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‘Moms Winning’ While Common-Core Advocates Patronize

By Rick Hess — July 31, 2014 1 min read

Tuesday’s POLITICO piece by Stephanie Simon, “Moms Winning the Common Core War,” featured earnest Common Core advocates explaining that, to get things back on track, they need to stop being so darn principled and start appealing to the “heart.” What’s kind of wild is that, each time the Common Core advocates say, “We get it now,” they make me think that a) they totally don’t get it, and b) they’re about to dig themselves into an even deeper hole. As best as I could discern, here’s a distilled take on what the Common Core advocates had to say:


  1. It’s tricky when we’re so obviously right.
  2. You see, we really want to respect our opponents, but it’s hard when they’re such obvious nitwits.
  3. The fact that they’re such nitwits has suckered us into just coolly sharing the evidence of our overwhelming rightness.
  4. The problem is that all this evidence is too far over everyone’s heads, because they’re just not as sophisticated as we are.
  5. So, we’ve decided we need to offer more sugar, candy, circuses, and heart-tugging appeals in order to really win this thing.
  6. We’d thought push-polling and long-retired Republican governors would suffice, but now we’ve decided we need a national campaign of cute, smiling kids saying, “I WUV the Common Core!”

Now, the Common Core advocates could be right. We’ll see. The thing is that, for my money, the pro-Common Core campaign has long been heavy on cheerleading, airy promises, and emotive appeals by public officials and light on seriously engaging skeptics, even when criticisms have been tempered and reasonable. For what it’s worth, I see this self-diagnosis as both insulting to us non-advocates and flat wrong. It will be intriguing to see if this new course-correction helps any more than the last couple.

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