James O’Keefe and Project Veritas began releasing undercover videos last week on the topic of Common Core.
In the first two videos, executives from Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt were caught on camera making statement indicating that publishing companies like the one they work for don’t really care about the children, but instead are more interested in how much money they can make.
Here’s a timeline so far.
Video One – Released January 12, 2016
In the first video, Houghton-Mifflin executive, Diane Barrow, actually said she “hates kids” and laughed as she said it.
Barrow went on to say that, “You don’t think education publishing companies are in for education, do you? They’re in it for the money.”
Right after the release of the first video, it was Pearson who was not the subject of the first video responded . Pearson released a two sentence statement condemning the video:
“The comments in this video in no way represent Pearson’s values or business practices. They are offensive to our 40,000 employees, many of whom are parents, former teachers, or students themselves, and are dedicated to working each and every day to help people make more of their lives through learning.”
James O’Keefe responded to Pearson jumping in without yet being implicated:
Pearson’s reaction is ironic considering we have other officials within their ranks saying far worse things… https://t.co/4xqMz9gG2B
— James O’Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) January 12, 2016
Within hours, Barrow had been fired.
Video Two – Released January 14, 2016
The second video catches another Houghton-Mifflin executive making similar statements to that of Diane Barrow.
Petties confirms what Barrows has said — it’s not about the kids.
“It’s never about the kids.” — Amelia Petties, Strategic Account Executive, Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt
Petties also said, “And slapping a new name on it, which in my case I hope they do…I can sell a sh** ton of training around whatever you’re calling it.” and that “There’s always money in it”… “I don’t think Common Core is going to go anywhere.”
Houghton-Mifflin finally releases a statement on the videos – it’s three sentences long:
“HMH will not tolerate behavior and conduct that contradicts our values and commitment to learning. As stated previously, the comments captured in these videos do not reflect the views of HMH and the commitment of our over 4,000 employees who dedicate their lives to serving teachers and students every day. The individuals who made these statements are no longer with the company.”
Amanda Petties is also fired.
Video Three – Released January 21, 2016
The third video was perhaps the most disturbing yet. A former Pearson employee who now works for National Geographic, displayed her personal biases as well as laid bare similar biases inherent in Common Core.
This video, as I blogged about at my personal site, is vindication for parents who have been complaining about the biases in materials supporting Common Core, as well as biases in the standards themselves.
In the video, Kim Koerber makes the following statements while defending Common Core:
“Damn the Second Amendment”
“They don’t agree with Islam, so they don’t want their kids to know about it. They don’t agree with birth control so they don’t want their kids to talk about it.
They don’t agree with math because they don’t understand it. It’s not the same math they did in high school.
So they don’t want their kids to know about it.”
What’s more disturbing is that Ms. Koeber has apparently has been making the rounds giving presentations on the Advanced Placement U.S. History (APUSH) course produced by the College Board.
Over the last year, APUSH had a major framework change orchestrated by David Coleman — one of the Common Core lead architects. This framework change showed clear biases and a predominance of social justice issues while leaving critical pieces of U.S. history on the cutting room floor.
This blog has reported extensively on APUSH’s controversial framework change attempt. Hearing Koerber’s remarks serves to solidify all complaints against the new framework, of which NC’s Superintendent was complicit in trying to protect.
Video Four — COMING SOON?
By the way, the Big Education Reform Complex is already trying to spin the videos:
— Project Veritas (@Project_Veritas) January 14, 2016