Undercover Video Explores Common Core Motives

Common Core is back in the news after an undercover video was released as evidence that the state standards are more focused on money than children.

In a Project Veritas video produced by James O’Keefe, Dianne Barrow, an accounts manager for educational textbook giant Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is caught on camera laughing and saying, “I hate kids. I’m in it to sell books. Don’t even kid yourself for a heartbeat.”

Barrow later explains in the video how publishers benefit from all 50 states accepting the same standards as opposed to having their own.

“You know, it’s just like any business,” Barrow said. “If you’re selling t-shirts, you want your t-shirts to fit everybody.”

The Washington Post reported that the woman was fired for putting the company in a bad light.

“Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is as appalled by these comments as we expect readers will be,” said Linda Zecher, chief executive of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. “These statements in no way 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.”

Proponents of Common Core chalked up the video as an old argument against the standards and accused O’Keefe, whose other undercover work has focused on topics like Planned Parenthood and voter fraud, of editing footage to promote his own opinions.

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