After hours of individual study about the pros and cons, history, and data collection associated with Common Core, I was privileged to witness the playing out of a great drama: The ongoing struggle for power over public education. Every witness brought a unique perspective of the multiple problems that plague this gargantuan education mandate (I realize saying CC is a "mandate" is controversial, but I refuse to play double-speak--I call it what it is). What made their testimonies powerful was the solid backing of evidence--anecdotes, personal experience, statistics, research--presented with such logic and reason, that had I been a Common Core proponent, I would have felt a bit battered at the end of the six-hour marathon (the Common Core items on the agenda were not addressed until after lunch, and testimony continued until 7).
Facts were the bulk of each testimony, not broad, unfounded claims or opinions, and except when appropriate, emotional appeals were not central to anyone's presentation. I'm not saying speakers were dry or monotone--they obviously cared deeply about the ramifications of the troubling information they had verified--but they didn't try to sway the committees with tearful pleas "for the children" or angry diatribes against the Obama regime.
In fact, with hard-hitting champs like Dr. Sandra Stotsky, Ms. Joy Pullman, Dr. Neal McClusky, and Dr. James Milgrim in the ring, it was more akin to a boxing match than a drama. Grace Lewis, a concerned parent from Mount Vernon, expertly took aim at the weakest points of Common Core with a relentless attack, point by point. Ms. Virginia Wyeth, parent and educator, and Ms. Betty Yerger, retired educator, followed her testimony with powerful perspectives from the viewpoint of teachers. A rookie landed the last KO punch--fifteen year old Patrick Richardson who shared the shocking results of his muckraking: After hours of research, he uncovered the astonishing money trail that leads back to the same foundation, time and again. I'll give you three guesses. Yes, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation!