Thursday, March 6, 2014

Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce Calls Parents Fearmongers and Liars


Today (3/6/2014), the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce called parents Fearmongers and Liars.  Here is a paragraph out of an email sent out to Chamber members and legislators today:
Bills and amendments that delay implementation or outright repeal the Common Core State Standards that lawmakers approved in 2010 have been passed by the House and sent to the Senate. Unfortunately, lawmakers are only hearing from opponents who are using fear tactics and outright lies about Common Core.
The first sentence of this paragraph is wrong.  To date, there have been ZERO bills passed from the House to the Senate referring specifically to Common Core.  So, who is fear mongering?  Who is using lies?

We shouldn't be surprised at this campaign of 'misinformation' coming from the Chamber, however, as we've seen this before.  Please remember the mailer claiming Kentucky's educational scores showed dramatic increases after just one year?  After interviewing Richard Innes, Staff Education Analyst at the Bluegrass Institute in Kentucky, ROPE found these claims to be "outrageously wrong".

The last line of this paragraph states that opponents are using fear tactics and outright lies about Common Core.  Which opponents?  ROPE?  All our research is rooted in fundamental truths easily verified by any source reading our work as we always include screen shots or links to foundational documentation.  In addition, ROPE is funded by no one.  No special interest groups, no single donors, no grants, no nonprofits.  Much to the chagrin of our husbands, ROPE is a kitchen table project funded by three moms, out of our own pockets.

So who then, is fearmongering and lying?  Parents?  Teachers?  Right now, there are too many Oklahoma Stop Common Core groups to count on Facebook.  These are NOT prepared by special interests, federal grants, grants from non-profits or other sources.  These are prepared, maintained and administrated by PARENTS - out of their own pockets, on their own time.

Interesting to note should be the grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the US Chamber of Commerce ($1,383,041
...to engage and educate state and local chambers to support Common Core State Standards     
Another Bill Gates Foundation grant was awarded to the Institute For A Competitive Workforce (an arm of the Chamber of Commerce) in the amount of $2,625,837 in 2008 to
...engage the business community around key college ready goals, including better data and rigorous college ready academic standards.
No moms we know of have gotten that amount of money to protect our children from the Common Core state standards making public school children miserable.

In fact, Michele Molnar, writing for Education Week, quoted Patrick J. McGuinn, an associate professor of political science and education at Drew University in Madison, N.J. as saying,
This battle for the "hearts and minds" over common core is occurring at a "elite" level, attempting to sway governors, state legislators, and state school chiefs.
Molnar goes on to say,
State chambers of commerce - which have longstanding relationships, networks and well-established resources - are considered to be among the most proactive and highly regarded interest groups.  They are defending the common core on the grounds that the standards are essential to business interests and the long-term economic viability of their states.
In other words, state Chambers of Commerce want children workers to populate their businesses in order to create state 'economic viability' yet they have set themselves up AGAINST their parents, who see the issues with Common Core first hand through their children.

An excellent example of this is Indiana where two frustrated mothers, Heather Crossin and Erin Tuttle, created a movement to wipe out Common Core in their state.  After educating teachers, parents and taxpayers on the issue, the Indiana legislature received so much pressure to stop the initiative, a bill was written to withdraw Indiana from Common Core.  Thanks to Governor Mitch Daniels, the bill was voted down, but angry Indiana parents were to have the last word.  

During Indiana's 2012 elections for State Superintendent, Tony Bennett (one of Jeb Bush's Chiefs For Change) lost his bid for reelection to an unknown, underfunded underdog, Glenda Ritze based solely on the frustrations of an everyday-Joe electorate bumping up against an elitist-run effort they felt to be usurping their parental authority.

Following the shock of this election, the Chamber responded by VILIFYING THE MOMS:
"Two moms from Indianapolis, a handful of their friends and a couple dozen small but vocal Tea Party groups.  That's the entire Indiana movement that is advocating for a halt to the Common Core State Standards." 
Obviously, the Chamber of Commerce has little regard for the MOTHERS THAT BUY THE OIL AND GAS AND OTHER PRODUCTS OF CHAMBER-SUPPORTED BUSINESSES.  Isn't this really a case of 'biting the hand that feeds you'?  One might think, but then, when you are getting FREE MONEY from the Bill Gates Foundation (and others) to support a set of standards that will inevitably bring you more dues, who really needs MOMS?  We're simply the vessels creating all these new little worker bees for their businesses.

In closing, Common Core is NOT OK and Oklahoma parents and grandparents know it. They've seen the fallout in their own families.  You can do a lot to a person, but threaten their children and you do so at your own peril.  If Common Core is not stopped in Oklahoma this year, the 2014 election season will be interesting to say the least.