Is a Wyoming survey to determine citizen CCSS opinion part of a revamped PR campaign by the supporters?


The CCSS supporters really want to know what you think about CCSS.  Really.  It only took them 4 1/2 years after the roll out to invite you to the table and ask your opinion, but be careful before you sit and partake.  Legislators and organizations supposedly want to know what you want, but be careful what/how you answer.  Those answers might be the basis of a new campaign to tell you why you really need them.  The above graphic comes from a presentation by Matt Gandal explaining the reason to up the PR campaign against those who oppose CCSS.  (Gandal’s power point presentation has been pulled from the Internet but visit the MEW link for the majority of the slides).

Why be cynical about legislators’ intentions to NOW ask how you feel about an educational reform plan that circumvented the political process and voters?  Let’s revisit how some legislators view your opinion.  The national media had a field day with Representative Mike Lair in Missouri when he inserted $8.00 into the budget for tin foil.  This was a nudge to the citizens to cease and desist who were raising concern about the Common Core State Standards Initiative at the statehouse during the last legislative session.  National Review Online titled its article about Representative’s Lair attempt at humor: Is This Guy America’s Most Arrogant State Lawmaker?

Rep. Lair might have earned that title for his smug marginalization of those who ask questions of their governmental officials and bureaucrats.  As in any contest, along with the winner, there are runner-ups.  Here is a state legislator who may have seen Lair crowned as the most arrogant and he wants to join the pageant of politicians who slap labels on constituents in an attempt to ridicule their beliefs.  From Representative Chris Rothfuss’ Facebook posting regarding a Common Core survey for Wyoming citizens to complete:


tin foil hat survey


All in all, it’s not a bad survey and it asks some good questions to take back to the committee.  It would be advantageous to know what his definition is of ‘lunatic fringe’ and what beliefs about Common Core relegates you to the Tin Foil Hat Department of the Education Reform store.  This name calling by the representative may clue us in to his belief about Common Core and its opponents.

Do you think this line of attack is coming from any PR toolkit from CCSSO on how to counter the facts about Common Core?  Why would he use personal jabs at citizens?  Is this just another politician practicing the art of ridicule?  Maybe those questions can be answered when you research who wrote the survey for the legislature.  The survey is written by Cross & Joftus:


(click on graphic to enlarge)

cross and joftus 2


You might remember Scott Joftus from one of MEW’s earliest postings about Race to the Top and Common Core.  From The Wild West of Education and the Common Core Gold Rush:

Scott Joftus, closely aligned with Bill Gates and his foundation since the early years of 2000, had this to say about education in an article aptly titled “Is the Stimulus Really “No Consultant Left Behind” “?:


That metaphor is an apt one for the market as well. In the fall of 2009, Mr. Joftus was contacted by a former contractor who was working for Global Partnership Schools, a new school turnaround venture funded by GEMS Education, a Dubai-based company founded by entrepreneur Sunny Varkey. The caller was hoping to obtain copies of Mr. Joftus’ contract for school improvement services in Kansas.
“You know we’re in a new era when school turnaround firms in the U.S. are being funded out of the Middle East,” Joftus said. “To me, that says there’s money to be made. I call this period the Wild West in education.”

Cross & Joftus supports Common Core and has received money from the Bill Gates Foundation and helped write Race to the Top applications for states.  It provides education leaders ‘expert assistance’ to support sound investments a by developing effective policies, evaluating programs, planning strategically, and implementing promising model reforms.  Is ‘model reforms’ a code word for the phrase that is now toxic: Common Core State Standards?  Did the legislature pay for this Wyoming survey?  Did the State Board of Education contract with Cross & Joftus for these questions?

Maybe the intent of this survey is not to see what Wyoming citizens like or don’t like about Common Core.  Maybe the results will be used for future Chamber of Commerce and other special interest PR campaigns to promote a failing initiative.  From


cross and joftus


Will Cross & Joftus take these results so it can use them for its own policies to further sell Common Core to the people?  Will it use the data to teach politicians how to make CCSS more palatable and less objectionable to the people who have to pay for it without a vote?  Is this a representative republic or a country now run by firms crafting a message to tell us how great public/private partnerships are that can’t be held accountable to voters and legislatures?


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