#DM7 Article: The Unintended Transparency Of Common Core Lobbyists

This is a repost of my weekly DaTechGuy column: The Unintended Transparency Of Common Core Lobbyists


By A.P. Dillon

A few weeks back, I wrote a piece called The Unintended Transparency of Obama’s DOJ. This article is in that same theme of unintended transparency, only this time it’s Common Core related.

It seems that a lobbyist organization funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was caught targeting Catholic schools over their pushback on the Common Core State Standards. It goes a little bit beyond that, with this lobbyist accidentally contacting one of the more vocal opponents to Common Core in what seems like a coordinated effort to steer the narrative.  Oops.

Cardinal Newman Society reported:

Sara Pruzin, a state operations associate for the Council for a Strong America (CSA) and former communications intern for U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, unwittingly contacted a Cardinal Newman Society leader to rally Catholic support for the Common Core.  She sent an email on August 28 to Dr. Daniel Guernsey, director of the Newman Society’s K-12 Education Programs, at his office at Ave Maria University in Florida, asking him to consider writing op-eds and letters to the editor in support of the Common Core.

“We are concerned about the strident attacks coming from parts of the Catholic community, which we believe are inaccurate and meant more to divide than to inform,” Pruzin wrote.  “We feel that it is important to respond to the negative statements about the Common Core, rather than let them go unanswered.”

Pruzin later confirmed that her criticisms were aimed at The Cardinal Newman Society, and her email was part of a major effort to build support among Catholic educators.  She said the Gates Foundation grantee has reached out to about 50 Catholic educators and leaders, including superintendents in a dozen states and officials at the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA)—which is also a recipient of Gates funding to promote the Common Core. 

“Strident attacks”.

That’s a new coat of paint on the same old ‘shut up… they explained’ tactic.

This is narrative steering effort is not unsurprising. Just consider what Bill Gates is attempting to do by buying up media outlets as a ‘strategic media partnership‘ plan.

To be clear, this is less about correcting the record and more about stemming the tide of Catholic schools and parents of students organizing a push back.  Catholic schools and organizations have figured out that Common Core contains threats to religious liberty and the Cardinal Newman Society has been on the leading edge of getting that message out.

There’s a bit more from the Cardinal Newman Society article which needs highlighting:

CSA received $1.7 million from the Gates Foundation in July 2013 “to educate and engage stakeholders about the Common Core and teacher development through a range of communications activities”.  These have included rallying retired military officers, police officers, business leaders and others to advocate Common Core in many states. 

Note the mention of retired military and police officers? I picked up on those groups back in June when they started issuing their Common Core support statements.

The police officers statement came through a group called ‘Fight Crime’. The mission statement on the ‘Fight Crime’ site states they are an organization under the non-profit group Council For A Strong America.

The same affiliation with CSA was true of the retired military group, ‘Mission: Readiness’.

It was rather easy to track down from their addresses, which were identical; 1212 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20005. That address houses the Council for a Strong America, Ready NationAmerica’s EdgeFight Crime: Invest In Kids and Shepherding the Next Generation.


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AP DillonA.P. Dillon (Lady Liberty 1885), is a Conservative minded wife and mother living in the Triangle area of North Carolina. A.P. Dillon founded the blog LadyLiberty1885.com in 2009. After the 2012 election, she added an Instapundit style blog called The ConMom Blog. Mrs. Dillon recently participated in Glenn Beck’sWe Will Not Conform. Mrs. Dillon’s writing, in addition to Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent 7, can also be found at StopCommonCoreNC.org, WatchdogWireNC and WizBang. Non-political writing projects include science fiction novellas that are, as of yet, unpublished. Her current writing project is a children’s book series.


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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