MEDIA WATCH: Corporate 'reform' groups to declare Common Core a success before there is even a Common Core record to measure

The eyes of some of the nation should be on the National Press Club on Thursday, May 3, 2012, to see just how gullible the members of the elite Washington press corps are. Why? Because that afternoon three of the eldest Astroturf (i.e., phony grass roots) corporate school reform organization are hosting a shindig at the National Press Club to declare that the as yet non-existent "Common Core" math standards are a success.

Professor William Schmidt of Michigan State University joins the long list of Rent-A-Professors who declare the twists and turns of corporate "school reform" legitimate in the eyes of the mass media as the "Common Core" becomes the latest fad for the privatizers and union busters. Schmidt has been scheduled by Achieve and a number of other school reform not for profits to deliver a report about the success of the "Common Core" even though the "Common Core" doesn't exist yet (except in theory). Like many of the professors who are put on the Rol A Dex of each pundit promoting corporate reform and teacher bashing, Schmidt will be more and more available as the next wave of teacher bashing curriculum materials pour out of the corporate warehouses and soak up money that would otherwise go to buying books and other materials for the instruction of real children in the real classrooms of real American public schools.How is that possible, even in the ever adaptive fantasyland of corporate school reform in the USA? It's actually been the norm across the USA since the first professors was paid by the first plutocrat to prepare and present pompous apologetics for the first really bad idea in social theory, whether it was the perpetuation of slavery in the USA or the proof that IQ was genetically determined and that therefore there was not much hope for improving the "feeble minded" through investments in public education. The latest generation of professorial apologists for the teacher bashing, union busting, and privatization attacks on public schools have thrived in Chicago more than anywhere else, where they were key to the continuation of the dictatorial "Mayoral Control Model" of public school governance and such policies as "Probation", "Renaissance," and "The Turnaround Model."

Schmidt, of course, is not the only professor to be subsidized in the pursuit of the proof that corporate "school reform" is really the best thing for American public schools, but the appearance before the National Press Club in May 2012, before any of the claims of "Common Core" has been done in any classroom or school long enough to see whether it has any validity in the real world of real teachers and real children, is one of the more dramatic examples of how professorial propaganda becomes part of the mainstream of the teacher bashing, union busting and privatization narratives.

Below, a press release issued on April 27, 2012 to virtually all of the nation's media:


Specifications Provide Assurance that New Devices will be Compatible with Next-Generation Assessments

Washington, D.C. – April 27, 2012 – Dr. William Schmidt, Michigan State University Distinguished Professor and co-director of the school’s [sic] Education Policy Center, will discuss his new research, Common Core State Standards Math: The Relationship Between High Standards, Systemic Implementation and Student Achievement, demonstrating that the K-12 Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for mathematics are needed and, if implemented well, can improve student achievement.

Schmidt's work focuses on the strong resemblance of the CCSS for mathematics to the standards of the highest-achieving nations; the improvement in focus, coherence and rigor of the CCSS for mathematics beyond the state standards they replaced; and the link between higher National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) mathematics scores and states with standards closely aligned to the CCSS for mathematics.

The event is being co-sponsored by Achieve, Chiefs for Change and the Foundation for Excellence in Education.

WHO: William Schmidt, Professor, Michigan State University Mike Cohen, President, Achieve John Bailey, Advisor, Chiefs for Change

WHAT: Release of new research on the Common Core State Standards for mathematics

WHEN: Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. ET

WHERE: National Press Club, 529 14th Street, NW, 13th floor, Washington, D.C., First Amendment Room

Please RSVP to Vernitta Cooper at or (202) 419-1568.

William Schmidt is a Michigan State University Distinguished Professor and co-director of the Education Policy Center. He holds faculty appointments in measurement and quantitative methods and the Department of Statistics. His current writing and research concerns issues of academic content in K-12 schooling, teacher preparation and the effects of curriculum on academic achievement. He is also concerned with educational policy related to mathematics, science and testing in general. He is a member of the National Academy of Education and a fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

Chiefs for Change is a coalition of state school chiefs and leaders that share a zeal for education reform. Together, they provide a strong voice for bold reform on the federal, state and local level. They are committed to putting children first through bold, visionary education reform that will increase student achievement and prepare students for success in colleges and careers.


April 29, 2012 at 9:54 AM

By: Susan Ohanian

Media Watch

The headline here says it all: Corporate 'reform' groups to declare Common Core a success before there is even a Common Core record to measure. They will declare it and the press will publish their press releases as 'news,' perhaps inserting a few comments by members of the brotherhood.

Achieve should need no introduction. This outfit that was co-founded by IBM's Lou Gerstner (when he was holding hands with Arkansas governor Bill Clinton to pass America 2000 for George Bush the Elder. America 2000 was precursor to Goals 2000 and NCLB). Clinton desperately wanted a national test but the Republicans blocked it. Now, with the help of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Democrats are delivering it.

Achieve partnered with NGA and CCSSO on Common Core Initiative and Achieve staff and consultants played huge part in writing the Common Core State [sic] Standards. Achieve is also deep into the assessment.

Foundations for Excellence in Education is Jeb Bush's outfit.

John Bailey, an ed advisor in Bush the Elder Admin, heads up White Board Advisors & co-publishes Education Insider (with Andrew Rotherham, Eduwonk...who has spewed ed deform for Democrats for years. He was at Progressive Policy Institute).

Chiefs for Change includes: Chris Cerf formerly of New York City, now ed commissioner in NJ; Deborah Gist, RI commissioner who fired all the teachers; Kevin Huffman, TN commissioner, former Executive Vice President of Public Affairs at Teach for America (He doesn't include his status as former husband of Michelle Rhee in his bio);Hanna Skandera, New Mexico Secretary-Designate of Public Education (state with highest public school poverty rate in the country & she's implementing very oppressive policy; Eric Smith,Former Florida Commissioner of Education; John White, former executive director for Teach for America Chicago, supt of New Orleans Recovery District, Broad Superintendent's Academy 2010

Etc. Etc.

I would remind you that the AFT collected $1,000,000 from Gates to aid in this Common Core cause. Accepting this amount of money makes AFT an 'also ran' sellout. PTA got $2,000,000. National Writing Project got $2,645,593 ASCD got $3,024,695. James B. Hunt, Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy Foundation, Inc. got $5,068,671. Their 32 videos with Common Core Architects/Authors David Coleman & Sue Pimentel showing how to teach the prescribed curriculum will be coming to a professional development site near you soon.

When Common Core videos are inflicted on Chicago teachers, I'd say it's Gates money coming home to roost.

I know I go on and on about this but I think the truth is in the details. I am in the process of moving all the material I have on the Common Cores State [sic] Standards to one place on my site. It is currently 240 articles and counting:

Just scrolling through the titles is an education. You can also put key words into a 'search.'

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