Jeff Bryant is a marketing and communications expert, and he understands why Common Core is in deep trouble.


The “education reform movement” is not really a movement. It has no mass base. It is a public relations campaign created by a very small number of people with deep pockets. They thought they could pull a fast one.


But the American public is not buying.


The fake “reformers” made claims that aren’t true, and their campaign is floundering.


Please read his article to find the many links he uses to sustain his argument.


He writes:


For years, elites in big business, foundations, well-endowed think tanks, and corporate media have conducted a well-financed marketing campaign to impress on the nation’s public schools an agenda of change that includes charter schools, standardized testing, and “new and improved” standards known as the Common Core.


These ideas were sold to us as sure-fire remedies for enormous inequities in a public school system whose performance only appears to be relatively low compared to other countries if you ignore the large percentage of poor kids we have.


But the “education reform” ad campaign never got two important lessons everyone starting out in the advertising business learns: Never make objective claims about your product that can be easily and demonstrably disproven, and never insult your target audience.


For instance, you can make the claim, “this tastes great” because that can’t be proven one way or the other. But when you claim, “your kids will love how this tastes,” and parents say, “my kids think it tastes like crap,” you’re pretty much toast. And you make matters all the worse if you respond, “Well, if you were a good parent you’d tell your kid to eat it anyway.”


Those two lessons seem to be completely lost on advocates behind the menu of education policies currently being force-fed to classroom teachers, parents, and school children across the country. As more Americans take a big bite of the education reform sandwich, more choose to spit it out.


The Common Core was presented and sold as some sort of historic miracle cure, but the evidence is lacking, says Bryant.


What is happening now, he says, is the collapse of a very badly thought out marketing scheme:


It’s now obvious that advertising claims behind current education policies like the Common Core were never based on strong objective evidence. More Americans are noticing this and objecting. And politicians are likely to get more circumspect about which side of the debate they lean to.


So what’s an education reformer to do?


So far, the strategy is to churn out more editorial, along the lines of what David Brooks wrote, to exhort Americans to “stay the course” on what is becoming a more obviously failing endeavor.


But as this sloganeering wears thin, we’re likely to get a new and improved “message” from the policy elite – a Common Core 2.0, let’s say, or a “next generation” of “reform.”


What’s really needed, of course, is to see the marketing campaign for what it really is: a distraction from educational problems that are much more pressing. Why, for example, focus on unsubstantiated ideas like the Common Core rather than do something that would really matter, such as improve instructional quality, reverse school funding cuts that are harming schools, or address the inequities and socioeconomic conditions that researchers have demonstrated are persistent causes of low academic performance?


But that would require something much more than another marketing campaign. It would mean developing a whole new product.


So maybe in a few years, people will think about the Common Core standards and put them in the same category as the Edsel and the New Coke, products that were heavily sold by their creators but had a poor marketing campaign and failed.