Common Core

Common Core's Latest PR Campaign Pathetically Insists: 'It's Better Than You've Heard'

Such high praise.


Common Core / Youtube

Here is some excellent proof of just how badly Common Core opponents have eviscerated the other side in the PR battle over the national education standards: Core proponents have launched a new promotional campaign that merely seeks to persuade people that the standards are not quite as bad as they think they are.

Is that encouraging or what?

The video features a cantankerous grandfather character badmouthing the Common Core to his grandkid's teacher; the teacher calmly assuages the grandfather's concerns, particularly his fear that Bill Gates—a major Core supporter—is now calling the shots at every school in the country. No, she doesn't explain what the standards actually do, nor why she thinks implementing them is desirable (let alone cost efficient). They merely clear the very low bar of not being the worst thing ever, in her mind.

The tagline is "Common Core: It's Better Than You've Heard."

To be fair—and I say this as a Core skeptic—that's probably true. No, the Common Core is not an Obama administration plot to nationalize the curriculum and put leftist ideas into children's minds (although the federal Department of Education has pushed the states in that direction). And no, Bill Gates is not peddling the standards because they are really good for his business, but because of his legitimate, if misguided, belief that they are good for schools (although there are corporate education interests that clearly benefit from standardization). And no, the Common Core standards probably won't make the U.S. education system substantially worse than it already is (although some of the recommended methodologies seem to make learning either needlessly complicated or unbearably boring).

But even though Common Core is arguably "better than you've heard," it's not as great as it's backers promised it was. At the very least, there's certainly no evidence that it is. The best review of the standards so far, a Brookings Institution study, found that Common Core will have "little to no impact on student achievement."

Given the ongoing amount of time, effort, and money spent to implement Common Core nationwide, "it's better than you've heard" shouldn't be good enough for anyone.

Watch the video below. More from Reason on Common Core here.

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  1. I wonder if the faceless Common Core bureaucrats are aware that someone has hijacked their Youtube account and is now filling it with lame parodies.

    I particularly liked the ambient buzz overlaying the audio. The Common Core interns are really earning their keep.

  2. Government; its not as bad as you think its going to be

    That is a hell of a sells pitch there.

    1. Government is a helluva drug.

      1. I think it would be better received if they changed the name from common core to common whore.

        This name is closer to the truth in that The Education Industry will do anything for money, including training newer, younger, gumint, bottom bitch whores

    2. Government; its not as bad as you think its going to be

      Surprise! It’s worse!

  3. No, the Common Core is not an Obama administration plot to nationalize the curriculum and put leftist ideas into children’s minds

    It isn’t? It is really an attempt for accountability and efficiency?

    It is NOTHING but an attempt to nationalize curriculum and indoctrinate children with Leftist ideas.

    1. Common Core itself may have that as an effect only incidentally.

      The AP US History exam, on the other hand, is explicitly changing so that classes preparing for it will have to teach lefty propaganda. Not sure if that’s CC related…

      1. Do you have a link regarding the AP exam? Not that I don’t believe you, I’m just curious about what they’re changing.


          Note that the “defense” against the charge of “leftist indoctrination” there basically admits that yeah, it’s lefty propaganda, but….whatever.

        2. ” One would certainly not get any sense of slavery’s long history in Africa or in Native American cultures; the critical role of African states in supplying and facilitating the Atlantic slave trade?only mentioned obliquely?is afforded far less emphasis, as is the heavy reliance of other colonial empires (such as Portugal and France) on African slaves in Brazil and the Caribbean. Other empires are indeed held up as models of comparative tolerance of Africans and Indians in contrast to the British?a valid point for, say, French-Indian relations in Canada but rather strained as a generalization. There is also little suggestion that Native American cultures were themselves in frequent conflict with each other.”

          1. Well, maybe the blind squirrel found a nut:

            During the same period in which the United States blundered toward its Civil War, in several Catholic lands in the Americas, slavery was dying a slow death which didn’t require bloody conflict. In the Spanish- and Portugese- speaking areas of Latin America, most of the descendants of African slaves had been freed by the actions of their former masters. As for the remaining slaves, the newly-independent state of Latin American passed gradual-emanciaption laws, putting slavery “on the course of ultimate extinction” as advocated by Abraham Lincoln.

            Support for this claim: Herbett S. Klein, African Slavery in Latin American and the Caribbean, New York and Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1986

            1. Absurd.

              Everyone knows that 100% of southerners were racist slavers and that 100% of Northerners were enlightened Saints and that Abraham Lincoln wielded the Sword of Liberty against Robert E Lee at the Battle of Gettysburg and slew him, ending slavery on Juneteenth.

              1. Damn your nimble fingers Gill!

            2. That’s just crazy talk. We HAD to fight a war to end it.

              1. We’ll always have to fight a war, it’s in the social contract.

      2. Common Core itself may have that as an effect only incidentally.

        Socialists created something that is only “incidentally” socialist? That approaches unpossible.

  4. In a perfect world, each child would have a tutor, or series of tutors. Expert in their subjects, able to adjust their teaching style to the needs of the specific child, and only dealing with one kid or a handful of kids at a time.

    Our PS system is pretty much the opposite of that and Common Core dials it up to 11.

    1. One of the features of Common Core is self-paced learning. Reaching milestones at the student’s own pace is promoted over keeping up (or down) with the class. This is a good thing, IMO. Since it is impractical to have a tutor for each student, the CC relies on some technology. I suppose that’s where the criticism of Bill Gates comes in.

      1. How does that work? A third grader who can’t do third grade math at the end of the year will…what. Will he continue to work on learning third grade math in fourth grade? And then on to fifth or sixth grade?

        I’m skeptical that the school system is flexible enough to truly allow kids to learn at their own pace.

        1. Well… I have a 6 yo who just entered the local public school system a couple of weeks ago. I’m just telling you what has been explained to me.

          Teachers don’t much like CC, I’ve gathered. You might want to think about libertarians and unionized public school teachers being against the same thing.

          1. NPR claims teachers like it. I don’t think NPR is typically out of touch with their comrades, er, colleagues. Amusingly, the one thing teachers are said to not like is the accountability they have for student test results. Funny that.

          2. I think teachers and their union are trying to get extra compensation for the effort it takes to come up to speed on a new curriculum. That’s part of it.

            Is it possible that there are only a few excellent early-reading books on phonics and thousand mediocre ones? (I’m sure that’s the case.) Do you really want your own local first-grade teacher to make the choice?

            1. “Do you really want your own local first-grade teacher to make the choice?”

              Yes, I for one, would make that my prefered choice if that is the only choice I have against Federal level “one size fit’s all” option. If that’s the only other option you are offering.

              While there is the chance she will pick the lesser book it would tend to be an honest mistake. If it wasn’t an honest mistake and chinanery were involved I would be in a better position to rectify the problem.

              If the choice is made a the Federal level you can almost bet the bank some chinanery will be involved. An appropriate example would be the recent efforts in California to provide all students with computers/tablets. When Federal or State level chinanery is involved I have little or no comeback.

          3. Well, when they say “self-paced,” they’re either misusing the term or they’re misleading you. There’s nothing “self-paced” about education standards, today.

      2. One of the features of Common Core is self-paced learning

        Think about this sentence for a minute. We are going to collectivize millions to promote individualism?

        Reaching milestones at the student’s own pace is promoted over keeping up (or down) with the class.

        This is simply code for “We will advance everyone through the grades regardless of knowledge” rather than what it actually says. Are they going to fail hold back reward those children who do not learn?

        1. My first wife had two children who were dislexic. The school would send home a report card with their official grades.

          The teacher would write in ink their real grades.

          They always passed their grade to the next level even if they should not have.

  5. “Come on, guys, it’s not that bad! Honest! And anyway, we’ve already spent all this money on it…”

  6. Video: Half-black teacher is calm and cool. The american (Italian last name) prole is a fool. The casting of the video is interesting. Excuse me for noticing that. The US public school system has always had a difficulty educating Italians.

  7. They might as well go with a classic:

    We must do something!

    Common Core is something!

    Therefore, we must do Common Core!

    1. Actual post from a proggie friend on Facebook:

      I wish this country could get it’s act together on education. Can we all row in the same direction PLEASE?

      Umm, … you know who else wanted us to all row in the same direction?

      1. Can we all row in the same direction PLEASE?

        No. Next question.

  8. No, the Common Core is not an Obama administration plot to nationalize the curriculum and put leftist ideas into children’s minds (although the federal Department of Education has pushed the states in that direction).

    Oh, come on. After admitting that the DOE is already doing this in other areas, you don’t think its going to happen here?

    Have you never encountered lefty/proggy/statist incrementalism? Establish a “common sense” low-profile regulatory regime, which then becomes something not so common sense or low profile?

    Perhaps the current kerfuffle over Colleges Are Rape Factories Where Due Process Has No Place could serve as an example?

    1. Oh, come on. After admitting that the DOE is already doing this in other areas, you don’t think its going to happen here?


      The original libertarian fringe was harshly opposed to public education for the same reason that we are still opposed to nationalized bread-baking: absent the price system, you’ll get shitty bread in shitty quantities at shitty prices. That there are now some libertarians who are reduced to haggling over whether or not Common Core is yet another major intrusion of the state, not just addled Democrats, but the vast majority of the GOP as well, into affairs that should be handled privately is a sign that part of the movement has lost its direction.

      Even if its merits were real, Common Core remains an attempt to implement ever-more centralized control over what our children learn on our dime. Like the IRS or any other state initiative, it can’t help but become a political football depending on who’s running the show, and the people running the state show will always be statists.

  9. All I know about Common Core is:

    – it’s a top-down “solution” when the only successful educational initiatives nowadays are bottom-up

    -the supporters of CC have resorted to arresting critics, using racist and sexist insults, and straw-manning.

    There comes a time when, after seeing nothing but feces emerging from a certain orifice, you get skeptical of those who say that *this time,* what’s coming out is pure chocolate and you should totally eat it! This applies to the educational centralizers and their series of “totally urgent” reforms, each of which is bad enough that its badness is cited in support of the next series of reforms.

    1. I suppose most H&R readers have attended college and have witnessed first-hand a professor requiring the class to buy and read a text book that he or a pal had written, choosing that over other many better written text books.

      1. Yes.

        And then rearranging the chapters ever other year and making the “newest release” mandatory on the silibus.


      2. I’ve had more of the opposite experience: classes where the professor didn’t want any textbook, but was forced to “require” one; or the professor would let you use any edition of the book, but the bookstore insisted only the latest edition would suffice.

  10. This slogan reminds me of Mark Twain’s snotty remark, “Wagner’s music is better than it sounds.”

  11. Common Core is not an Obama administration plot to nationalize the curriculum and put leftist ideas into children’s minds

    Based on a few Common Core questions I’ve seen, I’d say this is debatable.

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