Common Core Opponents Hijack Supporters’ Twitter Blitz

Aug 13, 2014 by

Opponents of the standards are fired up, and supporters need to up their intensity, one analyst says.

Opponents of the Common Core State Standards have made their opinions heard far and wide – they don’t like the standards, and they’ll say why you as a teacher, parent or lawmaker shouldn’t either. They’re so passionate about it, in fact, that they made strides to take over a social media campaign aimed at gaining traction for supporters on Tuesday.

Common Core opponents gained more time in the spotlight – and perhaps an upper hand – recently when Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin held a town hall meeting simulcast in hundreds of movie theaters last month. The “We Will Not Conform” strategy session characterized the standards as a move away from local control of public education.

Supporters’ attempts to quell concerns, on the other hand, have catered largely to the more calculated reasoning of policy wonks than the emotional connection parents and teachers have with what goes on in the classroom, some say. In a recent interview with “Bloomberg EDU” host Jane Stoddard Williams, College Board President David Coleman – an architect of the standards – said supporters will “lose things of great importance” if they dismiss opposition to Common Core as “an extremist position.”

Following the intensified media push from opponents, backers of Common Core began to ratchet up their efforts to bring awareness to the other side of the debate.

Organized by the Collaborative for Student Success and supported by other groups like Teach Plus and Educators 4 Excellence, teachers and other Common Core supporters took to Twitter Tuesday to launch an outreach strategy encouraging teachers, parents and other leaders to voice why they are behind the standards.

“It’s critical that their voices be heard in this debate, especially as teachers prepare for a new school year,” Karen Nussle, executive director of the Collaborative for Student Success, told Politico Pro’s Morning Education.


But opponents also saw the campaign as an opportunity to make their push, co-opting the hashtag to express concerns with the standards and replying to supporters’ tweets.
“What’s been interesting and frankly disheartening is the responses from some of the Common Core opponents have been so vitriolic. I would almost describe it as bullying,” says Michael Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, which supports the standards. “Here you have these teachers speaking their mind and standing up for something and they’re getting all kinds of nasty reactions back.”

Opponents used the #supportthecore hashtag to say that if teachers and schools support the standards, students would fall behind, schools would be privatized or it would equate to unintended support of sorting students based on test scores.
Still, Petrilli says the pushback from opponents could be helpful to the pro-Common Core cause in the long term.

“We know the opponents of the Common Core are fired up and engaged. We know that they have intensity,” Petrilli says. “In some ways this might motivate these teachers to get even more engaged and to get their colleagues to do the same. And that’s going to help us. That’s going to help this debate turn the corner.”

via Common Core Opponents Hijack Supporters’ Twitter Blitz – US News.

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