Glenn Beck, conservative media commentator, is leading a movement intent on killing the Common Core Standards. On Tuesday night, Beck broadcast a two-hour simulcast to 700 theaters to inform and encourage critics of the standards and to recruit them into the battle, says Lyndsey Layton of The Washington Post.
“This one is being won,” Beck said from a sound stage in Texas, his image broadcast to audience members who paid $20 a ticket. “It’s being won and these are your allies in the fight. You’ve felt alone, but we have lots of allies.”
The showing at Regal 13 Cinema in Rockville, Maryland, was not well-attended. Some were there to pick up some talking points, others to recruit conservative voters. One mother was there because her child was bored in class. She believed that too much time was being taken to learn the standards and not enough to challenge her son.
The simulcast was sponsored by Fathom Events, but officials did not say how many tickets were sold at the 700 theaters which streamed the two hour seminar.
“The fan experience in theaters was truly interactive and engaging,” said John Rubey, Fathom’s CEO.
Tips were given about the correct way to interact with others when attempting to persuade them to fight the Common Core Standards.
The Common Core is an outline of what skills and knowledge a student needs to have mastered by the end of the school year in grades kindergarten through 12th grade.
Common Core is not the curriculum, since it leaves what is taught and how it is taught to the individual states and their school districts. The standards were the result of a bipartisan group of governors and chief state school officials who met together to attempt to come up with consistent academic standards for every state. The effort was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as was the process of getting the standards adopted and put into place.
The Obama administration has supported them and has given groups of states that are writing new Common Core tests $360 million. It also offers an incentive to states that adopt “college- and career-ready” standards (Common Core) by offering them a better opportunity of winning federal dollars through the Race to the Top competitive grant program.
Beck called his event “We Will not Conform” and described it as an interactive “night of action”, says Erica Ritz of The Blaze, a newspaper founded by Beck. Some of the topics included:
•Boycotting high-stakes standardized testing
•Knowing that there are alternatives to the Common Core (homeschooling, charter schools, online schooling)
In a blog for Media Matters for America, Hilary Tone writes that this event is just the latest in Beck’s campaign against state-based education standards which were adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia. She adds that Beck and co-author Kyle Olsen released Conform, a book explaining why the Common Core should not be allowed, and, according to Tone, “baselessly attacked teachers and public schools for 222 pages”.