Despite Common Core champion Bill Gates funneling millions of dollars from his foundation to powerhouses like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the two largest teachers unions in the country, and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Politico says it’s “the moms” who are winning the Common Core war.
The moms have been so successful in educating parents about the development and nature of the Common Core initiative that the standards’ proponents have concluded they’re losing the larger public debate and need to switch to a better PR plan, says Politico.
In the rebooted campaign, new infusions of cash to pro-Common Core groups will not be used for more charts depicting graphs of the decline of the American student, nor for ads showcasing Common Core talking points words, such as “rigorous,” “research-based,” “internationally benchmarked,” and “state-led.”
Instead, the focus of the new ad campaign will be on “emotion.”
“We’ve been fighting emotion with talking points, and it doesn’t work,” said Mike Petrilli, executive vice president of the Fordham Institute. “There’s got to be a way to get more emotional with our arguments if we want to win this thing. That means we have a lot more work to do.”
Petrilli and his fellow Common Core proponents plan to “get more emotional” by trying to make Americans angry about the current state of education in the nation.
For example, according to Politico, Petrilli says college students who must take remedial classes should be “mad as hell” that their school systems failed them. Interestingly, his assumption appears to be that none of the students taking remedial classes were slack-offs in high school who chose to party instead of study. His comment only proves that the bureaucratic theme of Common Core may well be that students are not responsible for their failures, but “the system” is.
In their new PR campaign, Common Core supporters will also be showcasing business owners who really tried to hire local high school kids but couldn’t find any who knew how to divide piles of lumber into thirds.
If these new ad ideas don’t get Americans “emotional” about Common Core, proponents of the controversial standards plan to haul out groups of minority kids who will talk about how the standards have changed their lives.
With these tactics, and lots more social media presence, the supporters of Common Core hope to win the battle over American moms.
“The Common Core message so far has been a head message. We’ve done a good job talking about facts and figures. But we need to move 18 inches south and start talking about a heart message,” said Wes Farno, executive director of the Higher State Standards Partnership, a coalition supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable.
The moms are not worried about the new pro-Common Core PR blitz.
“Mr. Petrilli and his group will never be able to compete with the raw emotion that has been helping the cause of the ‘moms’ fighting against Common Core,” Louisiana mom and physician Anna Arthurs told Breitbart News. “The groups of moms may not have money from Bill Gates to help them, but they have facts and real emotion on their side. Their fight is for their children.”
“The supporters of Common Core may try to shift tactics, but they need to remember that they have been underestimating their opponents from the start,” Arthurs added. She continued:
There has been a type of arrogance associated with many of those pushing the Common Core initiative from the beginning. They believed that they could create a bunch of talking points based on false claims and that everyone would believe them if they repeated them enough. The fact is that the moms decided to do their own homework and prove their points to be false. That arrogance is also evident in the fact that Bill Gates, the man responsible for funding the creation of the standards, sends his children to a school that does not even use Common Core.
Considering that one of the creators of the standards admits that they define “college-ready” as being a two-year, nonselective community college and further admits that the standards were not designed to prepare students for STEM fields, why should the supporters be surprised that the moms are not all jumping on the bandwagon to support these standards? What if the rest of the moms want better than Common Core for their children, like Mr. Gates does?
Karen Effrem, co-founder of the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition, said the new PR strategy reminds her of “the phrase we use a lot down here in our messaging.” That phrase is, she said, “putting lipstick on a pig.”
“You can’t make something that’s so bad look good,” Effrem said.
“The Common Core is so bad, you don’t have to lie,” said Erin Tuttle, co-founder of Hoosiers Against Common Core. “If you can’t prove what you’re saying, if you can’t back it up with a document or a source, you shouldn’t put it out there.”