Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Group warns of mendacious conspiracy theorists

Stand for Children Oklahoma is an organization which strongly supports the Common Core State Standards. In a recent blog post, the group's government affairs director, Amber England, warned darkly: "There’s a faction of conspiracy theorists spreading lies about Common Core State Standards. Some lawmakers have bought into their fear mongering and are now about to flip-flop on the courageous stand they took for higher standards for Oklahoma students in 2010."
Over the weekend I left a comment on that particular blog post, but, oddly enough, it went unpublished. Given that my comment relates in part to school choice, I will publish it here:

Informative post. But when you speak of conspiracy theorists who are guilty of fear-mongering and spreading lies, to whom are you referring?

Are you referring to Heritage Foundation scholar Lindsey Burke, who, in 2011 testimony before the Common Education Committee of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, urged Oklahoma to “push back against this unprecedented federal overreach into what is taught in your local classrooms”? I happen to know her testimony was persuasive to many lawmakers. Are you saying she was fear-mongering and spreading lies?

Or are you referring to another Common Core opponent, the Home School Legal Defense Association? Lord knows those folks can light up the switchboards, and state lawmakers almost always take notice. But are you saying the homeschoolers are lying?

Or are you referring to the Republican National Committee, which last month passed a resolution opposing the Common Core?

Exactly which Common Core opponents — Cato Institute? American Association of Christian Schools?  — are spreading lies? Is it the education task force of the American Legislative Exchange Council? Is it the various free-market think tanks across the country? Is it University of Arkansas professor Jay Greene, who says Common Core is hostile to school choice? (Update: Is it Sen. Tom Coburn? Is it Sen. Jim Inhofe?)

Or are you referring to American Federation of Teachers boss Randi Weingarten, who last month suggested a time-out on the stakes associated with Common Core tests?

All of these people (with the exception of Weingarten) are my friends and allies, and none of them are given to fear-mongering or spreading lies.

UPDATE: Alas, it turns out that deceiving and denigrating wasn't such a great strategy after all.

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