The Sunlight Foundation, a political transparency non-profit, reports this week that early messaging in Iowa is being dominated by the Collaborative for Student Success (CFSS), one of the country’s most vocal promoters of Common Core. Sunlight found that the DC-based, Gates-funded CFSS has spent over $764,000 on advertising so far in the Hawkeye State, well surpassing even the most active presidential Super PACs.
The CFSS and its backers seem to be banking (quite literally) on changing Iowa voters’ opinions by trotting out retired establishment Republican officials to deliver the same, standard Common Core talking points. For example, we reported in March on an early CFSS radio ad campaign featuring former Reagan education secretary Bill Bennett. And Sunlight points to another ad on CFSS’s YouTube page featuring three former GOP governors singing the Common Core’s praises:
Claims that Common Core was “state-led” and that it leaves states free to form their own curricula have, of course, been debunked over and over again. Will hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising really convince Iowa voters otherwise? Suffice it to say, I probably wouldn’t bet on it.
Paul Dupont is a legislative assistant for American Principles in Action.