Common Core Commercials: Who Pays?

A firm believer in limiting screen time, I try my best to follow through. But I do recognize that it is not the root of all evil.

I DVR DWTS and Chopped to indulge on nights when I am not blogging, reading,  or passing out from exhaustion. But all day, I keep the TV off the vast majority of the time. However, my youngest boy is almost 4 and loves the shows Rescue Bots and How It’s Made. How It’s Made is educational, but the Rescue Bot obsession drives me nuts.

The Rescue Bots is a cute show, don’t get me wrong. Not much violence, no guns really, and some funny irony for the parents stuck watching. But my issue isn’t with the show. We can’t get the show On Demand, so we have to DVR it.  That means commercials. I try my best to fast forward, but sometimes it just isn’t possible.

Well today I was in the kitchen washing dishes and heard a commercial for the Common Core. I shut the water off and walked in just in time to see it was sponsored by the Urban League, Comcast and NBCUniversal. I rewatched it, and was so angry by what I saw.

Here are links link to the two ads that ran during that television show:

Put Our Children 1st PSA – Everybody Wins

Put Our Children 1st PSA – Full Potential

The president of the urban league, Marc H. Morial, has an impressive resume as an entrepreneur, lawyer, professor, mayor, CEO…yet he has no experience as a teacher. Having taught for 5 years in the ghettos of Baltimore, Brooklyn, and Newark, I can, without reservation, tell you that he was either paid a whole lot or just simply never stepped foot in an inner city classroom. Even in the suburbs, there is a pervasive divide when it comes to race and socioeconomic status. This divide was not remedied by No Child Left Behind (NCLB), and it won’t be by the Common Core either.

How will Common Core be equally implemented in schools overrun by violence, drugs, and gangs? How will Common Core feed all of the children who come to school hungry, sad, angry, or all of the above? How will it fix the segregation in our nation’s schools? Before I taught in the suburbs of NJ, I taught in 3 schools in 3 different states where poverty reigned, and I did not have a single white student.  How will Common Core fix the inequality, corruption, complacency?

Not to mention that when money is tied to test scores, people will cheat. I am not saying they might, I am saying that they WILL. How do I know? Because I have witnessed it with my own eyes. In Baltimore, I had a principal come into MY 3rd grade classroom and make kids erase the wrong answers and fill in the right ones.

In Brooklyn, I had a test booklet from the previous year slipped onto my desk after school hours with instructions for me to review it with my students days before the test. That test booklet had more than 50% of the same questions on the test my students took. The testing companies repeat questions from year to year, therefore usually they only release tests that are already 5 years old. I never found out where that test booklet came from, but all of the teachers in the grade received one on the same day in the same way. Thankfully and by sheer luck, I ignored the note and decided that my kids did not need anymore practice. But during the test my classroom phone rang and a fellow colleague was terrified because his students recognized the questions and accused him of cheating.

This is the dirty side of education. The one most people don’t hear about. But I can assure you, that I have no hidden agenda. I just want the empty promises that these commercials promise to be true. That’s why they make me so angry.

Comcast and NBCUniversal won’t sponsor my message….because the truths I speak simply don’t make anyone money.

7 thoughts on “Common Core Commercials: Who Pays?

  1. Ericka says:

    Great blog post! Nothing will change until politicians realize that each state has different issues and education needs to be addressed at a local level. Local governments need to have meetings with teachers during the summer to work together to come up with a solution to the problems. The answers cannot come from those who are not in the classroom. It must be from those who are there and know the real problems!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Paige says:

    Thank you Ericka! I am so pleased that the post has seen so much traffic. It is only the tip of the iceberg of what I feel, but it is a start. I agree that broad sweeping federal policy does not address the divers needs of the communities in America. But local governments will fail too if the people themselves do not start paying attention, doing their research, and getting involved. The special interests will lobby and get their way every time, if the people do not speak up.


  3. […] like the Common Core ads on television (see my post Common Core Ads:Who Pays?), the language used on the PARCC website is compelling. It sounds like the answer to every teacher […]


  4. Nice write up — nailed it.

    “This is the dirty side of education. The one most people don’t hear about. But I can assure you, that I have no hidden agenda. I just want the empty promises that these commercials promise to be true. That’s why they make me so angry.”

    The unelected, unaccountable myriad of businesses, non-profits and related groups — or NGO’s (Non-Governmental Organizations) are behind the vast majority of the PR campaigns we see for Common Core.

    These NGO’s are worrisome in the manner they seem to launder money between one another whether it be a grant or other vehicle, making the use of the funds nearly impossible to trace.

    Here’s an example from North Carolina:


  5. Reblogged this on Pushing the Pendulum and commented:

    I am going to publish this post again, because advertising makes me angry.

    Today this commercial came on during a television show called the Rescue Bots. This show is geared towards children ages 5-8. By 10 years old it probably isn’t as popular. How is it that the designers of the Common Core Curriculum Standards (CCCS) couldn’t be bothered to ask experts in early childhood education to sit on their board, yet their marketers are savvy enough to pay to play the commercials during television shows that young children watch?

    How can it not be about the money? Marketing pays better attention to our young children that education reformers.


  6. seahawk318 says:

    When is the majority going to ask our Government to get out of local level issues. Who do we vote for to help balance the scales?! Between Education and Health Care, what else can they totally mess up?! I’m really afraid of the future.


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