On Tuesday Common Core opponents demonstrated the strength of their fervor so much that they were able to take over a social media campaign that the standards’ supporters hoped would help them gain ground.
As Breitbart News reported August 1, proponents of the controversial standards planned for a new PR blitz that would inject some “emotion” into the dry data talking points they have been delivering thus far. Since the anti-Common Core campaign has been run mostly on social media, the standards’ supporters had hoped to get in on some of that action.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the Collaborative for Student Success, groups such as Teach Plus and Educators 4 Excellence, teachers and other Common Core supporters took to Twitter Tuesday for a campaign outreach initiative that aimed to urge teachers, parents, and others to share their positive views of the nationalized standards.
“It’s critical that their voices be heard in this debate, especially as teachers prepare for a new school year,” Karen Nussle, executive director of the Collaborative for Student Success, told Politico Pro’s Morning Education.
Taking advantage of the situation, parents and other concerned citizens who oppose the standards pushed ahead and co-opted the hashtag #supportthecore to voice their opinions about the Common Core and to respond to supporters’ tweets.
#supportthecore Because teaching 2nd grade mental math tricks to kindergarteners… What can go wrong?
— Gary Rubinstein (@garyrubinstein) August 12, 2014
Ardent champion of the standards Michael Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, complained about the tone of the comments from Common Core opponents.
“What’s been interesting and frankly disheartening is the responses from some of the Common Core opponents have been so vitriolic,” Petrilli said. “I would almost describe it as bullying. Here you have these teachers speaking their mind and standing up for something and they’re getting all kinds of nasty reactions back.”
— Christine Zirkelbach (@CMZR) August 12, 2014
— Carol Burris (@carolburris) August 12, 2014
Petrilli reasoned, however, that the energy of Common Core opponents could help teachers to get themselves and their colleagues more “engaged.”
“And that’s going to help us,” he said. “That’s going to help this debate turn the corner.”