Mythbusters (2)

This piece is written to help clarify many misunderstandings about who designed the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), who supports it, and who opposes it. These clarification are necessary for any sustainable “coalition of the sane” to work together to dismantle it. I am not attacking my Conservative friends here. I think many of us from all sides the political spectrum can find enough common ground, built on a reality of facts, and to work together so long as we have shared visions and goals.

But if you are one of those persons (or groups) who is promoting any of these myths I listed here I have a request: Stop it. You’re scaring people. And you are disrupting the opportunities for others to develop any collaborative informed, fact-driven efforts to fight for public schools and our children. Expounding on these myths does nothing but lend fodder to pro CCSS corporate reformers to discredit the opposition to CCSS. Ignorance and fear are not the elements upon which a sustainable movement can be built.

There are folks (aka myth makers) who might not like progressive values or ideals. That’s fine. I am not asking anyone to like them. But I humbly request we remain clear that progressives (like many conservatives) historically have been, and are, opposed to Common Core and other tentacles of education reform.

If you are someone perpetuating these myths to communities or parents you’d be better off telling them to duck and cover beneath a school desk because the atomic bomb is coming. It’s 2013. Welcome to the world of (inter)nationalized/corporate-dominated interests. It defies traditional left/right political bifurcations, and breeds itself on a philosophy of greed and power. And it’s happy to see you waste energy attacking the wrong “enemy” (unless of course, in keeping with the ideology of ALEC co-founder Paul Weyrich, this is truly your goal).

Myth #1: CCSSS was written/created by Bill Ayers (or anyone else from the “radical” left):

This is not a curricular reform crafted by Bill Ayers or anyone on “the left.” I cannot find his name anywhere on any documents for authorship or financial support of CCSS.
What I do find is record of him saying that Race to the Top is a debacle and that federal top- down reform is wrong.

Rethinking Schools likewise has been listed as a “dangerous” text indicted (associated with) in the CCSS agenda when in fact they devoted an entire issue to criticizing CCSS.

Some sites  I have found even implicate brilliant, dedicated, highly respected, and passionate pro public education advocates such as Deborah Meier and Jonathan Kozol. Identifying the existence of lame ass attempts at the CCSS to pay “homage” to certain ideals like social justice and equity, which might reflect the values of these individuals is not precisely a smoking gun for indicting them in the actual creation of CCSS. In fact both Meier and Kozol have been very vocal opponents of CCSS! Maybe you don’t like their views -but stop implicating them in a reform they clearly oppose merely to serve your own ideological agenda.

If you really want to know who wrote the standards, rather than insinuate or implicate people simply because you don’t like them, just go to the website that identifies the list of who wrote CCSS. For a full list of who DID write the CCSS click here.

Why don’t these myth makers go after Jeb bush and Rupert Murdoch? Their names are littered across the pro Common Core websites- the money trail between them and CCSS are public record and their interests are clearly intertwined. CCSS was in the works by the Business Roundtable before Obama broke ground in the White House.

A summary of CCSS authors includes about 30 individuals who work (mostly) for one of five major entities: Achieve, the College Board, ACT, America’s Choice, or Student Achievement Partners.  While I can’t speak to each of their individual political associations, I can clearly see how the groups they represent will profit hand over fist. Say what you want about leftist ideologies, greed is not one of the motivating values.

Myth #2:  Achieve , Bill Gates or any other DC “think tanks” are “progressive” entities. Stop interchanging the terms “left” or “progressive” with a neoliberal agenda! Bill Gates, Eli Broad and the Business Roundtable are neo-liberal (if not flat out Conservative) idealists. Even Paulo Freire, poster child for the progressive left rails against the neoliberal agenda.

Here’s a dictionary definition of “neo liberal”: a modern politico-economic theory favoring free trade, privatization, minimal government intervention in business, reduced public expenditure on social services, etc.

Myth #3
: Suggestions for a national data base to own children’s data was developed by a “communist” agenda. Now on this one, conservatives have my sympathy. I can appreciate why this appears to be socialist or communist because of the word “nationalized.” But please do some more homework.  A 1950’s high school text book understanding of communism will not help you accurately understand the complexity of federal and corporate relationships or motives. Achieve is not a progressive group. It is a neoliberal group, as are all the other so-called “liberal” think tanks and corporations involved with CCSS. The rest are card- carrying members of American Legislative Exchange Council. Achieve itself is funded largely by members of ALEC which is a conservative group dedicated to promoting conservative values. In spite of their lip service to opposing CCSS, their finger prints are all over it. 

The only socialist organizations that I have found are opposed to this federal intrusion as much as any right wing ideologue.

It feels very “Brave New World-y” and I agree with the suggestion that these efforts (CCSS reform policies) have global implications-but they’re not communist in their roots. They are attempts at corporate-government capitalist global interventions. Here’s where the neoliberal ideologies rears its head once again.

While I am not defending the federal government as victims or mere patsies in this game, because they are equally guilty, we must acknowledge they are not working alone either.

One of the key tenets of a neoliberal agenda is:

PRIVATIZATION. Sell state-owned enterprises, goods and services to private investors. This includes banks, key industries, railroads, toll highways, electricity, schools, hospitals and even fresh water. Although usually done in the name of greater efficiency, which is often needed”, (or I would add, false “liberal”- leaning claims to help greatly under-served children) “privatization has mainly had the effect of concentrating wealth even more in a few hands and making the public pay even more for its needs.

Who is profiting from such data mining? Is it the United Socialists of America? Oh wait…they don’t even exist. Who does want data mining? Conservative Tea Party darling Rupert Murdoch, among others, are contracting to mine the data and profit handsomely from it and garner control over our children’s private data.

According to Class Size Matters: Data “is to be stored on a data cloud run by, with an operating system by Wireless/Amplify, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. InBloom Inc. plans to share this highly sensitive information with software companies and other for-profit vendors.”

Maybe he didn’t get the memo that this was a communist overthrow?

Myth #4: CCSS makes learning more “subjective”/ “collaborative” with an aim toward social justice, equity, and a socialist indoctrination. Maybe the writers of CCSS were trying to throw a bone to the progressive movement using language they wanted to hear in order to sell them a bad bill of goods. But in spite of the sound bites some myth-makers are paying attention to in order to make this claim, it is fallible for a few reasons. First off, (and I am not defending CSSS here)… how does the use of the words “equity” or “equality” become tantamount to socialism? The word “equal” is used no fewer than 24 times in The Declaration of Independence written by our Founding Fathers.

The attacks on Dewey make no sense to me either. Such “progressive” education philosophies actually attempt to disrupt hegemony or oppression by calling for learning that is student –centered, so that individuals are FREE to THINK FOR THEMSELVES. Wouldn’t an open-ended process that embraces children for their INDIVIDUALITY be far more reflective of American ideals? (note—I don’t believe for a moment that CCSS actually does this-such an approach cannot exist alongside curriculum driven by high stakes testing). Some Tea Party-sponsored curricular recommendations call for “back to basics” or one- size- fits- all mode of fact delivery, and a SINGLE version of history- ironically, teaching single versions of history, which silence any dissent or critique are far more endorsed by communist nations like Russia and China. Whereas democratic societies thrive on dissent and multiple points of view or voices.

So if that’s what you’re worried about, you’d be better off stepping aside and allowing CCSS to carry on-it will do more to destroy student centered free thinking than you could ever dream of. The focus on CCSS is not on a touchy-feely social justice approach to learning, but instead aims to make students “career and college ready” to “compete in a capitalistsupported global economy.”  In the words of CCSS supporter Chester Finn (former CEO of IBM and a card carrying Republican) the national standards make students, “readier for college, readier to get good jobs, readier to compete in the global economy.”

CCSS enforces a “narrowing” or the curriculum, driven by high stakes standardized testing. This is easy to discern when examining the facts (rather than reading “into” standards as if one were reading tea leaves or a horoscope). The CCSS were written by corporations, for corporations to shape (and control) the future workers of America (aka children) to fit their corporate image.

And by the way. In regards to many of those things these myth creators fear are being infused into CCSS like social justice, culturally relevant pedagogy, and anti-racist perspectives? I am for all of those things. And I am opposed to CCSS. So it concerns me that many of the brilliant advocates who are against CCSS are being “demonized” by myth makers, manufacturing their supposed affiliation with it; possibly a strategy by the myth makers to alienate parents and communities from associating with them or their views, and to cement their own position for alternatives to the CCSS?

So those of us in the “coalition of the sane” need to focus our shared energies not only on ending CCSS and the other tentacles of ed reform such as high stakes testing and data-mining, but we must double down on our efforts to articulate and prepare for what we envision for public education when this current policy nightmare is over, lest we wake up only to face even more nightmarish policies.

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.


  1. So I am screaming at the computer…YES! THANK YOU! AMEN! Just saw these myths perpetuated at the state ed meetings.Over and over I did think we did a piss poor job of teaching the isms in high school or else a lot of people were absent that day.

    1.Ayers is a liar and a murderer, he not only is the center of ALL Chicago politics but he works with the UN as seen in this video and he supports the Nation Curriculum. He was a huge part of influencing all of the radicals pushing CC.
    2. The no child left behind, UN Agenda 21 Bushes are progressives, period. Hinckley was a close family friend of the Bushes, and he shot Reagan, Reagan hated Bush and so do conservatives. Gates daddy was a big planned parenthood guy, Margaret Sanger was a KKK racist eugenisist and started planned parenthood. Hitler was the first man to bring Darwinism eugenics, to life, his book title in full …look it up….yeah favored races….and Gates Jr is a UN eugenisist as well. The UN was started by Alger Hiss oh that’s right a communist who worked for Stalin and went to prison. Hitler was a national socialist NA SI turned NAZI was a nick name for this party. The USSR soviet socialists. The legislation for pre k Ed invents unelected councils, soviet style.

    Wait, did you just defend Dewy? Are you serious? Try some research, I know it’s hard to get past you world view but progressives are communists no matter what they have taught you, look it up. The conservative movements are ALL fully infiltrated by them. We have had UN presidents since Reagan. The sad fact is progressives hate progressivism, they just like free stuff and the pretty promises of utopianism. You guys woke up too late. All that neo this and neo that is made up hoopla by the deceivers. Constitution and Western Civilization don’t like it, move to China.

  3. “Democracy and Socialism are inseparable.” – Vladimir Ilich Lenin

    You want to defend democracy. I want a Constitutional Republic based on Western Civilized Society. Her is why I am right and your way must lead to Communist Core (core the seeds the most essential part) because education must be controlled and based on brainwashing the youth.

  4. Have you no shame? You are attempting, and badly I might add, to mislead many in your dishonest assessment with “FOUR IMPORTANT MYTHBUSTERS ABOUT THE COMMON CORE.” If you cannot find anything about Bill Ayers,and his connection to Obama, Arne Duncan, and Darling-Hammond, you are a poor researcher.
    Go here:
    And here:
    Bill Gates and Eli Broad are no more Conservative than Barrack Obama or Arne Duncan – do you even know what a conservative is? This is not about left, right, Republican, Democrat, Progressive, Conservative, Liberal or your idiotic neo-liberal. This is a non-partisan issue – but to mislead anyone with your nonsensical list of misinformation borders on criminal!
    Who is profiting from such data mining? How about Bill Gates/InBloom and Pearson… do your homework, for God’s sake! The government can and will use your private information and your children’s. Think about the 400 data mining points and what they are asking public schools to provide. Have you even seen read the Common Core Standards? Have you been to the website with CCSS assignments that ask children to reveal what religion they are, do their parents fight, medical conditions, etc.?
    You are trying to mislead and confuse those that want real answers… SHAME ON YOU!
    Readers – leave this worthless, dishonest site – Google your state STOP COMMON CORE sites; almost every state has one. Run away from this one!

    1. just for the record–inBloom is owned by Rupert Murdoch-so i guess Fox News owner is secretly communist too? “But one of the most intriguing aspects of the story is one that the NYT does not address at all. No where does the NYT mention that the operating system for inBloom is being developed by the Amplify division (formerly Wireless Generation) of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. This is a striking omission given that that the NYT is the paper of record in New York City where the CEO of Amplify/Wireless Generation, Joel Klein, recently served as schools chancellor.”

      1. Murdoch is NO conservative. We have not allowed FOX in the home since early 2000’s. They are 20% owned by a Saudi prince who is more that sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood and is invested in Pearson. If conservatives watch FOX they better use discernment. The assumption that all conservatives have some obsession with FOX is way off. Megan Kelly is for gay marriage. We have Glenn Beck but even has can be way off. Do you own research is the rule now.
        Change the title to-five beliefs that I am struggling with now that I realize progressivism is not going to work and we are on the brink of civil war and it scares me.

      2. I, for one, could care less who is profiting from what, and who has invested millions and whether anyone gets rich off of Common Core. The only thing that matters with regard to education is what is being taught to the kids and why. That’s the issue. The important players are the ones directly affecting the standards and curriculum because that is what directly affects our children. The left’s arguments over who invested in InBloom and whether conservatives are involved is a distraction from digging to the source and stopping the agenda. I blame Jeb Bush also and he is republican, supposedly conservative. But because his views/values are not reflected in Common Core, I don’t feel the need to talk about him. Does that make sense? I guess I could ask the question, ‘what’s in it for him’ and spend hours researching him so that I can call him out for being a closet progressive and deceiving his fellow republicans. That needs to happen at some point, but it will get us nowhere in defeating CCSS now. People have to understand the AGENDA behind it and to fully understand that, you have to understand the people who wrote and created it, because it is their views that are being forced on students and their views that we see in the lessons, books, etc.

      3. danette3 wrote: “The only thing that matters with regard to education is what is being taught to the kids and why. That’s the issue.”

        What is being taught is UN-Communist, one world government, spiritual unity (all religions combine into one, except Christianity), anti Judeo Christian, UNESCO secular humaism. This includes pre K ed to get kids away from families, materials that re-define family, (Western Civilization is built of the FAMILY UNIT and our entire economic system is the family system) and a Marxist ecological state (not free market capitalism) (UN)managed economy, complete with east German style surveillance.

        Click to access burkett-marxism_and_ecological_economics.pdf

        Why: in order to get rid of the constitution and create a oligarchy, a one world government ruled by elites using the soviet model and it will result in a Chinese slave system as well.

        How did they do it:

        They used subversion and psychological operations.

        As we move closer to the flip over from Western Civ to Soviet Central planning, the unions become NO LONGER VALUABLE to the movement, the employee/employer relations is no longer needed. This is the point at which we are now and the people who enjoyed the lifestyle of being public servants and having union benifts no longer feel they have any importance, because they don’t….. they were used.

        The first two things Chavez AND Castro did was outlaw unions and gay behavior. This is what is happening in USSR now as they return to the soviet model of government.

        The issue is how to stop it. We must get out of the UN, that’s key.

        There are a few solutions. Yuri tells you in the video above.

        Western Civilization ten commanments and golden rule, defend it.

        This one has tactics

        Click to access From_Dictatorship_to_Democracy.pdf

        Former communist explains the process of dedication, get the book, this is just a pdf of techniques

        Click to access Hyde.pdf

        The solutions require total dedication, the socialists/communists have it 24/7, do you?

      4. self correction (thank you Leonie Haimson): According to Class Size Matters: Data “is to be stored on a data cloud run by, with an operating system by Wireless/Amplify, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. InBloom Inc. plans to share this highly sensitive information with software companies and other for-profit vendors.”

      5. “Rupert Murdoch-so i guess Fox News owner is secretly communist too?”

        Corrupted non-Christian, UN loving secular humanist corporations desire an oligarchy.

        Once the majority join up to grab the power, what choice do the few outsiders who are left have? They will simply be run out of business if they don’t go green. Chick Fillet has a brand new sustainability officer….this is the price they paid for getting to build in Chicago. She will no doubt be runnning around greening all the menu’s. They caved, American’s are not doing their job to stop this because we still view it as D and R. It’s G, green or global you decide.

        Murdoch, is he not the one who spied on phone calls? Marxism will certainly provide the path to corporate rule. In the United states we have CEO’s who go between top jobs at the EPA and other soviet style agencies. This is the merging of the industry with the government, not a real difference between the “state owning the means of production”, in fact, it it a clever way to hide the fact that we are and have been a socilist country for quite some time.

        It’s the corporations owning the state. and your property, A21 and your children cc…and unions and teachers..

  5. Perhaps you spoke a little too soon. Actually, I take the blame because I am very late getting to writing and posting the ‘smoking gun’ — overwhelming proof Meier did have a very big hand in creating CCSS. She is likely only opposed to them now, as many other progressives are, because of they way they are being implemented — no guarantees for teachers unions and making billions for already big corporations. As I’m sure you know, Meier is pro-union and anti-corporation. I will have the proof up at my site (which you referenced here) as soon as possible. Too busy with CCSS issues in my own state to get it done sooner.

  6. This started with Bush so don’t get your democrat underware in a bunch

    Corporate executives lobby Washington every day.

    Not many come to plead for higher taxes and stronger regulation.

    This week, though, a group called the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) convened in our nation’s capital to issue “A Business Call for a New Economy” that’s built around “triple bottom line” principles, shared prosperity and environmental stewardship. The event was unofficially closed to the media, but ASBC invited as a media observer.

    The ASBC members — about 125 showed up for a couple of days of meetings — are supporting, among other things, higher taxes on big companies, closing overseas tax havens, tax credits for renewable energy, EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and stricter regulation of chemicals.

    In the Business Call for a New Economy [PDF, download], the group says it wants to preserve the efficiency and dynamism of markets, while curbing what it calls capitalism’s “destructive tendencies” toward “overuse of resources” and “extremes of wealth and poverty.”.

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