This is a reposting of my weekly Da Tech Guy column: The Common Core War Of Unicorns and Crawfish
There is an article in the Advocate concerning the Unicorns which was published after I wrote this article. It is well worth your time: Quin Hillyer: Unicorns have far more substance than Core supporters
By A.P. Dillon
If you’ve followed the Common Core debate over the last two to three years, one thing has been clear: Supporters of the standards can be relied on to mock opponents.
The display of ‘new tone‘, or shutuppery as I call it, has been very visible.
Examples range from the Secretary of Education and his ‘white suburban moms‘ slam to a legislator hinting that opponents need tin foil hats and wanting to budget for “two rolls of high density aluminum to create headgear designed to deflect drone and/or black helicopter mind reading and control technology.”
One of my favorites is Governor John Kasich claiming that opposition is ‘just a runaway internet campaign’.
This brings me to the war of the Unicorns and Crawfish playing out in Louisiana.
The Advocate reported; emphasis added:
Using stuffed pink unicorns to dispel what they call myths about Common Core, officials of a group that backs the standards said Wednesday that they are launching a marketing campaign to defeat legislative efforts to repeal the overhaul.
The push is led by the Alliance for Better Classrooms political action committee, or ABC PAC.
The same group, with Baton Rouge contractor Lane Grigsby as one of its leaders, played a key role in the 2011 races for the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Organizers of the effort have distributed stuffed pink or white unicorns to state lawmakers that include tags that say “Unicorns are not real. And neither are most of the things you’ve heard about Common Core State Standards.”
Why pink unicorns?
Shane Vander Hart of Truth In American Education gave advocates the idea — as a joke.
Vander Hart wrote, “I’d like to point out I actually made this suggestion as some friendly PR advice for Common Core advocates when they were really struggling at the time not knowing exactly where to burn all of that Gates money.”
It is worth noting who is getting behind Alliance for Better Classrooms’s Unicorn campaign. High profile ‘Republicans’ like Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, and Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA). Breitbart reported:
A group of Common Core supporters resorting to mocking parents and other opponents of the boondoggle education initiative is studded with likely GOP presidential candidates, establishment Republican governors, top corporations, and the primary private funder of Common Core himself–Bill Gates.
As parents by the thousands are opting their children out of the Common Core-aligned tests throughout the country, and many states are besieged by massive technological glitches that are preventing the tests from being administered at all, pro-Common Core headliners like Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, and Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) have joined together as a group called “Unicorns Are Not Real.”
Funded by PAC Alliance for Better Classrooms, the group purports to ridicule opponents of the unproven Common Core standards with the theme that “most of the things you’ve heard about Common Core” are not real, either.
By the way Bloomberg dumped $100k into Alliance for Better Classrooms in 2011 in an attempt to influence three runoff races for the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
While mocking and ridicule by supporters has been consistent, so it the reaction of opponents. They refuse to lay down and take it.
In response to the Unicorns, opponents to the Common Core punching back twice as hard. The Advocate reported:
Not to be outdone by pink unicorns, Common Core opponents Wednesday distributed stuffed red crawfish to state lawmakers in arguing that the academic standards are riddled with problems.
“Our campaign is that crawfish are real and so are the problems with Common Core,” said Amy Lemoine, who lives in Lafayette.
“Parents across the state as well as educators have done their homework, done our research,” Lemoine said. “We have come across some real problems with Common Core based on facts, research, expert opinions. We just want our legislators to have those facts presented to them.”
Backers of the crawfish campaign said that, unlike the unicorn movement, theirs does not rely on the support of big companies.
“This is not professional,” Lemoine said. “This is moms. We have pulled our talents together.”
“This is moms.” BOOM!
Yes, this is moms.
And dads, grandparents, students and teachers. And the majority of us vote.
A.P. Dillon resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina and is the founder of LadyLiberty1885.com. Her current and past writing can also be found at IJ Review, StopCommonCoreNC.org, Watchdog Wire NC