Truth in American Education Highlights FL CCSS Resistance in Rebuttal to Fordham Elections Propaganda

June, 2014

Shane Vander Hart of Truth in American Education wrote an excellent rebuttal to yet another propaganda piece by the Fordham Institute's Michael Brickman and Michael Petrilli, both paid cheerleaders of Common Core.  This time, they are trying to put forth the silly idea that supporting Common Core is a winning election issue in Republican primaries. 

Vander Hart brings up several great points.  Among them:

"First, the article is poorly sourced."

"Second, it is a logical fallacy to state that incumbents won re-election based on their advocacy for the Common Core while at the same time stating that Common Core opponents in Indiana who knocked off incumbents didn't do so on their Common Core opposition alone."

"Third, they made some false statements regarding the Ohio Republican primary."  [Readers may read the article and the one he quotes from for details, but most important is that an anti-Common Core candidate beat an incumbent in a Republican primary for the first time in 18years and that the senate president realized through that loss and through pre-election polling that Common Core is a huge issue in Ohio].

"Fourth there was at least one Congressional primary where Common Core was an issue, and the Common Core opponent won.  Why did they neglect to mention that?" [This was a link to our discussion of the Curt Clawson victory].

"Fifth, Brickman and Petrilli only list incumbents who won primary challenges.  They don't seem to understand how hard it is to knock off incumbents who typically have better organization, more funding, party backing, earned media attention, etc." [In the quote from the Ohio article, Heidi Huber from Ohioans Against Common Core mentioned that four Ohio House candidates for open seats won when opposing Common Core was a significant part of their platform.]
Shane also then links to two of our recent articles. One is on the two Florida Senate candidates making Common Core an issue in the Republican primary, including against sitting Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto who lost to Curt Clawson in the congressional race mentioned above.  The second FSCCC article linked to was about the Florida congressional primary in District 9 where the leading candidate, Jorge Bonilla, is also making Common Core a big issue in his campaign and is doing much better than the Jeb Bush endorsed candidate. 

To Vander Hart's great analysis, we would add the following:
  • Even strongly establishment candidates that have the backing of pro-Common Core people like Jeb Bush, such as North Carolina US Senate candidate Thom Tillis, or those perceived to be establishment like newly endorsed Minnesota US Senate candidate Mike McFadden, made strong statements against Common Core during their campaigns.
  • The number of openly pro-Common Core would-be Republican presidential candidates is rapidly shrinking.  After Bobby Jindal's scathing indictment of Common Core at the Southern Leadership Conference, about the only two major potential presidential Common Core backers are Jeb Bush and Chris Christie.
  • Brickman and Petrilli only mentioned the slanted McLaughlin poll commissioned by a pro Common Core group.  They neglected to mention both the Sunshine State News poll from Jeb Bush's home state of Florida and the much more realistic The University of Connecticut national poll , both of which showed significant opposition to Common Core among primary voters.
Despite the dizzying spin of the Brickman/Petrilli piece and other pro-Common Core , polls and primaries are not looking good for Common Core proponents, and Florida is right in the thick of the battle.

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