Education FreedomWorks

Published on January 21st, 2014 | by Todd Smekens

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FreedomWorks: “Progressives” Behind Common Core?

FreedomWorks and Tea Party Attacking Public Education to Eliminate “Progressives”

MUNCIE, Indiana – Never before in our history has the need to use skepticism and critical thinking been so abundantly necessary. The media doesn’t fact check, nor do they care where the information is coming from. If you’re Fox News, you have script writers who create news from scratch to push a conservative agenda. Bias in the media is at an all time high, yet many still falsely advertise themselves as “fair and balanced” or objective.

In fact, media companies are the worst offenders for lobbying against transparency because they don’t want journalists to find out who is buying ad space to peddle the negative and/or false ads (media’s goal is to protect the shell companies who buy the negative ads).


So, get ready for an all out assault on public education by the Koch backed ultra-conservative far right conservatives and their “think-tanks”, trusts, academic shills, Indiana Policy Review, ALEC, Heritage Foundation, CATO Institute, and FreedomWorks.

The problem is they’re wrong, but when have relevant facts ever stopped them?

It just means the young writers at FreedomWorks will have to spin it harder to ignite the Tea Party Patriots across the country. We just received an email from FreedomWorks telling their “patriots” this:

President Obama and his federal bureaucrats want to brainwash America’s children. That’s why they’re pushing Common Core education standards. These standards eliminate parental rights and local control of schools. They force a Progressive propaganda on America’s kids. And they need to be defeated. Washington bureaucrats don’t know what’s best for America’s kids. Since DC decided to run America’s schools, national test scores have actually gotten WORSE.

FreedomWorks was Dick Armey’s organization which has been front and center within the Tea Party movement. They’re an anti-Washington, anti-government group – followers of Freedomworks are outraged by Obamacare, unions, all liberals, black presidents and any kind of regulation. FreedomWorks was formed to promote Austrian economic theories arguing economic models are useless, and markets must be unfettered (no government interference) to succeed…only free markets will work.

Based on the above definition, can you tell why the coal-burning, money-loving Koch brothers would adopt and fund this organization to promote its social movement. They also funnel hundreds of millions annually to Tea Party candidates who support these ideals. We’ve learned that the “leadership” in this organization got so bad that Dick Armey resigned in December, 2012, because of a “dispute over principle” with Matt Kibbe, according to his resignation letter. Matt signed the email we received as President & CEO of FreedomWorks.

Any idea who their favorite media company might be?

Matt Kibbe is a frequent blogger on Fox News, where he’s allowed to shape public opinion, or at least those who consider Fox News a reliable news source.

We told you it was coming several weeks ago when Politico wrote about the Koch’s next conservative venture, “The groups are stoking populist anger over the standards (Common Core) — then working to channel that energy into a bold campaign to undercut public schools, weaken teachers unions and push the federal government out of education policy.

It’s bad enough we have the 1%’ers working with Obama and Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, to undercut public education, then replace with hedge fund backed charter schools, but now we’ll soon have the grossly misinformed Tea Party actors wanting to attack teachers and public education for working with Obama and “progressives” to take over public education.

This is what happens when they listen to the echo chamber and refuse to get information outside their traditional ultra-conservative news media sources.

Progressives like Anthony Cody and Diane Ravitch are laughing – no, more like crying over this news. Anthony writes,

Blaming progressive critics of Common Core for the rise of this conservative movement turns reality on its head. The people who have let down our public schools are those who are willing to embrace standardization and high stakes tests as some sort of “progressive” guarantor of equity. We have been down this path with No Child Left Behind, which was sold to us by an alliance of liberal and neo-conservative politicians. We were told children in poverty would get more attention and resources once standardized tests “shed light” on just how far behind they were…It is not progressive opponents of Common Core who have set our public schools and unions up for this. It is the corporate reformers, and those willing to promote their grandiose Common Core project.

Diane writes in her national blog:

The bottom line, in my view, is that Common Core is getting increasingly controversial because of the way it was developed and imposed. The absence of a democratic process and the lack of transparency caused a lack of trust and an abundance of suspicion. In a democracy, major changes like national standards for public schools must be done with maximum sunlight and participation, not in secrecy.

This is exactly the problem with our education reform here in Indiana and why there has been so much pushback from educators, students and parents. Tony Bennett and Mitch Daniels worked with foundations and other corporate interests, including some shady operators, to rig the game against the public schools to help get rid of the unions. It cost Tony Bennett an election, and later his Jeb Bush arranged job in Florida.

However, calling Common Core a progressive assault on public education will cause more credibility loss for the Koch brothers, ALEC, Heritage Foundation, FreedomWorks, Fox News, Tea Party, etc.

Who will believe that progressives are working with the 1%’ers to take over public education?

As a reminder, there are May primary elections across the country where Tea Party candidates will need false information to spread – just like in our local community. We yield our own conclusion to the wisdom of Diane Ravitch who writes:

The Common Core is becoming increasingly toxic. As it becomes more controversial, its chances of survival will dim. The more that policymakers shun reasonable parents and teachers, the more frustrated the excluded become. If Common Core dies, don’t blame the Koch brothers: Blame Arne Duncan, the Gates Foundation, Achieve, David Coleman, the NGA, the CCSSO, and all those who thought that national standards could be imposed swiftly without the hard work of listening and participation that democracy requires.

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About the Author

Journalist, entrepreneur, publisher, DSA member, and ethical leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy cycling, yoga, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter. Wellness advocate who practices servant style leadership.


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