O.k. I miss stuff sometimes. And for the record I have had a twitter account for years but I still wonder sometimes if I am missing something. Yesterday I was scrolling through the twitterage and it appeared a lot of the people I know, respect, read and follow were dropping ironic bombs about Common Core using #supportthecore as a hashtag. I didn't feel compelled to join in the fray as I didn't get what was afoot and from the look of things the good guys were landing about 9 punches to the dark side's one.
Today I learned from my esteemed friend and colleague RBE at PerdidoSt.School Blog that the tweets were in response to a little p.r. event the reformy types were launching with some of the ten million Billy Boy and Melinda's Foundation donated a few months ago to get more of the proles to love Common Core. Sadly, friends, the reform class is not seeing any whirlwind romance between the small folk and the ejaculations of David Coleman and his merry band of unqualified standard bearers. In fact, after a disastrous first date especially in places like the Empire State, nobody is calling the standards. They pine night after night but no suitors inquire. They are annoying, they are ridiculous, they are high maintenance and you cannot change them. In short, nobody likes them or their creepy supporters who try to inflict them on everyone else's kids but keep their own kids 500 yards back.
The Gateses even had some little scripted starter tweets for the legions of pro CCSS public school teachers and pro CCSS parents they anticipated would flood the internets like factory workers rushing outside into the streets to celebrate production quotas reached and thanking Big Brother for their new happy lives. Ahem.
Turns out the tweets came hard and heavy all right but not from the #supporters. Opening Day of #supportthecore was quickly appropriated by its Fifth Column whose savagely comical ironies gave the core a good pantsing and sent its handlers running for cover only to re-emerge later sniveling that their little propaganda/astro turf party had been "hijacked" and one of them even felt "bullied." Is that fucking priceless or what? An ed reforming front man with ten million at his fingertips to pummel, browbeat and demonize public school teachers is silly enough to whimper about being bullied by a bunch of people earning 50K a year and painting houses in the summer to keep their internet on so they can tweet against his fakeass campaign. Arthur Goldstein's blog has a bunch of great tweets from the day as does PerdidoSt.School.
It's always amusing and in this case extremely gratifying as well to watch how dumb the ed reform braintrust can be. Tom Friedman would accuse them of a failure of the imagination. When the NYSED manure wagon with Tisch and Lil John and Regentus Flatulentus Bennett rolled into Spackenkill and the assembled parents and teachers there turned it into something between the Siege of Helm's Deep and The Sand Pebbles, we saw how the reform sphcintre contracted and reacted. Then they re-opened their tour with what they thought was a people-proof plan to wheedle their way through the remaining whistle stops. Until of course PJSTA President Beth Dimino went unblocked and tossed both King and Tisch for a 20 yard loss as Old Bob could only chew his cud and gape in doltish wonder. So then they really ratcheted up the restrictions to the point that by the time they reached Buffalo they'd given nearly half the tickets to a local teacher hater and hustler who doubles as the head of a non representative parent group. He gave them out to his homies and most of them stayed home due to the lake effect storm and 40 mph breeze of Lake Erie. Mission Accomplished, almost. They accepted only written and approved questions and managed to shrink the event until it was little more than Bennett and King admiring each other's full windsor tie knots and checking their watches til happy hour. The real story was outside in a near blizzard where the raucous, foot stamping people who couldn't get tickets nearly outnumbered the polite shills inside the venue. It was duly noted by most media outlets that the high spirited protest mob outside was as big as the warm and polite assemblage inside.
Ed reformers and Common Core do not mix well with democracy. We've seen the way they manipulate situations to keep the common folk from gaining any traction or having any input in any of their affairs. Look what happens every time reformy types think they can relax their guard and give the small folk a little token gesture of representation. As soon as they do the public clobbers them with it and rightly so. So take a bit of unfriendly advice reformy types.Keep using Twitter and Instagram. Keep putting your message out there where people who watched helplessly as their kids began to despise school can respond to you. Keep it real reformy types and stay close where we can keep telling you what we think of all your great ideas for everyone's kids but yours.
For the record, I am using a Nokia Windows phone as my iphone4 went kayaking in 18 Mile Creek. If this thing is any indication of Bill Gates' on his best day, things are looking good for our side.