That’s Not My Resistance

wizard of oz

A recent article from Politico states that funding for certain groups opposed to Common Core standards is coming from heavy hitting right wing neoliberal bastions:

“A spokeswoman for the Charles Koch Foundation said it hasn’t made any grants specifically aimed at the Common Core, but tax documents show the Koch brothers have supported many of the advocacy groups working against the standards.”

I have no idea what game these billionaire free market ALEC- associated corporate monsters are playing. But the Koch Brothers do NOT support nor reflect MY resistance to the Common Core!

There are parents and groups from conservative flanks that oppose Common Core. I agree with some of them and disagree with others. For example, I do not believe that CCSS is a plot launched by “progressives” to brainwash children into leftist thinking. As a progressive myself who has been studying “liberal” curriculum theory and policy for 15 years I can guarantee you that this was not our idea! Bill Gates does NOT count as a “liberal.” He’s a billionaire. There’s a difference. Pretending to “save the world” by manipulating global initiatives created in your own self serving image does not make one a “liberal.” He doesn’t belong to us.

My opposition to the Common Core is grounded in the facts as I know them to be. They are not a matter of my interpretation.

That corporate interests from all political flanks both Republican and Democrat created this beast is a fact. Follow the money. The trail leads (in part) to ALEC associated organizations. It was crafted and promoted by many right wing organizations like the Broad Foundation, Lumina Foundation and the Walton Foundation among many others.

That neoliberal agenda to dismantle public education, bust unions, and turn education into a free market enterprise is the palimpsest upon which CCSS is written. Even K12 Inc, a member of ALEC is big on Common Core because of the money it will bring in.

The Koch Brothers are rulers supreme over the ALEC agenda. Is opposing Common Core their inroad toward an agenda to dismantle public education?

My opposition is not THEIR opposition. I am opposed to Common Core because it is destroying public education. It hurts children. It sells them, their learning, their futures, and their 400 points of private data to the highest corporate bidder. The federal agenda backed by big private dollars erodes the democratic principles upon which public education ought to be built.

The language of “civil rights” and “equity” have been hijacked by Arne and Co. Theirs is a false narrative.

And now opposition to the Common Core is perhaps being hijacked to- by the Koch Brothers.  Is this media brigade to mis represent why many of us are opposed to CCSS and who precisely is in this battle an attempt by Arne and the reform gang to discredit opposition? Is it being used to scare parents and teachers away from resistance?

I don’t know.

But it’s time to make our voices heard- voices and actions grounded in a clear and research-based argument for why Common Core is the train wreck that is.  I don’t believe that the Koch Brother represent all Conservative resistance. Alliances across the aisles are being formed all over this country-bringing together parents and community members in ways that should be applauded. We can at times and in certain places find common ground. Usually it’s grounded in what matters most: our children.

But when you have corporate reformers like Scott Walker and Bobby Jindal suddenly opposing Common Core ya gotta wonder about their motives. Look at their records of being in bed with the corporate agenda. Maybe they’re backing off Common Core but no one can refute their association with efforts to destroy and privatize public education.

Because I can say for damn sure that simply because they oppose what I oppose doesn’t that we are even remotely operating under the same goals or visions for America’s children or the future of public education.

Whatever you call your political or ideological affiliation-we must make sure that the real message about how and why the Common Core is destroying public education for my child and for all children remains at the forefront of the public narrative, lest we find ourselves in a place even more frightening than one crafted by the Common Core. Education policy led by the Koch Brothers is a far deeper end of a nightmare I cannot fathom. But the alternative is not to support Common Core. The alternative is to fight for what we value and believe for public education. And to take back our message. And take it to the streets. Our fight is NOT funded by corporate billionaires. It’s grounded in what’s morally and ethically right for our communities and our children, and our right to create the public schools that ALL children deserve. Keep corporate interest of any kind out of our efforts!

I don’t fight for billionaires.

Published by educationalchemy

Morna McDermott has been an educator for over twenty years in both k-12 and post secondary classrooms. She received her doctorate in education, with a dissertation focus on arts-based educational research, from The University of Virginia in 2001. Morna's teaching, scholarship, and activism center around the ways in which creativity, art, social justice, and democracy can transform education and empower communities. She is currently a Professor of Education at Towson University.

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