In a classic case of psychological projection, New York Education Commissioner John King sneered at parents and teachers who attended his Common Core dog-and-pony show as "special interests." After droning on uninterrupted for an hour and a half, King finally allowed two-minute statements from the audience. Parents balked at their kids being used as "guinea pigs" for untested teaching methods; educators challenged Common Core's assessment-obsessed, one-size-fits-all approach. King petulantly cut off testimony only 20 minutes into the feedback session to filibuster and grandstand -- and then proceeded to cancel future forums.
King dug his hole further by accusing parents of being "manipulated." But Leonie Haimson, a New York City public school parent, pointed out: "So far six out of nine states have pulled out of inBloom or put their plans on hold because of protests from privacy experts and parents in Louisiana, Georgia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Delaware and Massachusetts."
"Commissioner King's claim is not only insulting to parents; it reveals how out of touch he is," Haimson wrote this week in an assessment that sums up the problem with countless Common Core mouthpieces. "He seems unable to comprehend how parents' desire to protect their children's privacy is rational and to have the right to decide with whom their children's most sensitive information, including their names, addresses, test scores, disabilities and disciplinary records, is being shared is completely justified."
In my home state of Colorado, dissent from both conservative and liberal parents forced Jefferson County to allow individual "opt-outs" from the inBloom data-mining machine. The Gates Foundation responded by pouring $5 million into the district for "innovative professional development systems to create personalized learning systems for teachers." How do you spell special interest payoff?
Not only do these education emperors have no clothes. They have tissue-paper thin skin. Their arrogant, contemptuous and vengeful treatment of dissenting parents and teachers gets a world-class "F." Listen up:
We parents of school-age children are all Robert Smalls and Natalie Adamses and Leonie Haimsons. We, not the Obamas or the Bushes or the Gateses or educrats in Washington, are our children's primary educational providers. Control over our children begins and ends with us.
It is not easy to stand up and challenge sovereignty-undermining, curriculum-usurping, privacy-sabotaging education orthodoxy, especially when it is plied with a toxic alliance of both big-government and big-business interests.
But if we don't do it, who will?