you are not invited
Note to The Fordham Institute:  No offense, but you aren’t residents of our state.  Save your money, stay out of our states and our educational decisions.


The Fordham Institute won’t stay out of Missouri and stop trying to tell us how to run our state and educational programs.  Fordham won’t stop meddling in other states either.  From Restore Oklahoma Public Education (ROPE) on how Michael Brickman from Fordham appeared like magic in Oklahoma to talk to Governor Mary Fallin regarding the anti-Common Core bill on her desk:


Monday I was ecstatic to find that, while I was leaving for Ohio to participate in an anti-Common Core rally, Michael Brickman from Fordham Foundation (located in Ohio) was coming to Oklahoma to give Governor Fallin 6 reasons why she should not sign HB3399 – the repeal and replacement of the Common Core State Standards in Oklahoma.


ROPE provides a brilliant response to Mr. Brickman’s arguments on why Oklahoma should stay the course with Common Core standards.  He apparently feels so strongly for Oklahoma children that he had to take a plane from Washington DC and fly all the way to Oklahoma to tell Governor Fallin how destroyed he would be if the poor children of Oklahoma wouldn’t be able to partake of the copyrighted standards owned by private organizations that were funded by taxpayers.  He also appeared in Missouri at a Senate  hearing after he boarded a plane from Washington DC to Missouri to tell our senators how concerned he was about Missouri children:



Mr. Brickman’s heart must be breaking for Missouri and Oklahoma (and the poor children from other states) as they ponder getting rid of the Common Core standards in favor of state residents crafting standards appropriate for their students.  ROPE and MEW are not the only ones not responding to the Fordham argument of telling states how stupid they are and how they can’t craft appropriate educational direction/development for their citizens.  The Pioneer Institute illustrates how Fordham’s flip flop on Common Core is demonstrating once again the situational ethics involved with Common Core advocacy.  From To Be a National Curriculum, or Not to Be a National Curriculum: More Fordham-Finn Flip Flopping:


fordham as madonna

The article is a bit tongue in cheek but you get the point.  This “right of center” think tank is anything but.  Pioneer notes Fordham was a signer on the Shanker Manifesto for a Nationalized Curriculum, hardly a “right of center” point of view.  The manifesto stated:

The fear of centralization, institutional rigidity, and narrow-minded political orthodoxy is deeply ingrained in our political sensibility—beginning with our Constitution’s implicit delegation of education’s governance to the states. But now, in an era when states are coming to recognize the national importance of a coherent education system, they are working together to find ways to raise expectations for all. They are showing a willingness to trade state-by-state invention and reinvention for a more shared implementation of successful practices together with the possibility of greater economies of scale—in effect, to create a new and more consistent system.”

So this “right of center” organzation is willing to join other “conservatives” to circumvent the Constitution’s implicit delegation of education’s governance to the states. Pioneer points out that now Fordham is backpedaling and saying that a national curriculum is NOT the answer:


As Whitney Tilson would say: STOP THE PRESSES!! That was then, this is now.

As people in the K-12 edu-sphere now know, Fordham has had more costume changes than Madonna (the Material Girl, not the good one). Now as Common Core is daily being pasted in the press from coast to coast and mocked by comedians on late night TV, and as right-leaning reformers are seeing more and more of the real Beltway-loving Fordham, Checker must be getting what the existentialists called “bad faith” or “bad conscience.” Or, at least Fordham must be having concerns about the branding troubles associated with their strategy of “Forward,” “We Won’t Quit,” and “Betting on the Future”  with those DC-based champions of academic excellence: the CCSSO, NGA, Achieve, AFT, Gates, and Obama/Duncan/US ED. Not to mention that this is all hardly aligned with Fordham’s “right leaning” or “conservative-leaning” Royal Nonesuch-style masquerade they periodically like to perform.

So, here it is – aptly titled “Intellectual coherence and the Common Core” May 21, 2014 Fordham’s own exemplar text of “we were for it before we were against it” where they now piously declare:

“The remedy for these problems, let us be clear, is not a national curriculum. But neither is it to bay “local control” at the moon and just let schools continue to do what they’ve been doing.


Oh, the horror! ” …bay “local control” at the moon and just let schools continue to do what they’ve been doing.”  Just who ARE these people who are deigning what states should be doing in education?  They aren’t Oklahoma’s or Missouri’s or your state’s elected representative or appointed educational representative.  They are employed by a private non-governmental organization that is designed to tell government agencies how they should proceed and what policies they should follow.  They have no vested interest in your state.  Not really.  They just want their policies to be implemented because they have been paid by special interests to see these policies succeed.

Note to Governor Fallin and any other politician in any other Common Core state: Don’t listen to Fordham.  Gates money paid to Fordham to push the standards hasn’t made this Common Core State Standards Initiative a plane you want to board.  After all, Chester Finn himself said the CCSSI was comparable to building “the plane while you are flying it” .



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