Education

Big Business Battles Tea Party, Defends Common Core

March 17, 2014

Tea party activists have been waging war for months against the Common Core academic standards. Now, in a coordinated show of muscle, Big Business is fighting back — and notching wins.

The urgent effort stems from a sense among supporters that this is a make-or-break moment for the Common Core, which is under siege all over the country.

A coalition including the Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will launch a national advertising blitz Sunday targeted at Republicans skeptical about the standards. Spots promoting the Common Core will air on Fox News and other conservative outlets.

The campaign — a major ad buy that could last months — aims to undercut dire tea party warnings that the standards amount to a federal power grab, akin to Obamacare. The TV spots and online ads will project a positive tone, featuring teachers praising the Common Core.

In a parallel effort unfolding mostly in deep red states, thousands of small-business owners and corporate executives have been bombarding state lawmakers with emails, calls and personal visits to press the point that better standards will mean a better workforce and ultimately, a better economy. They’ve been joined in some states by military officers who argue that not just the economy, but national security is at stake.

The strategy: Give conservatives reasons to support the Common Core — and make clear they will reap dividends if they do.

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