As Breitbart News anticipated on March 29, Common Core champion the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has released what was described to be a “mini-documentary” that would “provide the pro-Common Core side” in response to the Home School Legal Defense Association’s (HSLDA) new film about the standards initiative, Building the Machine.
In a leaked email, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) foretold the coming of the video, the purpose of which was undoubtedly to stem the growing tide of controversy over the Common Core standards.
Carissa Miller of CCSSO said the U.S. Chamber’s new movie would “feature education reformers, teachers, chamber leaders, and business representatives, showing the unified support for Common Core across the generations, political lines, and states.”
The U.S. Chamber, however, which received a $1.38 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation “to lead the effort to engage and educate state and local chambers to support Common Core State Standards,” has not produced a film that can actually “educate” Americans about the Common Core.
As Shane Vander Hart, writing at Truth In American Education, writes, “This is not an educational movie, they offer no evidence, and – unlike HSLDA – don’t bring in both sides.”
HSLDA actually invited 18 prominent pro-Common Core individuals to participate in its documentary, and received only two affirmative responses.
“This is nothing but a propaganda fluff piece with talking heads who offer nothing but platitudes, but can’t provide an actual research-based rebuttal to our concerns with the Common Core,” Vander Hart continues. “Then again that has been the typical response from Common Core proponents, I don’t know why we’d expect anything different from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce who endorsed the Common Core before the standards were even released!”
The notion of having an educational forum on Common Core, but only inviting pro-Common Core panelists may be, it turns out, how the U.S. Chamber is instructing its local affiliates to operate when it comes to the standards.
On March 28, Steve Cates wrote at The Dakota Beacon, that a recent meeting held in Bismarck by the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce was billed to be for the purpose of discussing the “facts and fallacies of Common Core,” but may have actually been an application of the “controlled outcome process” technique.
Cates described the meeting, in which “all of the Chamber sanctioned panelists were advocates” and “there was no one at the front table, in a position of ‘authority’ who opposed Common Core.”
Such a set-up, Cates wrote, allowed the Chamber to validate itself while simultaneously inferring the “inferior position of the opponents.”
Cates further described that the format at the Bismarck meeting gave attendees the opportunity to offer statements at the outset, thus giving “the impression that they are asking questions while the panelists do not have to respond to those statement/questions.”
“This part of the technique also allows the proponent panelists to know specifically what the concerns are,” continued Cates, “so that they can prepare in advance to tailor their answers without having to participate in any immediate give and take (dialog) with a questioner that includes in-depth follow-up and clarification discussion (answering questions).”
When the direct question-answer period did arrive, Cates explained that attendees were required to write their questions on a piece of paper, and the Chamber selected the questions to which the pro-Common Core panel would respond.
“If this meeting was to ‘expose the facts and fallacies of Common Core’ it would have had the structure and process of town hall, PTA, and all public meeting [sic] where the aim is transparency and clarification,” Cates wrote. “Was this in fact, a manipulated process that was by design advocacy with the intended façade of legitimacy? Was this meeting application of the technique of the controlled outcome process?”