Fordham’s Michael Petrilli: Manufacturing “Emotion” for Common Core
I am sitting in my easy chair on this Saturday afternoon, and I am trying not to write any posts. I know that I need a rest. Sure enough, though, I come across Common Core State Standards (CCSS) promotional slant from the brand-spanking new, non-teacher-practitioner president of the Gates-funded Fordham Institute, dedicated think tanker Michael Petrilli.
I plan to keep this post brief and get back to my chair.
On the eve of his first day as Fordham Institute president, Petrilli wrote this piece in which he dismisses the idea that anti-CCSS sentiment has “momentum,” one reason being that 42 states still have CCSS.
He states that only Oklahoma has really been “knocked off” of CCSS.
No insignificant event there, Petrilli.
The governor of Oklahoma, Mary Fallin, serves as the chair of the National Governors Association (NGA), one of the two organizations that own CCSS. At its annual meeting in Nashville in July 2014, NGA conceded that CCSS has “become divisive”; the Wall Street Journal notes that both political parties are “internally split” over CCSS. Therefore, NGA, one of two organizations that has been actively promoting CCSS since 2008, is taking no official position on CCSS in 2014.
Now, Petrilli does admit that he and others promoting CCSS “are getting our butts kicked… in the conservative media.” This acknowledgement is noteworthy since CCSS promotion is well funded with Gates money. In fact, Susan Berry of Brietbart notes that CCSS has a fresh infusion of $10.3 million from Gates for a “PR blitz that supporters hope will promote similar ’emotional’ fervor for the standards initiative.”
New Venture Fund
Date: May 2014
Purpose: to support the successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards and related assessments through comprehensive and targeted communications and advocacy in key states and the District of Columbia [Emphasis added.]
Comprehensive and targeted communications– and New Venture Fund is to do the job for a cool $10 million.
Why the new Venture Fund?
The New Venture Fund promotes the “charitable projects” of the donors choosing:
The New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) public charity, supports innovative and effective public interest projects. NVF was established in 2006 in response to demand from leading philanthropists for an efficient, cost-effective, and time-saving platform to launch and operate charitable projects.[Emphasis added.]
Imposing CCSS upon the American classroom is Bill Gates’ “charitable project.” Petrilli will help Gates promote it.
Should America really be following an education ideology that it must be marketed into accepting?
“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.” [Emphasis added.]
The “emotion” Petrilli advocates is manufactured as part of an advertising campaign. Indeed, Petrilli-concocted “emotional arguments” will be entirely void of any firsthand connection to the public school classroom upon which CCSS is intended to be imposed.
Petrilli thinks in a tank. He does not teach in a classroom.
From his position as CCSS promoter external to the classroom, in his July 31, 2014, post, Petrilli lists what he considers to be “legitimate concerns” regarding CCSS.
He lists three (federal role; standards aren’t perfect; confusing, convoluted textbooks).
He chooses not to address the fact that CCSS “success” rests wholly upon ideology and theory.
He does not mention that CCSS is assumed to work– nothing more.
Never tested. Assumed to work. Called “not perfect” by Petrilli, yet the CCSS website sells CCSS as The Solution:
To ensure all students are ready for success after high school, the Common Core State Standards establish clear, consistent guidelines for what every student should know and be able to do in math and English language arts from kindergarten through 12thgrade. [Emphasis added.]
Petrilli notes that some schools might “interpret” CCSS as a “ceiling” rather than a “floor.”
I challenge Petrilli to demonstrate how such “interpretation” should play out. If CCSS is “clear,” as its website assures us, how is it that “interpretation” could possibly be a problem? Does this not undermine CCSS’ supposed “consistency” if there is room for “incorrect interpretation”?
What evidence is there that American education should “align” itself to CCSS?
For what substantiated reason(s) should the “one quarter” of states with standards equal to or better than CCSS via Fordham Institute’s own judgment listen to a man with a bachelors in political science and no firsthand experience in any K-12 classroom to follow along for the sake of sameness?
Petrilli ends his July 31, 2014, post with the flaky, clichéd, “give peace a chance.”
[Deadpan stare from me.]
In other words, buy into our upcoming Gates-fortified, New-Venture-Fund-launched, manufactured-emotion, pro-CCSS PR campaign.
Petrilli, if you think your holographic, pro-CCSS PR campaign will overcome the CCSS-induced dysfunction in schools nationwide, then your cornflakes have been too long in their milk.
Enough. I’m going back to my easy chair now.
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