Mr. Beck is certainly a showman, and he has a big show planned for July 22, 2014.
We Will Not Conform is a live telecast to movie theaters around the country on the evils of common core educational standards. Despite being championed initially by conservatives like Mike Huckabee, Common Core has become associated with nearly everything evil, thanks, more often than not, to Mr. Huckabee’s allies in the conservative camp.
In this Hannity segment (click for video), Beck describes the upcoming event. According to Beck on Hannity’s show, common core is about control and manipulation and making money. As an aside, with a $20 ticket price, Beck’s effort to fight against common core seems to be about making money. In contrast to Beck’s claim, Huckabee says that the common core conservatives love to hate is not what the creators of common core had in mind. Huckabee said in February:
I’m convinced that the term Common Core needs to disappear from the lexicon of education policy. It’s a toxic term because it’s come to mean things that most of us can’t stomach, like top-down federal intrusion into the local schools where you live. But Common Core as it was designed had nothing to do with the federal government. It was conceived and controlled by elected governors and state school chiefs to keep the federal hands from interfering. It only dealt with 2 subjects, math and English, and in those 2 subjects, established only state-initiated standards in those subjects, and intentionally did not write or even suggest curriculum. It set voluntary goals—VOLUNTARY goals—controlled by local school boards. Unfortunately, the locally controlled and very simple creation of standards in math and English, created so that students would be measured by comparable regardless of geography has been hijacked by those who took the label Common Core and applied it to curriculum, subjects other than math and English, and even unrelated things as personal data collection. As a result, Common Core as a brand is dead and hopefully the perversions of it will die as well.
Thus, Beck’s (and David Barton’s) use of the label common core only adds to the confusion. I imagine Beck’s cadre of faux experts will scare people about public schools, but don’t expect to come out of the event enlightened. Beck’s misuse of history, and of course David Barton’s many documented historical misadventures disqualify them right off the bat. If you want to get scared about education, just go on You Tube and look up common core. You’ll be just as confused but it won’t cost you $20.
Underneath it all, there is more to this than opposition to standards, and questionable claims about making all kids the same.