Poking Fun at the Common-Core Opposition

By Catherine Gewertz — April 24, 2013 1 min read
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A recent blog post about the Common Core State Standards is making the rounds for a very unusual reason: It’s funny.

In all the very-serious debate about the standards, virtually no one is taking a break—at least publicly—to have a little fun. The blog post by Benjamin Riley of the NewSchools Venture Fund is a marked departure from the pack.

In the post, Riley pokes fun at common-core opponents by imagining an “emergency action alert” that the “Common-Core-spiracy” might send to its participants. Its subject is “Discovery of our plot to destroy the American way of life through the raising of academic standards.” CC’ed are a whimsical blend of organizations, some of which actually support the standards, such as Pearson and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and some of which are imagined to do so, such as the Trilateral Commission.

“Gentlemen (and Condi),” the alert begins, “I write with great urgency. Despite our best efforts to conceal our true aims behind the development and adoption of the Common Core State Standards, our plot is on the verge of unraveling. (Reminder: our plan is to “dumb down schoolchildren so they will be obedient servants of the government and probably to indoctrinate them to accept the left-wing view of America and its history,” even though most of us are wealthy capitalists.) We did not anticipate that a small, select band of truth seeking American patriots would see through our ruse and reveal our true intentions.”

The memo goes on to make fun of common-core advocates’ “war on penmanship,” and their plans to “build one giant federal database, housed within the National Security Agency (or News Corp), to track the thoughts of every student in the country,” and to “create a single, national curriculum that will turn America’s freedom-loving children into France-admiring cheese-eating surrender monkeys.”

To see how the memo folds in requirements that 3rd graders read Cloud Atlas and that 7th graders study J. Edgar Hoover’s sexuality; how the common core aims to manipulate the rights of all American citizens, and why defeating the opposition will require an immense advertising buy at all major golf tournaments, you’re just going to have to read the rest of it yourself.

UPDATE: Read a blog post by my colleague Andrew Ujifusa, over at State EdWatch, detailing some of the increasingly bizarre claims being floated in common-core rhetoric.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.