Teacher says he helped write Common Core standards to combat white privilege

A Monday night debate in New Hampshire on the pros and cons of the controversial Common Core testing standards has drawn national attention due to the inflammatory and anemic statements by the proponents.

Held at St. Anselm’s College in Manchester, the quote of the night from the six participants came from Dr. David Pook, who teaches Social Studies and English at the tony private school, Derryfield, reported radio host Rich Girard, who was there.

Claiming he had input into the content of the standardized English test, Pook said, “One of the reasons I helped write the standards, was that as a white male in society, I’m given a lot of privilege I didn’t earn, and as a result I think it’s really important that all kids get an equal opportunity to learn how to read. I think I had decided advantages as a result of who I was…When I walk into places like Roberto Clemente High School on the west side of Chicago, I think it’s important that those kids have an opportunity to read just as well as I had.”

As if this didn’t raise enough eyebrows, it should be noted that Pook’s $30,000 per year tuition  Derryfield does not utilize Common Core, which at the minimum lends a certain amount of hypocrisy to his argument, and at the maximum launches a host of troubling questions.

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During Q&A, the other two proponents, Bill Duncan and Tom Raffio, Board of Education members but men who never taught, were asked if they could provide research proving the standards and methodologies were of legitimate value.

Duncan responded that it was “scientific enough” to get feedback from the teachers, and Raffio said that it was proof enough for all the work that went into preparing them.

Their shopworn contentions that Common Core was teacher-written and set against international standards failed to make an impression, according to Girard.

On the other hand, opponents noted that kids learn in different ways and are not developmentally ready everywhere for the same tests, that the math is weak and unfit for advanced science or math, and that the distributed Common Core questionnaire to students asked for the medical history of every member of their family, overly intrusive to say the least.

They also pointed out that the English Language Arts content expert hired by Common Core to validate their standards, Dr. Sandra Stotsky, refused to do so.

Key audio snippets from the two-hour debate can be heard here:


Richard Berkow

Former political news reporter Richard Berkow lost his idealism in the Kennedy years, and his innocence in Vietnam, Lebanon, and the Soviet Union. He hasn’t mellowed since, and can be harassed at [email protected]


  • auntielib

    “Progressives” never want to admit it, because it’s their voter base they’re talking about, but studies show blacks have a lower IQ, on average, than other races. So they’re behind the 8-ball to begin with. Plus so many blacks come from broken families, unwed mothers, absent fathers, which sets them back even further. “Progressive” governmental policies, of course, are designed to foster and encourage that sort of inferior familial situation for the blacks. And it “pays off”, so to speak. Not for the blacks, of course, but those “Progressive” policies DO trick the foolish blacks into voting for the Democrat Party. The results are predictable, of course.

    Recent black graduates are more than twice as likely to not find a job after leaving college according to a Center for Economic Policy and Research study released Tuesday. According to the study, the unemployment rate for recent black graduates was 12.4 percent. That’s more than double the rate for all recent grads.

    • Richard5877

      Ok, who’s fault is it????

      • Robert Beers

        It is the fault of those students and their families. And it is the fault of the school that passed the along with a diploma that had no bearing on their proficiency to do the job.

      • Jeff Simon

        It is the fault of racist Republicans who chose to be born white, obviously.

    • Eric Stegner


  • Broke Obama

    Yay Lets dumb down the white kids . See how far we have been falling behind . Lots of countries are passing us by as far as education goes .

    • Jeff Simon

      Only eighteen of them. We’re number nineteen! We’re number nineteen! Boo-Rah!

      Obviously the answer is to throw bushels of tax payer dollars at the Teacher’s Union!

      What? We already outspend every other nation in the world on a $ per student basis?

      We’re number one! We’re number one!

      Yoo-Ess-Ay! You-Ess-Ay! Yoo-Ess-Ay!

  • allan

    He is just over indulged with the many very poor excuses; If those children really wanted to learn; they would apply themselves; They already know more than do their educators baby sitting them; for the most part PUBLICS SCHOOLS are just glorified communal baby sitters clubs; Home schooling has the PUBLIC SCHOOL system beat hands down

  • John Payne

    Classic example of a guilt ridden, self hating liberal.

  • joe cartwright

    This guy thinks he had white privileges..But in reality it was the hard work that his parents did that gave him the privileges that he received..HARD WORK..

    • Jeff Simon

      That’s the problem. Liberals, when faced with the chance to choose between the fact that their parents busted their butts to give them a good life or the fact that they instead benefited from a bundle of privileges that were delivered by a stork stamped ‘WHITES ONLY’… Liberals choose the “White Stork Theory” every time.

  • Chris Sky

    BRILLIANT! “we can’t make the minorities as intelligent and useful as the whites… so lets just make the whites as stupid as possible so everybody can be on the same level”

    Why didn’t I think of that. Forget what’s good for the USA and the children. lets destroy an entire country so we can make the minorities feel like are on equal footing! hell while we’re at it… we should introduce a 10% WPT (white privilege tax) because you know… white people obviously didn’t have to work as hard for their paycheck, so it’s only “fair” they give back.

  • 4dees

    What a hypocrite!

  • Jennifer

    All this is reverse racism period. No I am not ashamed of my white skin. No I do not have white guilt since I’ve never and will never own any kind slaves. This is BS and if anybody ever said “Check Your Privilege” to me. I’m going to say “You need to Check your Privilege of trying to tell me what I can do or say”

  • Robert Beers

    I imagine that man’s “doctorate” came from inside a cereal box. He has no more understanding of social studies than an infant does, and the infant has more potential. There is no such thing as “privilege” in viable public education, there is the teaching of facts and the learning of skills and data, and that is it. Race, creed and sex have utterly zero impact on that learning. What does have impact is if the option of failure and the consequences of such are removed along with the rewards for success.

  • theotherRJH

    So his shame of being white lead him to create an educational program to make ALL people stupid. I hope his fat body dies of a massive and painful heard attack.

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