Claims that the Standards are developmentally inappropriate because they were back-mapped from college- and career-ready outcomes to early childhood expectations;
Critiques that the Common Core focused solely on academic skills and expectations while ignoring equally important social and emotional development.
But another important lesson from our analysis of the Common Core debate on Twitter is that that social media-enabled social networks are an increasingly potent force for gaining the attention of policymakers both by communicating to them directly and by raising enough noise and attention through crowdsourcing grassroots energy to influence both media coverage and public opinion that gains their attention. The prime examples of the rapid ascent of grassroots organizations active in the #commoncore network which have no infrastructure and are entirely run by volunteers are the BadAss Teachers Association, which in two years has accumulated 39,000 followers in 50 states and is run by 245 volunteers; and Red Nation Rising, which accrued some 37,000 followers in its first six months and claims to have made nine billion social media impressions. These groups arose with no money and no organization other than a volunteer social media manager who tweets from her phone. Based upon the entire #commoncore social network and these vivid examples, I argue that social media- enabled social networks are shifting the dynamics of factional politics in American policymaking.
The most dominant position type in the transmitter #commoncore network—61 people or almost 40% of the elite transmitters—are individuals who are not formally affiliated with education. These individuals tend to be in the anti-Common Core/outside education group, like @gerfingerpoken, @formerbondgirl, and @defendressofsan; others are in the anti-Common Core/inside education group, like @chelearle and @kiwigirl58.The second-most prolific position of elite transmitters in the #commoncore network is the 32 actors who are affiliated with education institutions or groups. These actors, like @educationgadfly, @expectmoretn, @washingtonstand, tend to be from organizations in the pro-Common Core group , but exist across all three factions.Following closely behind are 27 school- and district-level practitioners, who comprise 17% of the elite transmitters. These are mostly practicing teachers and school principals. About two-thirds of these actors are grouped in the anti-Common Core/inside education faction, while about a quarter of these education practitioners are supportive of the Common Core.A fourth position type, comprised of 17 elite transmitters, is the education professional. These people, such as Randi Weingarten, Michael Petrilli, and Chris Minnich, are predominantly classified with the group that tends to support the Common Core. Some are also connected to the anti-Common Core/inside education group.Finally, and notably, 13 people–representing 8% of the elite #commoncore transmitters—are journalists or members of the media. These include print, online, and radio media, and represent both non-partisan and partisan media entities.
These explanations are also not mutually exclusive and it is plausible that all three of these phenomena are at play simultaneously. Twitter can be an arena for democracy, an echo chamber, and an incubator for influence all at the same time. And perhaps even more importantly, as we are starting to see the ways that the Common Core debate has trended over time, this new mixture of political activism on social media that spurs robust social network activity is changing the way that politics and policy interact.