Press "Enter" to skip to content

Anti-Common Core Activists Eying Blue Ribbon Meetings

Uh oh—I’m going to have to get cranky with my anti-Common Core friends for trying to crash the Blue Ribbon party.

South Dakotans Against Common Core is encouraging its followers to fill seats at the six just-about-public meetings of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Teachers and Students (BluRTFTS) in June. Naturally, the Common Core opponents will want repeat what they’ve been telling the Governor’s people and their legislators for years: Common Core is bad for students, bad for teachers, bad for schools.

While I appreciate any citizen’s willingness to participate in public policy meetings, I’m not sure the BluRTFTS meetings are the proper venue for fighting Common Core. Governor Dennis Daugaard created BluRTFTS to discuss teacher pay (or at least to prolong the discussion to postpone action for at least another year). The question the Governor says this panel is to answer is, “What possibilities are there to meaningfully fund education for our kids and our communities?” BluRTFTS isn’t about standards, curriculum, or tests. BluRTFTS is about funding.

Common Core costs money, but it’s not the kind of big ticket item whose elimination would free up the cash we need to make our teacher salaries competitive. Besides, even Common Core opponents aren’t advocating for the complete elimination of external standards and testing; they just want different standards, which would still impose costs and paperwork and, inevitably, time-consuming tests that would still make teachers want to take up other employment.

If Common Core opponents are coming to the BluRTFTS meetings to propose a plan to mitigate our teacher shortage by eliminating Common Core and marketing ourselves to the teacher labor pool as the state where teachers don’t have to put up with the soul-crushing tests and bureaucracy, then hand them the mic. Heck, if they can show Governor Daugaard that eliminating Common Core would recruit more teachers without raising pay or taxes, he might seize that distraction.

But if the anti-Common Core crowd is coming to recycle the same old arguments that Common Core is more of Barack Obama’s Mongolia-style socialism, the same esoteric ‘Net-meme propaganda that Team Daugaard and the Legislature have consistently rejected in other meetings, there’s no reason to pitch them at these funding-focused meetings.


  1. grudznick 2015-05-31 11:11

    Yes, BLURTF is about finding ways to pay good teachers more money. These common cores are going to usurp the purpose of these meetings to yell and shout and throw your usual virtual fruit rinds at the people meeting to talk about BLURTF agendas. The common cores don’t understand and think everything is about their paranoid issues.

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-05-31 11:13

    Uh oh—Grudz and I kinda agree. The best outcome for these public meetings would be for every teacher, parent, and concerned taxpayer to come to the mic and say, “Pay teachers more.” Anything that distracts from that message at these meetings will be counterproductive.

    Still, if I were Governor Daugaard, wouldn’t I find some Common Core distraction useful right about now?

  3. owen 2015-05-31 15:40

    I agree. This panel is for finding ways to pay ALL teachers and not a rally for the Tea Party. I’m not really for Common Core and I’ll defer to my wife and Cory on this.

    Good point Cory. I can see Daugaard using this as a diversion from teacher pay.

  4. grudznick 2015-05-31 16:39

    We have ways to pay ALL teachers, owen. We are already paying ALL teachers. The issue is we need to pay the good ones more.

  5. owen 2015-05-31 17:15

    Well I’ll ask this again Grud. How do you define a good teacher?

  6. Richard Schriever 2015-05-31 18:10

    Measuring teacher “goodness” is, of course, simply an alternative means of distraction from the actual CORE issue. Grudz has memorized his meme and he’s stickin’ with it. Does that ability to mimic rote rhetoric make him a “good” teacher??

  7. grudznick 2015-05-31 18:44

    The same way you separate the good ones and the bad ones in any profession, Owen. You measure them, and if they can’t come up with their own way to measure themselves then you put one on them. Teachers are not so special that they cannot be measured against behaviors and objectives. If they were that special they’d be earning lots and lots of money. But apparently they’re not.

    But I, for one, think teachers are smart enough to figure out how to sort themselves out.

  8. owen 2015-05-31 19:19

    In my work if I don’t get a certain amount done I’m in trouble. In most professions it’s clear cut. Teaching is not so clear cut. Over the years most of the parents seemed to like my wife. But there were a few parents over the 35 years that I’m sure weren’t so happy with her. It was the same for my did who taught for years. It’s hard to find a fair rating system.

    I do thank you Grudz for the support though for what the Blue Ribbon panel is trying to do, even though I think its a waste of time because this has been researched over and over again. We know what the problem.

  9. grudznick 2015-05-31 19:53

    BLURTF has to at least try, Owen, or else it’s like giving up. And if you give up, you have to quit complaining about it and just take it. Ol’ grudz does not want you to give up, Owen.

  10. Donald Pay 2015-05-31 19:53

    There really was little opposition from the right to Common Core until the billionaires started funding a faux-grassroots campaign about two years ago. These billionaires, of course, saw opposition to Common Core as a way to cripple public schools, so they could push privatization.

    I don’t care if they push their misinformation at these hearings. The hearings aren’t needed to solve the problems they are intended to solve, so bringing up bullshit in a bullshit process seems about right to me. It just takes a little leadership and some priority setting, two things that are seriously lacking in SD state government, to solve the education funding issue.

  11. owen 2015-05-31 20:29

    I don’t want to give up either, but action is needed. Not more studies that are garbage.

    And Donald Pay, you hit the nail on the head. I agree with you

  12. larry kurtz 2015-05-31 20:30

    66 county seats and 6+ four-year regental universities are neither conservative nor sustainable regardless of the findings of some so-called panel made of bleu cheese.

  13. o 2015-05-31 20:33

    grudznick, your “pay the good ones” is as much a distraction from meaningful resolution of the shortage crisis as any discussion of common core.

Comments are closed.