VIDEOTextbook sales leader says national Common Core is 'all about the money' | Daily Mail Online

The guerrilla video crew that exposed Obamaphone cheaters and shut down the left-wing advocacy group ACORN is at it again, this time hammering the 'Common Core' education standards as a scheme for publishers to sell more textbooks.

The West Coast sales manager from one of the nation's biggest school book sellers, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, told an undercover muckraker with Project Veritas that 'I hate kids.'

'I'm in it to sell books,' Dianne Barrow said of her advocacy for Common Core. 'Don't even kid yourself for a heartbeat.'

She added that 'it's all about the money. What are you, crazy? It's all about the money.'

'You don't think that the educational publishing companies are in it for education, do you? No, they're in it for the money.'


'I HATE KIDS': A sales manager for one of the nation's largest school textbook publishers admitted on hidden camera that Common Core represents a windfall for her: 'I'm in it to sell books'

OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF TEACHERS: 'This NYC educator says Common Core is a 'new f**king system that f**king sucks,' invented 'to sell more books'

LIKE WILDFIRE: 42 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core program since the federal government introduced it

Bianca Olson, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's senior vice president, confirmed Tuesday morning that Barrow 'has been terminated.' That followed a phone call in which read BArrow's statements to her verbatim.

Harsh words from educators also won't help the K-12 Common Core system's advocates.

'It's a joke,' a Brooklyn, New York teacher Project Veritas identified as Jodi Cohen said on the group's hidden camera.

'It's bulls**t and the thing is, what they do is they create some new f**king system, that f**king sucks to sell more books and then we have to learn something new with the students.'

Cohen, like Barrow, believes that the Common Core system is a marketing bonanza for textbook publishers.


A new set of national academic standards, now adopted by 42 states and DC, is an attempt to increase the country's declining testing scores in Math and English compared with the rest of the world.

Conservatives often argue against the K-12 system as a federal government takeover of public education, but the Obama administration insists states can set their own standards as long as they serve the same goals. 

Parents in some corners of the U.S. have become frustrated at test and homework questions in math that are graded not just on getting the right answer but on the necessity of following a strict system for determining it.

The math methods often involve illustrations and other complex requirements that are foreign to parents and many teachers.

Democratic presidential candidates have lined up behind the program but the Republican field is split, with conservatives opposing it as a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach to learning. 

'Oh my god, it's all a money game. It's all a money game,' the cynical educator said.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's CEO, Linda Zecher, told on Tuesday morning that her company 'is as appalled by these comments as we expect readers will be.'

'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.'

'The individual who made these comments is a former employee who was with HMH for less than a year,' she added, referring to Barrow's firing on Tuesday.

Cohen couldn't be reached for comment. 

The new video threatens to blow open the national debate about the national standards, which have simmered on the back-burner of Republican debates but haven't taken hold as much as immigration or foreign policy.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has advocated in favor of Common Core, arguing that participating states aren't restricted from setting their own standards.

Sen. Marco Rubio, his in-state rival, says on his website that 'Common Core has been used by the Obama administration to turn the Department of Education into a national school board. This effort to coerce states into adhering to national curriculum standards is not the best way to help our children attain the best education, and it must be stopped.'

Donald Trump, the GOP's leading presidential candidate, said in July that 'Common Core has to be ended. It's a disaster. It’s a way of taking care of the people in Washington that, frankly, I don’t even think they give a damn about education, half of them..'

But despite her cynical outlook on Common Core, Barrow says on the Project Veritas video that Trump is all wet.

'Who is listening to Donald Trump? I mean, come on!' she says. 'It's all old white men that are frustrated with their life. It's ... a mid life crisis campaign. And so, he doesn't know policy, he doesn't even – has he ever read the Constitution?'

PARENTS LEARN THE NEW 'NEW MATH': An elementary school principal in Westerly, Massachusetts has begun sit-downs with parents to teach them how to do math the Common Core way so they can help their grade-schoolers with their homework

Project Veritas frontman James O'Keefe told that more videos targeting textbook publishers are on the way, and he's licking his chops at the thought of his opposition insisting that he's merely caught a rare dissenter on tape.

'This video provides confirmation that Common Core is broken, rotten and corrupt – including the textbook publishers, government education officials and the politicians who should be held accountable for enabling this system in the first place,' O'Keefe said. 

'I hope and pray that "they" call this an isolated incident, as we are putting every textbook publisher on notice that we plan to continue to release these videos exposing Common Core.'

For years, textbook publishers have complained about the need to serve 51 competing education standards – including those enforced by the District of Columbia – with bulked-up books that are seen as a mile wide and an inch deep.

With Common Core adopted in 42 states plus DC, they will soon be able to produce and sell more streamlined books with a uniform focus.

Those books will be the newest thing on offer, slated to replace everything on teachers' shelves in a single giant commercial ka-ching.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's website includes an entire section devoted to matching up educators with Common Core teaching resources, calling it 'a fresh opportunity' for teachers to adopt 'a wide range of content, curricula, and services.' 

15 DOES NOT EQUAL 5+5+5: These Common Core problems have become symbols of what conservatives say is an untested system run amok in most states, and a ticking educational time bomb

CAN YOUR THIRD-GRADER UNDERSTAND THIS? Eight-and nine-year-olds in comedian Louis C.K.'s children's school were asked: 'Draw a pictograph for the data given in the table'

Few federal government programs have become as powerful a lightning rod as Common Core. 

Conservative groups have pilloried the concept as a Washington, D.C. takeover of education curricula, while the Obama administration has maintained that it's just a well-meaning effort to ensure that college-bound children in Montana are as well-prepared as those in California.

The truth about the president's signature education proposal from his first term – pushed as part of the Race to the Top initiative – lies somewhere in between.

The feds don't require states to teach the Common Core way, but makes $350 million in stimulus grants available to states that adopt 'college- and career-ready standards.'

The initial version of Race to the Top required the Common Core standards, but it was later watered down to include most systems states were using before.

And the program itself isn't a set of classroom demands but a list of guidelines about hat children should be able to do at each grade level. 

Tests are administered each year to keep school headed toward those benchmarks, however, and that means the teaching materials have to keep pace. 

One result in the program's chaotic early years has been a series of news cycles and viral stories highlighting what some parents see as ridiculous and unintelligible math problems.

In the state of New York, some of them are organizing a movement aimed at a mass-boycott of the English and math tests.  About 200,000 students statewide refused to take the tests last spring.

ARCHAEOLOGY MEETS FOURTH-GRADE MATH: This question on New York's Common Core math test for nine- and ten-year-olds asks them to figure out the length of dinosaur skeletons by counting a fictional child's footsteps

And textbook publishers have introduced a new monkey wrench into the works, signaling that states that don't teach those Common Core concepts may soon find it hard to find books focused on the classroom materials the teachers themselves learned in school.

Barrow put it a different way, telling Project Veritas that 'the fact that they have to align the educational standards is what they have to do to sell the books.'

She said booksellers 'didn't lobby for them to be put in place ... but now they go after the money.' 

'They want to, you know, it's just like any business. If you're selling t-shirts you want your t-shirts to fit everybody, right? So you can sell it to everybody.'

'In my opinion, education shouldn't have a bottom line,' she says on the recording. 'I mean, seriously, it should not be – it's one place that shouldn't be about the money. It really should be about the kids.'

'And you hear it all the time, it's all about the kids. No it's not. It's not about the kids.' 

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt posted a $576 million net sales number for the third quarter of 2015, up 4 per cent from the previous year.

The company's latest earnings statement says it expects its 2016 sales will be between $1.53 billion and $1.58 billion.