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October 10, 2015 - Currents: Republican Liberty Caucus Panel on Common Core, with Kirsten Lombard and Jeff Horn

It was a brass-tacks discussion on Common Core and its relationship to workforce development.

That's how we'd describe this remarkable panel discussion at the 2015 National Convention of the Republican Liberty Caucus (RLC).

In late September, RLC leadership reached out to Resounding Books Founder and Editor-in-Chief Kirsten Lombard to ask if she'd be willing to sit on a Common Core-focused panel at the organization's biennial convention in Nashua, NH. She quickly said yes.

Also invited was Jeffrey D. Horn, education activist, data scientist, and author of the Common Ground on Common Core essay "Learning with Leviathan: Objectification, Surveillance, and Control in a Concealed Command Economy." Recently elected vice chair of the newly reinstated Wisconsin charter of the RLC and the founder of Stop Common Core in Wisconsin, Jeff was a perfect choice to serve as an informed moderator of the panel. 

Filling out the table were three additional panelists with valuable expertise and insights of their own:

  • Kate Baker, Network for Educational Choice
  • Michelle Levell, School Choice for New Hampshire
  • Ann Marie Banfield, Cornerstone Action

Resounding Books took our camera along to the event and were able to capture the discussion in full, which we've just finished rendering and uploading to our YouTube channel.

Where most discussions on Common Core tend to focus on the problems with the standards themselves, the high-stakes assessments that enforce the standards, or the data collection related to the controversial initiative, this panel boldly took the discussion several steps beyond the norm. They worked instead to provide inroads of understanding in relationship to shifts that have taken place in American economics and education--shifts that have facilitated and/or propagated much of the false reform we're now seeing. The now-pervasive workforce development model for education was right at the center of conversation.

Also valuable was the fact that the panel was divided between people who come from two states where the manner in which school choice has been constructed looks radically different. While New Hampshire's school choice approach was discussed in greater depth at a panel held on the previous day, viewers of this video can begin to pick up hints that it was constructed by savvy people who wanted to prevent the corruption happening in other states--corruptions that ultimately leads only to educational homogenization. Wisconsin is a state, for instance, that is increasingly ripe for such corruption. The contrast deserves more attention, and we may well go looking for some guest blogs on the subject.

At Resounding Books, we were delighted to see not only how clearly the moderator and these panelists were able to elucidate key issues for RLC attendees but also by their efforts to take on angles of false education reform that remain too little understood or discussed. We were also really excited by the high level of engagement on the part of the panel's audience, which included a broad range of people, from parents and education activists to legislators and teachers. 

Because of the strong amount of interest and the fact that questions and comments continued to flow, the session ran nearly 15 minutes over its allotted 40 minute time allotment. Again, we've captured the whole thing for you. We trust you will find it well worth your time to listen to the full dialogue between panelists and audience members. 

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