I had to shake my head reading a piece by Stephanie Simon at Politico entitled “Moms winning the Common Core war.” The first statement that jumped out at me.
But in a series of strategy sessions in recent months, top promoters of the standards have concluded they’re losing the broader public debate — and need to devise better PR.
Hello Bill Gates, Fordham Institute, David Coleman, Jeb Bush, et al… your problem isn’t your PR. Your problem is subpar standards.
How tone deaf can one be?
So how to tackle the problem? More Gates money!!!!!
So, backed with fresh funding from philanthropic supporters, including a $10.3 million grant awarded in May from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, supporters are gearing up for a major reboot of the Common Core campaign.
“We’ve been fighting emotion with talking points, and it doesn’t work,” said Mike Petrilli, executive vice president of the Fordham Institute, a leading supporter of the standards. “There’s got to be a way to get more emotional with our arguments if we want to win this thing. That means we have a lot more work to do.”
I’m trying to picture how being more emotional will work for them. Maybe they can have rallies with businessmen from the Chamber of Commerce holding signs saying “Test Our Children,” “We Need More Rigor,” “I Need My Employees to be College and Career Ready,” or “High Stakes Testing is the Answer.”
I’m sure that’ll work.
Maybe Bill Gates can shed some tears during his next interview.
Perhaps they can resort to the argument “it’s for the children” and have video of kids in different states of intellectual atrophy pleading for “more rigorous standards.”
They better set up a 1-800 line for all of the calls that are sure to pour in.
But I digress, Simon shares the steps.
Step 1 – “Get Americans angry about the current state of public education.”
News flash we already are, and we don’t see Common Core as the answer.
Step 2 – “Get voters excited about the prospects of change.”
Share teacher testimonies… have students share about how the Common Core has changed their life.
Good luck finding those students.
Advocates answer to this “war” is not better standards, but better propaganda.
Then social media… advocates are jealous – “why can’t we have our own trending hashtag on Twitter?”
And in lockstep with Petrilli another advocate says they need a heart message.
“The Common Core message so far has been a head message. We’ve done a good job talking about facts and figures. But we need to move 18 inches south and start talking about a heart message,” said Wes Farno, executive director of the Higher State Standards Partnership, a coalition supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable.
What facts and figures? That is one of the primary problems with the Common Core is that it lacks data and evidence!
They just need better talking points!
Indeed, some of the talking points crafted to win over Republican lawmakers seemed likely to backfire with moms and dads, such as when Billy Canary, president of the Business Council of Alabama, referred to children as “the product created by our education system” and said businesses need schools to start turning out better product.
They need better websites!
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is working on an animated website that will pay homage to the playful spirit of children and link the Common Core to that kind of creativity. Vice President Cheryl Oldham boasts that there won’t be a single data point on the site; it’s designed to prompt a visceral, not an intellectual, response.
They need better star power!
The pro-Common Core side lacks the star power of the opposition, which has been boosted not just by Beck and Malkin but by comedians like Stephen Colbert and Louis C.K. Former NBA star Isiah Thomas wrote an op-ed supporting the standards, and foundations set up by the actress Eva Longoria and singer John Legend helped fund a pro-Common Core TV ad that ran on Fox News this spring, but none of the three has taken on a highly visible role.
I know what they really need are pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows. Put that on a website and then promote it with the hashtag #UnicornsLoveCommonCore. Perhaps have the Care Bears do a PSA that’ll turn this thing around. I’m sure of it, I mean you have millions of Gates money poured into this. How could it possibly fail?