Wake County Man Fires Back at News & Observer For Common Core Smears

The News and Observer (N&O) recently published a staff Op-Ed taking aim at the opposition to Common Core after the last NC General Assembly Common Core LRC meeting. The N&O’s article was little more than a set of smears on those who spoke out at the meeting. The clear intent of that editorial was to make opposition to Common Core look like a bunch of conspiracy theory or religious nuts. We are not.

You can read my take-down of the N&O’s hit piece here:

@NewsObserver Pens Cherry Picking, Outlandish Op-Ed Attacking Common Core Opposition

The following is a letter I received and was given permission to publish here on the blog. It was sent to multiple parties involved in the ongoing controversy surrounding The Common Core State Standards in North Carolina. It was also sent to the N&O, however I have not seen it published yet. If it is, I will link it here.

I’d like to thank Mr. Bruno for sharing this with me and allowing me to post it on the blog.

The letter is as follows:

Members of the Common Core Study Committee.
CC: Dept. of Public Instruction and Wake County School Board,
The following is a letter I wrote in response to a News and Observer editorial critical of those in opposition of Common Core.
I wanted to share it with you to demonstrate what is being done to undermine a sincere effort by those in opposition.

To not call out the N&O when it breaches the boundaries of honest journalism only  emboldens them further.
Anthony Bruno
Cary, NC

The News and Observer once again used its editorial pages to do what it frequently criticizes others of doing; offer its own brand of hard core ideological views, and neglecting to provide its readers with something they deserve, fair and honest commentaries.

This is what it did with the “Common Core, Outlandish Claims” editorial, a blat-tent attempt to undermine a sincere effort to stop the implementation of this national education standard. Another example of cherry-picking content to meet its predetermined conclusion.

The readers would learn more from what was omitted than what was included, which I will now provide.

While the paper was correct the Common Core standards were adopted by the National Governors Association, it neglected to mention the leverage used by the US Dept. of Education to get forty-five states to agree. Refusing to implement this untested national standard would mean the loss of committed Federal funds for ‘Race to the Top’, which in itself is a violation of the US DOE’s own mission statement, not to involve itself with education standards!

Even the select Validation Committee created to evaluate the standard became a rubber stamp, not an honest assessment body to critically evaluate the Common Core. Of the 29 members, most unknown to the public, five dissented, and would not “sign off”. Yet their objections were not included in the final report. I wonder if the N&O knew of this?

And while the editorial launched its criticism on some who spoke, it neglected to advise its readers the make up of those who addressed the Common Core Study Committee.
By a three to two margin, the majority of the speakers were against Common Core, something else the editorial failed to mention.

The editorial also failed to mention the mix of the 62 individuals who spoke. Those opposed to Common Core were led by parents, followed by teachers, some Constitutionalists and a couple of those concerned with “Communist style” indoctrination.

Those in favor were mostly non-teachers led by the NC Education Association, the PTA, principles, school boards, business interests, and a few parents and teachers.

So, let the N&O name drop Jim Hunt and Jim Goodnight, whose own Cary Academy is NOT implementing Common Core, to support their editorial and disparage anyone against this national standard by referring to them as Tea Party conspiracy theorists.

It will be the readers who actually know about the issues who will take the time to correct the fraudulent arguments the N&O uses time again to win favor with readers who believe without question whatever they read on the editorial pages.

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
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