Proponents of the Common Core Standards Initiative have taken a brutal beating in the court of public opinion and in state legislatures across America since last autumn, when they confidently and assertively rolled out their attempt to standardize curricula for students in all public schools in 46 states.
However, The Daily Caller never dreamed it would come to this: A bizarrely awful YouTube commercial that mocks a cantankerous grandfather for his skepticism about Common Core — and, subtly, for his military service.
In the two-minute YouTube ad released on Sept. 8, the tagline encourages Americans to endorse Common Core because it’s not a world-historically awful disaster.
“Common Core,” it says. “It’s Better Than You’ve Heard.”
On the Six One Seven Studios Facebook page, the ad is described thusly: “Pop-pop takes Hector late to his first day of school to meet his teacher Mrs. Johnson and gets a lesson in what it’s really about.”
“Pop-pop” is the grouchy grandfather and military veteran. Hector is his seventh-grade grandson who sports an atrocious pseudo mullet.
The grandfather criticizes Common Core to Mrs. Johnson. “I’m a little worried about this Common Core stuff I’ve been hearin’ about on TV,” he yammers. “You’re not gonna make him read stuff just because Bill Gates said so, are ya?”
The allusion is to the fact that Gates, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, has used up over $200 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in an effort to foist Common Core on America. (RELATED: Bill Gates loves Common Core for your kids, BUT NOT HIS)
“I was in the service, fighting for our freedom,” the grandfather continues, to an oh-please eye roll from Hector and an Oscar-worthy look of patronizing pity from Mrs. Johnson.
“You are so right, Mr. Scarlotti!” Mrs. Johnson then exclaims. Then she promises that she and Hector will “get together this year” to help him finds “things he likes to read and then get him interested and really good at reading.”
As Robby Soave at Reason observes, Mrs. Johnson makes no effort to explain what the Common Core standards are, or how they work, or why anyone should agree that implementing them is desirable or worth the massive costs state school districts have incurred.
The strange ad was created by Six One Seven Studios, “a client-focused television production company” in Boston. As of early Thursday morning, the ad had garnered just 508 YouTube views.
The ad’s executive producer, Bryan Roberts, said Six One Seven Studios created the spot on its own accord after working with state education departments in New York and Rhode Island.
“Too many of the pro-Common Core videos were PowerPoints and talking heads,” Roberts told Politico. “So we put out this video to help folks see the power of telling a fun but simple story with real people.”
Roberts added that he has more YouTube ads in the works.
Other Six One Seven Studios clients include the Tulsa, Okla. school district and Princess House, a direct-sales outfit that hawks kitchen products, including several skillets and an elegant poinsettia serving bowl.