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Five Marketing Lessons That the Common Core Initiative Should Have Followed

by Rafe Gomez  |  
January 28, 2015
  |  1,397 views

Over the past year, The Common Core State Standards—"a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy," according to its official website—have become a big news story.

The US Department of Education, Wall Street financiers, media pundits, Silicon Valley moguls, politicians from both parties, and education administrators at the state and local levels support it as a way to prepare American public school students for "college, career, and life." But a growing amount of teachers, child development experts, and parents are questioning the Common Core's promises, cost, and usefulness.

Why are the architects and supporters of the Common Core and its associated standardized PARCC test (which aims to measure student comprehension of the Common Core as well as the effectiveness of teachers who teach it) facing such opposition?

What Went Wrong

My theory is that the Common Core's proponents didn't perform their due diligence. They seemed to be more focused on putting the initiative into practice and "disrupting" public education rather than bulletproofing its content, perfecting its pedagogy, and proving its value to implementers (teachers) and end users (students, and by extension, their parents).


Resistance to the Common Core could have been significantly reduced if its designers borrowed examples of how some of America's most successful companies have been configured, launched, and marketed.

What Could Have Helped Pitch the Common Core

Here are five lessons from leading brands that the Common Core should have emulated prior to its introduction. In doing so, the Common Core would have improved its acceptance among educators, students, and parents:


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Rafe Gomez is a principal at VC Inc. Marketing, a provider of multimedia Sales Inquiry Optimized (SIO) content to companies around the world. His work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including MSNBC, Fox News Channel, Forbes, Yahoo Small Business Advisor, American Express OPEN Forum, Adweek, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Direct Marketing News.

Twitter: @vcincmarketing

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  • by Rafe Gomez Thu Jan 29, 2015 via web

    Thanks Aaron, glad you enjoyed it.

    The Common Core/PARCC's challenges are completely self-created. I don't know if the initiatives' proponents/architects would be willing to adapt, revise, or improve their approach, but if they did - and if they placed a premium of delivering outstanding customer service - they'd be able to achieve much greater support from their target end users.

  • by Michael O'Daniel Tue Feb 3, 2015 via web

    Everything you say is true. But it's a fantasy to think any of it could ever be implemented. Among all government and nonprofit agencies, the education establishment is particularly arrogant about NOT listening to its end users while coming up with cockamamie ideas from consultants who feed at the public trough, and then forcing each of these latest and greatest solutions upon the people who are tasked with making them work. It's criminal that the richest nation on earth has one of the poorest educational systems but good luck ever bringing about positive change. Too many vested interests -- politicians, private sector companies, consultants, administrators, teachers unions -- standing in the way of the complete overhaul the system needs. And frankly the political establishment is very happy with a dumbed-down electorate. Bread and circuses, anyone?

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