N.D. Official Sparks Outrage With Attack On Common Core Expert
North Dakota DPI Public Information Officer Dale Wetzel is using Saul Alinnsky tactics. If you can’t win a debate on the facts, attack the other side with smear tactics. Pure Alinsky.
If you study Common Core, you will see why Wetzel is desperate to smear Dr. Pesta. The Common Core supporters are presenting a fraud. Fraudsters don’t want to be exposed for what they are. – Shorty Dawkins, Associate Editor
This article comes from the New American.
by Alex Newman
It began as a quiet plot by at least one North Dakota education official to personally attack and defame an expert on Common Core, Dr. Duke Pesta, who was set to give public speeches and briefings to lawmakers exposing the dangers of the Obama administration-pushed nationalization of schooling. The plan, however, backfired — big time.
Within days, the scheme against Dr. Pesta had been exposed, along with at least one official involved in it. Now, the resulting scandal is sending shockwaves through North Dakota and making national headlines, as public calls grow for the resignation or firing of state Department of Public Instruction officials behind the half-baked attack.
Using an anonymous Google e-mail address, which critics have suggested was aimed at skirting public-records laws, North Dakota DPI Public Information Officer Dale Wetzel began sending “talking points” about Dr. Pesta to legislators and opinion molders. Among the most shocking: “What is Pesta’s motivation? Money,” claims a document obtained from Wetzel by The New American entitled “The Truth About Duke Pesta.”
The basis for the accusation, according to the document, is that in addition to his job as a university professor, Pesta serves as academic director for FreedomProject Education, a Common Core-free online K-12 school. “Pesta is best thought of as a traveling salesman,” the document sent out by Wetzel continues. “He’s peddling his own school product and bad-mouthing Common Core to make money for himself and his organization.”
In a bizarre editorial, one self-styled “news website” known as “Forum” regurgitated some of the libelous talking points almost verbatim. Wetzel also went on the radio to angrily denounce Pesta, who does not charge speaker fees and has given 170 talks in 29 states on the subject, for his increasingly influential criticism of Common Core.
Superintendent of Public Schools Kirsten Baesler originally claimed the state DPI had nothing to do with the attacks on Pesta. Soon afterwards, however, thanks largely to the efforts of North Dakota Watchdog.org Bureau Chief and journalist Rob Port, the truth came out and Wetzel was exposed.
Much of the public was outraged that a supposed public servant would be making vicious and false accusations against a private citizen seeking to educate fellow Americans — especially after being told that the DPI had nothing to do with it. Baesler spent part of the weekend apologizing and distancing herself from the attacks, but concerns remain.