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. ...it 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?