mia stefanie stanford
Can you name this MIA Common Core State Standards developer?
mia matt gandal
Or this one….


mia susan pimental
Or this one…
Or this one?


How many times have those opposed to Common Core been told they are ‘misinformed’, tin foil hat wearers, ignored, ridiculed and marginalized for their beliefs, research and data?  How many times have you asked a direct question about the standards and can’t get a direct answer from the state agency, school, principal, teacher or superintendent?  How many articles have you read from a reporter that is primarily a regurgitation of talking points from the education reform cabal of NGA, CCSSO, Achieve, Bill Gates, Lumina Foundation, etc.?  You can probably recite the talking points from memory: they are state led, there is no federal involvement, they are higher/clearer, they don’t dictate curriculum, and on and on.

These talking points are peddled by marketing groups and special interest think tanks to legislators and citizens.  We are not allowed access to ask questions from the standards developers themselves.  Why are the Common Core messages being delivered by  middlemen vs the original developers of the standards?

Sandra Stotsky wondered why the developers had yet to show up at a legislative hearing to promote the standards and process. In Missouri, the lawmakers hear from second tier (and Gates funded) spokespersons  such as Fordham’s Michael Petrilli and Michael Brickman  delivering the message on why Missouri needs these standards.  We can’t get an account on the developmental process of the standards themselves from the people and organizations who wrote them.  Why not?  From Breitbart and Stotsky: Why Aren’t The Developers of the Common Core Standards Being Questioned?:

I had been asked to address the role of Common Core’s Validation Committee, the flaws in its English language arts standards, and whether they in any way resembled Massachusetts’ former first-rate ELA standards, which they did not. The surreal aspect of this hearing, however, was that none of the developers of the Common Core project – officials of the National Governors Association, Achieve, Inc., or the Council for Chief State School Officers – were planning to provide their testimony.

Many Georgia department of education staff had already testified, and they clearly didn’t know much beyond the talking points they had dutifully prepared. None had been involved in the development of the Common Core standards and the formulation of its reach into every state’s education policies.

Why were Stanford mathematics Professor James Milgram and I regularly testifying and answering questions put to us by state legislators, in state after state, but nowhere to be seen and questioned were the people responsible for Common Core’s standards and tests, and the policies of the federal government pertaining to their adoption?

My question was clearly not an idle one, and it elicited a response. The next day Rep. Carl Rogers, committee co-chairman, had this information sent to me:

If you are in touch with Dr. Stotsky again, please advise her the committee did reach out to the original people behind the common core state standards: Bill & Melinda Gates; Vicki Philips; Gene Wilhoit; Michael Cohen; Judith Rizzo; David Coleman; Jason Zimba; Susan Pimentel; Stefanie Sanford; Arne Duncan; Margot Rogers; James Shelton; Joanne Weiss; Matt Gandal, but made no headway in any of them agreeing to participate.

I appreciated Rep. Rogers’ response, but it only raises far more important questions: Why weren’t the right people there testifying and answering questions? Who can compel them to tell us truthful details (under oath) about the purpose and nature of this project?


Stotsky raises excellent questions.  Why are the Common Core State Standards developers absent from testifying about the development of the standards are and instead, send their paid spokespersons out to relay their message of their excellence?  Shouldn’t this tip the legislators off that something just might be suspect in the veracity of the lofty claims the marketing campaign testifies to in these hearings?  We need to hear  from the people who actually wrote these standards to know the truth.  And maybe that’s why they are MIA.

Remember this sentence?

We can’t get an account on the developmental process of the standards themselves from the people and organizations who wrote them.

That’s what happens when private non-governmental organizations direct/develop standards for public education.  They are not held accountable to the legislatures and citizens.  Stotsky’s questions and Rep. Rogers’ response frame this fact perfectly.


The above photos of some of the MIA Common Core developers are:

  • Stefani Sandford of  The College Board
  • Matt Gandal of Education Strategy Group
  • Susan Pimental of Student Achievement Partners
  • Vicki Philips of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

You might remember Mr. Gandal from a previous MEW posting and the scrubbing of his power point showing Common Core support decreasing when people started learning about it.  I’d love to hear a legislator asking him about his part in developing the CCSS Initiative and why the information showing decreasing CCSS support (and subsequent marketing plan) was deleted from the Internet for all to see.




Published October 4, 2014


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