I was talking to someone who was in favor of Common Core, and yet a vehemently against a power plant going up in her back yard. I was able to show them that both processes were similar, and that she was at different points of the curve on the two separate topics, but they were both curves that were parallel and would end the same……
I got this great idea off of Norquist and pulled out a napkin where we were eating…….
The x axis stands for truth… as in what we know about a topic goes from zero to infinity, and the y axis represents our feelings of favorability towards the project as we learn more…..
As you can see, when someone says… “a data center” we have no opinion at first… We are at (0,0) As we learn of jobs, taking up a brownfield spot, helping out the university by educating engineers, putting topmost technology into our home, Newark Delaware, as well as selling power to the grid, our favorability towards it rises…. Yeah we could use all those things.
But then as we learn more, our favorability sours. WHAT! 248 MEGAWATTS!!!!! Excessive pollution. Dangerous pollution, for 75 years, very loud noise. Huge cancer signatures around gas turbines. poisoning water, digging new gas lines through wildlife areas from Hockessin. A 24/7 operation. The TDC was to sell the power plant, not the power plant being there for the TDC. We sour. Something else, almost anything else could still give us the positives, without the negatives. All those negatives were hidden and still would be, if citizens hadn’t ferreted them out. There was never any plan to mention them if at all, until absolutely necessary…..
We lose favorability based on how much we know… So those still supporting it, even Al Mascitti (unless he changes his mind while on vacation), aren’t more stupid than the rest of us… in fact, they are exactly like us, back when we were at that same point on the learning curve… Instead of bemoaning that TDC supporters are jack-stupid, educate them… Then, after they’ve been educated, if they didn’t change their mind, it was not because they are jack-stupid. It’s because they are sinister. But really, when it comes to dying, very few people are really sinister. It’s really all about knowledge…..
This is exactly the same with Common Core!… This person with whom I was in this discussion, is a member of the Delaware Chamber of Commerce and she was at the milktoast breakfast thrown at the Hotel Dupont where the Grand Poobah of the national Chamber of Commerce came in to elevate support for Common Core. One assumes the Grand Poobah would know what he is talking about… Alas, he is a common man. He is no expert. Because really, very few people there are privy to the facts. You readers happen to be far more privy to what Common Core is really about, because you have seen it here, with your very eyes, and are certainly quite capable to make up your mind yourselves…
I assured my friend, that when I knew as little about Common Core as she did, I too believed in it. Of course it makes sense to have standards the same across the country. Of course it makes sense to raise the bar so students can’t loaf as much as they do now I thought… Of course it makes sense that if we don’t teach our children well, then the jobs will go to those nations which do teach their children well. Of course it makes sense to pay those teachers who do well more, and to weed out those who’s real calling is obviously not teaching… of course it makes sense to train teachers better, instead of throwing them into a classroom and saying: Good luck, here you go…
But none of those are true I found out as I learned more… I learned that poverty is what makes students not perform well, otherwise we are all born equal… I learned that if you give someone a harder test who is relatively impoverished, they will flunk it worse than they flunked an easier test their society wouldn’t provide the necessary safety net to enable them to study. I learned that Common Core was all about money and politics. I learned that Common Core was the brainchild of a mad scientist, David Coleman. Not a group of top educators. I learned that Common Core actually shut out teachers, and was made with one goal: to make more money. When teachers objected, they were summarily dismissed. I learned that it was getting rid of Shakespeare, and subbing in text on how to install a ceiling fan. I learned that students in all of Delaware’s pilot programs were tuning out of Common Core subjects, saying they learned that stuff 5 years earlier. I learned from inside the DOE that in the Common Core pilot classes of 2013, every pilot class had depressed scores. I learned that this administration, co-oped the favor of the teacher’s union, whose leadership jumped in with both feet, and now the rank and file who see Common Core up close, have said loud and clear, they have no confidence in this administration’s roll out.. I learned that grown up professional adults, most of America’s leadership, could not pass a third grade math test. IT is that hard!… I learned that though the test is impossibly hard, but the standards will not even include 8th grade algebra, or trigonometry, or geometry, or pre-calculus, or calculus, all of which are offered now. I learned the meat of Common Core is a crock of shit. Basically.
My friend is looking at me now with a dumb-ass deer expression… sort of like… “Gee, I’m a dumb-ass deer…. I wonder what I should do now….”
“But, but, but, none of that can be true,” she blurted out.. ” I was at the meeting with the Grand Poobah.. None of this stuff was mentioned. Common Core is our future… It is good, It is necessary for this nation……”
All I simply said was this: “And on the power plant they didn’t tell you about the carcinogenic radon and sulfuric acid that would be dropping on your lawns, pets and cars, or the horrendous noise that never stops, or the amount of cancer rares that go up because of a power plant in your back yard, did they?… And… when did you find out how big the 248 MW power plant really was? That didn’t grow on you, you know… That was planned from day one… And…You only found out because other people told you. Just like with Common Core, you need to see what other people are saying about it instead of taking the official side, and then make up your own mind…”
“I need to learn more about Common Core”, she said….
And if you dear reader still think Common Core is all good, then so do you……
As an after thought, it struck me how this pattern has played out rather often since Markell’s second term began….. Kinder-Morgan, Common Core, Delaware City expansion, Coastal Zone eradication, Charter School expansion. Always a very dark undercurrent that only benefits the top 1% at the expense of 99% of the rest of us… It is sugar coated, given the Editorial Board approval, rushed in secret through the GA, where any dissent is squashed by Pete Schwartzkoph and Valerie Longhurst, and the signature gets applied, and commemorative pens are then handed out…. And it bears mentioning that in the first term there was also Fisker…. and Bloom… How much are we paying for Bloom right now with each electric bill? How much did we pay for Fisker?
Well if you still think Common Core is good… do some reading… If you don’t do your reading, (and who has time) you should not give it your support, but instead, … say you prefer the current system until you have time to find out more…. Because as the graphs above show, if you state your opinion too early… as you continue to hear more and learn, you will be forced to change your mind…….