gruber ivory tower

Dr. Jonathon Gruber has been characterized by the media and characterizes himself as an architect of the Affordable Health Care Act.  He joins the cadre of ‘choice architects’ in all areas (Education, Health, Labor, EPA, etc) who need to ‘nudge’ stupid Americans into the lifestyle and governmental regulations the architects have designed for the same stupid Americans who then have the privilege of paying for these programs.

Gruber is an Economics professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)  so he must be really, really smart and people must take his word since he is really, really smart!  The allure of ‘choice architects’ is present in the educational realm as well.  Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro decided that Missouri’s educational development/delivery needed to be guided by ‘choice architects’ in Missouri as indicated by her Race to the Top Application in 2010 (pg 10).  Access the application here – Application download files PDF (4.86M) –  as DESE has removed it from its site:

(click on graphics to enlarge)

rttt choice architecture

Before any CCSS proponent chimes in and states ‘but we didn’t get any RTTT funding so this is irrelevant’, expand your close reading skills and read on (pg 40):


rttt expanded plansDESE has figured out a way to adopt the RTTT goals in a ‘more incremental approach’.  Package the goals of measuring student achievement agreeable to the USDOEd by creating The Missouri School Improvement Program (5th revision) without any superintendent input.  DESE envisions itself as the ‘choice architect’ of MSIP5 that schools must follow or face unaccreditation.  DESE is guided by the ‘choice architect’ USDOEd Arne Duncan who tells states they better follow the plans (approved by the USDOEd to receive a waiver) the state submitted to the USDOEd or the waiver will be pulled.

It’s just a hierarchy of choice architects telling the underlings on how education must be delivered and what it must look like.  Those underlings (aka ‘stupid Americans’) are the ones who must pay for and suffer the consequences of these reforms that are not researched based and increasingly, it appears that much of the ‘research’ put forth by the health care/educational proponents are theories or are lies.  Those of us opposed to Common Core are repeatedly told we are ‘misinformed’ which must be more of a gracious way of calling us ‘stupid Americans’.

Now that Dr. Gruber has let the cat out of the bag on how Americans were duped into believing the lies of the ACA and the complicity of the main stream media in perpetuating these lies, and as the education reformers are also in their ‘ivory towers’ dictating what/how education reform must progress, let’s start labeling the lies of Common Core as ‘Gruberisms’.

Gruberisms are those unintended moments of truth that destroy the massive PR narrative of healthcare/education lies. What is our first Gruberism?  It begins with DESE and the letter to legislators on Common Core listing a CCSS ‘myth’ and then DESE’s version of the ‘fact’:


dese curriculum

Is this reminiscent to you can keep your doctor lie?  There is no required state curriculum in Missouri.  Local school districts choose their own curriculum.  That’s the lie DESE wants legislators to believe.  Local school districts have the statutory ability to set curriculum but the creation of MSIP5 and tying local districts into the accreditation process based on what the USDOEd has deemed mandatory for ESEA waivers makes this claim untrue.

Enter the choice architects from The Missouri School Board Association (MSBA), a private NGO, to actually prove the CCSS opponents’ claim that the standards dictate curriculum to schools.  Janet Tilley of the MSBA presented a power point given on the Missouri School Improvement Plan 5 (MSIP5), Common Core, Accreditation and Evaluations:


msip accreditation

msip curriculum

Gruberism #1: Local curriculum aligned with Missouri Learning Standards (aka Common Core State Standards)

Missouri Learning Standards (MLS) are the same as Common Core State Standards, so in reality, it should read ‘local curriculum aligned with Common Core State Standards’.  Ask your local district how MLS differ from CCSS.  Ask your district if it is adding standards (from Missouri or your district) to the CCSS and if any of these additional standards to CCSS are assessed.  This power point also shows that assessments are aligned to the MLS/CCSS standards.

Explanation of CCSS ‘aligned’ from NY which holds true in Missouri since we are all common:

Standards Alignment

Aligning instructional materials to the Common Core standards ensures that our students are being taught and assessed on what they are expected to learn and know. The alignment process helps you to think critically about your curriculum, instruction and assessments as you work to ensure that your students meet the rigorous new Common Core Learning Standards.

You’ve been told that the curriculum is a local decision and that the standards will not dictate curriculum.  They really do think you are stupid.  The explanation on standards alignment above states: Instructional material (curriculum) must support the learning expectations in the Standards.  The MSBA is clear that a change in 2014-15 for Missouri school districts includes local curriculum aligned to Missouri Learning StandardsThe change that the ‘choice architects’ don’t want you to know about is that the curriculum must align to the MLS/Common Core State Standards.  So your ‘choice’ of curriculum is dictated by the standards, no matter how they spin it.

Chris Nicastro wrote in the RTTT application, the ‘choice’ envisioned by the architects leaves people ‘free to choose’.  What nonsense and how insulting.   What are we left to ‘choose’?  The ‘choice’ forced upon us mandates us to align curriculum to the standards private NGOs wrote.  What kind of ‘choice’ is that?  It’s not a ‘choice’ when it’s mandated and it’s a half truth to inform legislators that districts still can choose their own curriculum.  Districts are ‘free to choose’ based on the standards they are forced to use.

Choice architects have packaged and merchandised education/health care reform in a consciously deceptive manner.  The truth is finally being revealed from those in the Ivory Tower making their plans for the rest of us.

grubergate and trust


From the above link:

Those who feel defrauded by their own government got third-party confirmation recently when remarks by one of the ACA’s chief architects, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber — invoking the stupidity of voters and lauding the political advantage of a lack of transparency in government — went viral.

When will the Common Core choice architects from the NGOs and public realm be held responsible for the education reform lies heaped upon the American people?


(The headline graphic is from The Daily Caller).


Published November 16, 2014


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