Anthony Cody notes that Glen Beck brought his tirade against the Common Core to parents in 700 theaters. A critic described him as the Music Man, trying to sell his wares to a gullible public.

Cody says: “The funny thing is that Common Core itself is being sold by yet another version of Professor Hill, in the form of billionaire Bill Gates.”

Cody writes:

“While Beck warns about the dangers of big government, Gates has been warning us about another bogeyman – the supposedly broken public school system. He warns that our kids are going to wash out in the international race for the jobs of the future, which supposedly will only go to those prepared for college and career by the new rigorous standards and tests.

“Those who recall The Music Man will remember that Professor Hill wanted to sell the town on the idea of a band, so that they would purchase musical instruments and uniforms, on which he would make a tidy profit. That sounds a bit like the new Common Core-aligned curriculum, tech devices, tests and professional development which must be bought in order for the project to succeed.

“Beck’s claim that Common Core is a progressive plot to turn our children into socialists is way off base. Likewise, Gates’ claim that the jobs of the future depend on preparing ever more students for careers in technology and math is shown to be without support. Just this week, an oped in USA Today pointed out that at the same time Gates proclaims the need for more skilled workers, Microsoft has laid off 18,000 of them, and stagnant wages show a lack of real demand. Furthermore, three out of four graduates with STEM degrees are not even working in jobs that require these skills, making it hard to believe there is any real shortage that would support Gates’ push for larger numbers of people prepared for such careers.

“In The Music Man, the fast-talking con artist was ultimately redeemed by an unlikely savior – the town’s librarian. Unfortunately neither Glenn Beck nor Bill Gates seem to pay much attention to librarians – or their friends in the teaching profession. Professor Harold Hill’s downfall was when he fell in love, and wound up sticking around to make his promised band a reality. Sadly, this seems the unlikeliest of outcomes for either Beck or Gates.”