Do adopt a set of standards that are basically identical to the Common Core but deny you have adopted the Common Core.  You know the saying, “Do it, but say you didn’t.”
  • Indiana Style—appear to pensively develop your own state standards with a superficial attempt involving people from within state in an incestuous process resulting in an inferior bastardized version of the Common Core.

While not a style of rebranding, some states have been extremely creative and clever and simply call the standards the Common Core State Standards.

Photo credit:
Photo credit:

Why rebrand? Cattle rustlers in the old west altered, or rebranded, the brands of stolen cattle. Rustling cattle was a hangin’ offense, often dispensed by vigilante justice. Rebranding of livestock may occur when there is a change in ownership of the livestock or the owners have changed their brand. The CCSS is still owned by the NGA/CCSSO so they haven’t changed hands. If states rebrand the CCSS should they be considered standards rustlers trying to hide from the public the fact they have stolen the CCSS? How would Tom Horn and Ed Cantrell handle this if they were standards detectives on the education range today?


Photo credit:  Library of Congress
Photo credit: Library of Congress

The NGA/CCSSO/corporate/federal education reform trust is attempting to rebrand the CCSS with an expensive public relations campaign. The success of their rebranding effort is doubtful since their initial branding permanently burned into the hide of the standards and everything related to them. The distinctive smell of burning flesh will linger for a long time to come and many more parents, community members, voters, and taxpayers are beginning to recognize the repulsive smell.

Similar rebranding is taking place with Common Core assessments. Some states are using SBAC or PARCC and are calling the assessment by the same name as their previous state assessment. Some states are riding sidesaddle and have contracted with other assessment vendors who may be subcontracted by SBAC or PARCC (or possibly both) or who will be using their test items. Sounds like an intricate web of deceit

One thought on “Standards Rustling and Rebranding

  1. “sounds like and intricate web of deceit” …built by a web of deceivers but God always has the last word.

Comments are closed.