Big Businesses Whore For Common Core

Posted on September 29, 2013

4


One of the recurring themes on Blasted Fools is emphasizing the reality that big American corporations, broadly speaking, are no longer traditional capitalists, and haven’t been for quite some time – perhaps for a century or more.  There is a different name for their business dealings and their behavior in society – corporatism.  I’ve said that they don’t share your values, but it’s more than that.  They are actively opposed to your values and they stand in solidarity with those that are corrupting and corroding the fundamental characteristics of American culture.

Just this week, Exxon-Mobil announced that it is now extending employee benefits to the partners of same sex marriages.  That’s perfectly legal and they can opt to structure company benefits as they see fit, however, I maintain that it is an example of how large corporations are underwriting indecency.  But what I want to outline here, is an instance in which their support of another initiative is actually more of a frontal assault on the next generation of Americans – our children.  I refer to the Common Core initiative – and that brings us back to Exxon-Mobil.

Exxon-Mobil has taken a leading role in promoting Common Core.  Now, when you pump obscenely expensive gasoline into your family car, Exxon-Mobil  leverages your purchase to drive a publicity campaign supporting a policy initiative that is a hazard and a menace to the well being of children attending public schools.  It is interesting that Exxon-Mobil is very aware that their customers are opposed to the type of centralized engineering of educational curricula that Common Core propagates.  Exxon-Mobil has received a lot of emails following the roll out of its pro-Common Core ad campaign, Patrick McCarthy, executive director of the Exxon-Mobil Foundation told a group of conferees.  Ninety-nine percent of those emails were from those opposed to Common Core.  That is a remarkable admission.

Exxon-Mobil are by no means the only players in this crusade to transform our schools.  Here are some key national firms as well as lobbying entities that have signed on to advocate Common Core.  This is not  a complete list, but as you will see – a Who’s Who of Corporate America are represented:

3M
Accenture
Aetna
Alcoa
Archer Daniels Midland
BAE Systems
Bayer
The Boeing Company
Boston Scientific
BP America  
Business Roundtable
Dell Inc.
Dollar General
Dow Chemical
Dupont
Eastman Chemical Company
Eastman Kodak Company
Eaton
Eli Lilly
Ernst & Young
Exxon-Mobil
GE
General Mills 
GlaxoSmithKline
Harley Davidson
Humana
IBM Corporation
ING
Intel Corporation
McGraw-Hill
Microsoft
National Association of Manufacturers
National Defense Industry Association
Northrup-Grumman
Northwestern Mutual
Promethean
Qualprint
Raytheon
Rockwell Automation
SAS Institute
Software & Information Industry  Association
State Farm Insurance
Taco Bell
Texas Instruments
Time Warner
Travellers Insurance
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Verizon Communications, Inc.
Xerox

A couple of the names on the list are particularly noteworthy, one of which is McGraw-Hill.  Millions of existing textbooks are going to be tossed out and replaced by Common Core compliant textbooks and McGraw-Hill will be the major beneficiary of this bonanza.  The other one is the National Defense Industry Association.  Eisenhower called them the Military Industrial Complex and I dub them DefCons, shorthand for defense contractors.  It is a notable irony that whereas President Eisenhower, in something of a coming to Jesus moment, warned us to beware of the MIC, they, for their part interpret it as glowing approval of their overreaching influence. They even have an industry award named after him.  Either way, it is worthy of note, the substantial representation on that list – of businesses that consume 25 percent of every federal dollar spent and that salivate whenever they hear a politician propose we involve ourselves in yet another no-win protracted conflict somewhere on the planet.

The Christian Post reports that Carlos Contreras, director of U.S. education for Intel, said his company is promoting Common Core with its employees and asking those employees to show up at community events to speak in support of Common Core.  Still, he added, about half of those employees do not know what Common Core is and a substantial minority are opposed to Common Core.  If it was just a practical matter with these businesses, rather than ideology based, one would think that they would reassess their involvement with it, based on the level of opposition.

It’s no surprise that establishment Republicans are solidly behind the implementation of Common Core.  GOP Governors Chris Christie (N.J.), Bill Haslam (Tenn.), Rick Scott (Fla.), Rick Snyder (Mich.), and former Republican Governors Jeb Bush (Fla.) and Mitch Daniels (Ind.) have all supported Common Core.  Bush claims that over half of the Republican governors in the country support Common Core.  Career politicians are a natural ally of business driven enterprises such as Common Core.  I cite Republicans here, because it supports another theme that is frequently referenced on Blasted Fools – the amorphous nature of the national political parties.

Whether or not Bush’s claim is true is something that remains to be seen, but this is just one more issue that disqualifies the likes of Bush and Christie from consideration for the GOP Presidential nomination – in my estimation, at least.  Of course, when it comes to Jeb Bush, his mother is also in agreement that the country has been there and done that with the Bush family.  Enough already.

For those among you who are well dialed in to the various problems and hazards of Common Core, I need not recite them here.  If you aren’t, there are better resources already available including Truth in American Education.  That Common Core is going to be high impact for good or for bad, is agreed upon by its supporters and detractors.  A supporter, Web Hutchins, went so far as to describe Common Core in these terms:

“Through promotion of the Common Core State Standards, the Obama administration and its allies orchestrated one of the most dramatic assertions of federal power into K-12 education since Brown v. Board of Education in 1954…”

The various websites that are promoting Common Core, assert that Common Core is not an initiative that originated or is being managed at the federal level. That is a creative falsehood.  The Obama Administration accepted the CCSS plan and used 2009 Stimulus Bill money to reward the states that were most committed to the president’s CCSS agenda; but, they failed to give states, their legislatures and their citizens time to evaluate the CCSS before having to commit to them.

Already, we’re seeing the unintended (perhaps intended) consequences and looming calamities of Obamacare.  I’m pessimistic, to say the least, about the likelihood that the federal government is going to improve on their track record with Common Core.  Common Core tells parents that its standards only involve English Language Arts & Literacy and Math, but the fact is that they also deal with History, Social Sciences, Science and Technology.  We know that the political outlook of the executives who run the legacy media, dictate what stories are covered and in what manner in news presentations.  The same type of perspective driven, top down imposition of priorities is embedded in the structure of Common Core, no matter how much they try to paint a picture otherwise.  Teachers who might be inclined to emphasize history that they consider essential, might run afoul of the Common Core regime and the prescribed slate of what is to be included and excluded.

I would just direct your attention to one other incident that gives me great cause for concern about the subversive nature of this ostensibly well intentioned reform initiative.  Teachers are being directed to resource websites for a list of recommended texts for students K-12.  An example of the sort of material that many parents would consider objectionable, is one that has caught the attention of  Monica Cole, director of One Million Moms, an online advocacy arm of the American Family Association.  She cites a book that  appears under “Grade 11-CCR Text Exemplars” on Appendix B of the Common Core website called The Bluest Eye, which portrays incest and pedophilia in a morally neutral manner. As others have noted, there is an abundant potential for messaging that runs counter to the best interests of students and their families.

I would argue that not only should Common Core be rejected and opposed in the various states, but that there is no Constitutional charter for the existence of the Department of Education. If we can’t eliminate that agency in the short term here, could we at least outsource it to Bangalore?

Advertisements