Conservative media personality Glenn Beck will host a program next week to help communities across America organize against the Common Core State Standards.
Beck’s “We Will Not Conform” program will be livestreamed from Texas to 11 Connecticut movie theaters on Tuesday, July 22.
Click here for a list of locations.
The program is designed to help activists launch their own grassroots campaign against the Common Core State Standards, which were adopted initially by about 45 states, including Connecticut.
Common Core is a set of standards that were written by the National Governors Association, the Council for Chief State School Officers, and Achieve, Inc.
According to the event’s press release, the “We Will Not Conform” broadcast will serve as an individual strategy session in which viewers will act as participants, and “engage with education experts to craft a comprehensive plan to defeat Common Core.”
FreedomWorks Spokeswoman Jackie Bodnar said she expects “a lot of interaction with the audience. Using social media, the activists in the movie theaters can actually give feedback real time to the activists and experts giving the presentation.”
During the broadcast, Beck, will be joined onscreen by several other personalities, including conservative syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin, WallBuilders Founder and President David Barton, and two representatives of FreedomWorks, a conservative and libertarian lobbying group based in Washington. The event is being sponsored by Freedomworks, which is charging $20 per person for admission.
“To Common Core supporters who thought they would win through silence, this night will be a very loud wake-up call,” the ‘We Will Not Conform’ website http://www.wewillnotconform.com/ states. “If you are sick of the endless rhetoric, futile debates, and useless advice about changing the system at the ballot box, then WE WILL NOT CONFORM is the event you’ve been waiting for.”
Although there is a basic framework for the presentation, attendees can expect an evening full of unscripted discussion, Bodnar said.
“Say Michelle Malkin is speaking, and a bunch of people are tweeting at her and asking her [specifics about] what she is saying. She may answer them right then, or she may take the time to answer the questions later,” Bodnar said. “These next steps are going to be shaped largely by what the audience has to say.”
Aside from being able to interact with the hosts of the broadcast, attendees will be given a chance to interact with each other too, Bodnar said. Nothing formal has been organized for each location, but Bodnar predicts informal discussions will take place after the event.
“It’s pretty organic how our community organizes,” Bodnar said. “This is something that will definitely be a platform and a springboard for meetings to evolve in the future.”
Although the broadcast will only feature prominent conservative voices, opposition to the Common Core Standards has consistently transcended party lines. Both right- and left-wing activists have denounced the standards as unnecessary federal intervention, and voices across both parties have called for Common Core to be revoked.
In Connecticut, there was little to no opposition when the state Board of Education adopted the standards in 2010. However, the past several years have seen a change in opinion, with Connecticut citizens presenting hours of testimony against the implementation of the standards to the Connecticut legislature’s Education Committee earlier this year.
While no legislation to repeal the standards has moved forward, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who has publicly voiced his support for the standards, created a Common Core Task Force to review implementation of the Common Core State Standards.
The Task Force released it’s recommendations earlier this June.