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Bolin Invites Lobbyists to “Stop Common Core” — Smile When You Say That!

South Dakotans Against Common Core are crediting Rep. Jim Bolin (R-16/Canton) with being "the first in South Dakota to expose this leviathan called Common Core." Rep. Bolin was certainly an early opponent, challenging the November 2010 adoption of Common Core with his 2011 House Bill 1153 to block history standards that didn't exist then and don't exist now. I don't know if challenging something that didn't exist counts as "exposing a leviathan" (though it certainly prefigures much of the paranoia we hear from current Common Core opponents). But I invite eager readers to submit evidence supporting or refuting the notion that Rep. Bolin was the first South Dakotan to attack Common Core.

Rep. Bolin will have some anti-Common Core company in Pierre this week. He's inviting his comrades (hee hee!) to a Stop Common Core Day at the Capitol on Wednesday, January 29! They'll be buttonholing legislators all day long from 7:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., lobbying with a wide variety of inconsistent arguments to save education from... well... from something.

Snark aside, I love Stop Common Core Day, because they are trying to teach their participants how to lobby effectively. Here's some of the advice they post from Mark Chase at the Family Policy Council (there: don't say that I never say anything nice about my theocrat yahoo neighbors):

4. The ones you want to engage in conversation are the ones who say that they don’t know much about it, or that they have not formed an opinion either way, and there are many of these. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT attempt to dialogue with a senator or representative who tells you that they are for Common Core. YOU WILL NOT CHANGE THEIR MINDS!! What you risk, because you are so passionately opposed to Common Core, is getting into a futile argument, and we must avoid this at all costs. Arguments will only damage our efforts [Mark Chase, Family Policy Council, "Lobbying 101," Facebook post for South Dakotans Against Common Core, 2014.01.26].

Translation: Legislators, if you're busy, decide before Wednesday whether you support Common Core or not. Indecision only invites long conversations!

6. would be very helpful if you predetermine what you would like a senator or representative to know about Common Core and prepare your talking points accordingly. What would be EXTREMELY helpful would be physical examples of what the implementation of Common Core through the curriculum looks like. This is time is for “Show and Tell!” Let them hear your story and give them solid reasons to oppose it [Chase, 2014.01.26].

Prepare, be specific, provide real examples—that's great debate-coach advice!

7. If you find the emotions of frustration/anger rising inside you, TAKE A BREAK! Leave the building, go downstairs to the cafeteria, or find a quiet place in the capital where you can regroup or reflect with another person. Emotions run high at the capital and it is incumbent upon us to keep them in check [Chase, 2014.01.26].

Good advice for the Legislature, the dinner table, the blog comment section, pretty much everywhere else.

9. Finally, keep a smile on your face and enjoy your time. You will most certainly make an impact!!! [Chase, 2014.01.26].

It's politics. It's policy. It's serious and important. But it's also democracy, and you're doing it, in the greatest temple to the popular will in South Dakota. How can you not have a smile on your face?


  1. grudznick 2014.01.26

    In your mind envision Mr. Bolin marching towards the capital building with his common core horde fanning out behind, the bitter wind raking his well-coiffed hair back against the sides of his skull and a wicked grin dancing on his face. I hope the TV cameras are there to capture this for me to see.

  2. Kal Lis 2014.01.26

    Which sight would be more frightening, the one you describe or the glint in your eye when you get your breakfast gravy?

    Is there any reason your breakfast meetings aren't on a public access channel somewhere in South Dakota?

  3. Donald Pay 2014.01.26

    First, I'd like to know who's paying the transportation to Pierre, and really for the entire anti-Common Core campaign. I expect Bollin and other folks are on the payroll. This is the sort of astro-turf campaign we've come to expect from the righties. The fact that a bunch of rather sheep-like citizens made fearful by a lot of cuckoo talk and can be mobilized to look like a grassroots effort is nothing too surprising(eg., see the Tea Party). The fact is anti-Common Core campaigns are being run by a national cabal, bankrolled by powerful righty interests with deep pockets. The fact that some folks that look to be "grassroots" come to Pierre can't hide the big moneys are behind this fax grassroots effort.

    Second, the idea of "show and tell" is going to be interesting. All they are going to be able to "show and tell" is manufactured nonsense, since Common Core hasn't really been implemented yet. In other states these "grassroots" anti-Common Core mostly consist of the same people who lead and support efforts to cut funding for public education and support privatization of education. This effort is all about weakening public education, so the private and religious schools can reap the benefits.

  4. grudznick 2014.01.26

    Mr. H and Mr. Bolin are the Left-Right combination belly punch to this common core nonsense.

  5. grudznick 2014.01.26

    Mr. H and Mr. Bolin are just like Bud Spenser and Terence Hill.

  6. owen reitzel 2014.01.26

    they going to hand out tinfoil hats? They should

  7. Jana 2014.01.26

    The anti common core effort is being funded by our good friends at Freedom Works...who want freedom for only themselves.

  8. Bree S. 2014.01.26

    An interesting statement Jana. Please explain how Freedom Works only wants freedom for "themselves" and explain who is "them" exactly.

  9. SES 2014.01.27

    Lets talk money, where did the funds come to write and promote the CC standards? Big Business and Big Government. Do you think that they gave the money out of the goodness of they heart? NO they want profit and control. Here is one question for you big business (common core) supporters, have you seen test data that says Common Core will work?

  10. Donald Pay 2014.01.27

    SES makes a good point. There is corporate money (not so much, though, "big government" money) being spent on the pro-Common Core side. On previous threads on this issue I've pointed out that many of the educrat/edu-industrial complex see Common Core as a marketing opportunity for consulting and curriculum. That is not an argument against standards, however. It is an argument against quick and unthoughtful adoption of curriculum just because it is marketed as "Common Core."

    Adoption of Common Core standards do not require any money. Adoption of new curriculum may, and that is what needs to be thought out in a systematic way. In many instances the standards can use existing curriculum in a new way. Curriculum adoption is almost always done at the local level with a lot of input from teachers. That's what Common Core really needs to succeed, and, if done correctly, the money for implementation should go to teachers and local districts, not the educational consultants and the big money educrat-edu-industry complex.

  11. SES 2014.01.27

    Big Government though Race to the Top, requested $1.35 billion for the program in his FY 2011 budget. In that 1.35 Billion was a grant to Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium for 130 million. This is just pocket change, DOE also paid South Dakota 6 million for the state longitudinal data system. To be used to collect data on ages prek-20 on South Dakota students. Big Government is into Common Core big time. What could be worst for South Dakota kids, then have these two groups in charge of their education. Then we have costs, they will be in the Billions nation wide.

  12. Donald Pay 2014.01.27

    Um, try to do a bit more than cut and paste. Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium is not Common Core State Standards. I'm not a big fan of standardized testing, but it is completely different than standards.

    Longitudinal studies are done all the time, and the data is used by all sorts of folks, including righty groups like ALEC. If you want to have some impact, get the righty groups to stop insisting on collecting and misusing the data.

  13. SES 2014.01.28

    So, no come back on Big Government being part of Common Core? Maybe you should try cut and paste, then you would not have to make remarks like righty groups. I am in this for kids like my two young grandsons, not to make some cheap political point.

  14. interested party 2014.01.28

    Sibby: we missed you!

  15. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.01.28

    Who needs a comeback on a fringe issue that misses the point around which we should all unite: Common Core distracts a lot of time, effort, and money in a project that won't help teachers teach or students learn any better than No Child Left Behind did.

    Let's encapsulate the main issue with this comment from Tennessee geometry teacher and Common Core opponent Roy Turrentine:

    "Those of us who teach in high schools across America have long desired rigor. To go to meetings where people seem to feel that this rigor is their idea is nothing short of insulting to those of us who have been trying to unite the disciplines for decades. Every good teacher knows what the ideal is. We have been trying to do this for all of our careers. Having Bill Gates give me his opinion does no one any good. Having his opinion become national policy will not serve anyone."

    Can we make faith in and support for teachers as the experts and drivers of improved education our common core principle in opposing Common Core?

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