DFER Launches Phony Phone Campaign in DC to Promote Common Core and High-Stakes Testing

By dianeravitch

The hedge-fund manager group called Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) is conducting an aggressive telephone campaign in D.C. to promote the Common Core and high-stakes standardized testing. The rhetoric is deceptive, as usual.

Jeffrey Anderson writes in the Washington City Paper:

“In a one-party city with a civic focus on education, an advocacy group like Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) sounds as wholesome as Mom and apple pie. Everyone in D.C. is a Democrat, right? Who isn’t in favor of education reform?

“Aided by such safe assumptions, the New York-based PAC recently injected itself into a complicated school debate when it employed phone banking that connected D.C. residents with their respective school board members.

“Residents around the city received calls on behalf of DFER to tell them that the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) is proposing to “hold schools accountable not only for the academic achievement of students but also for the growth that students make on their achievement at whatever level they start out.”

“Sounds like a winner, right?

“The callers then offered to direct residents to their representative on the D.C. State Board of Education to “let them know you support this proposal.” They then asked, “May I put you through?”

“What the campaign does not tell citizens is that the proposal presents the school board with complex decisions in an ongoing policy debate that is central to a virtual culture war over public education reform in America.

“Nor does it disclose that Democrats for Education Reform is a PAC that raises money from corporations, foundations, and influential philanthropists to back political candidates who favor standardized testing and the Common Core standards—and apparently seeks to directly influence elected school board members on contentious policy issues.

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“OSSE’s draft plan is based on the federal “Every Student Succeeds Act,” which requires …read more

Source: Diane Ravitch Common Core