Part Two: The Chuck Cagle Common Core Cash Cow Conga Line

Cagle photo

Printin’ Textbooks is like printin’ cash.

Why is Chuck Cagle so darned interested in helping Common Core become the latest unproven expensive teaching fad? Because if Common Core goes through in its current form, it will require every student in Tennessee to have a brand new textbook that complies with the new Common Core curriculum. And them books ain’t cheap, either (especially the pornographic ones).

Yep, major book publishers stand to make millions selling books and materials to the state and to school systems that were forced to buy new books because of Common Core. And who is by far the biggest textbook publisher in the world? Pearson. And who is Pearson’s lobbyist (c’mon now, you know the answer, don’t you). Chuck Cagle! In fact, Chuck’s lobbying generated huge sums paid him by Pearson over the last couple of years.

And who, pray tell, plays a major role at the local level in deciding what textbooks get bought with taxpayer money? Why, the School Superintendents, silly. And who represents the School Superintendents in Nashville as their personal lobbyist? (This is an open book test. Feel free to go back and figured it out. Hint: it’s Chuck Cagle).

PARCC Testing, 1-2-3. Testing, 1-2-3

And don’t get us started on PARCC testing. For the uninitiated, PARCC tests have caused great discomfort among teachers who face evaluations based on a test that hasn’t even been written yet, but the real discomfort should be felt by the taxpayers who will pay millions more for the PARCC test (some estimates predict the PARCC test will eventually cost more than double the current TCAP tests) as well as tens if not hundreds of millions more in unfunded mandates to local schools systems for purchasing the computers required to take the new PARCC tests. Gee, we wonder if Chuck works for the computer manufacturers too?

And who runs PARCC? Yep. Pearson.

Scooping up taxpayer cash like an Electrolux set on “Maximum Suck” is okay, as long as you keep it in the family…

Ah, but now we come to the piece de la resistance (that’s French for: “We are so screwed”).

So far we have learned that Chuck Cagle is helping himself to taxpayer money by lobbying for TOSS and doing legal work for local school systems. Add to that the six-figure income from representing Pearson, the textbook publishing and testing giant and you begin to see the enormity of his empire.

But we have saved the best for last. Not satisfied with just fleecing taxpayers and doing the bidding of companies that fleece taxpayers, Cagle has added yet another revenue stream – his wife.

Sandra Cagle has a very important job. According to LinkedIn, she is a regional account manager, overseeing Tennessee and several other southeastern states. Among her duties is running the Common Core sales department for the company. And the name of that company? (Wait for it, wait ….TA DA!) Pearson!

Yes, you are reading this correctly. Pearson, the company that is pushing Common Core, the same company that stands to make millions from new textbooks, the same company that will make millions every year from administering new standardized tests required by Common Core, the same company that pays Chuck Cagle huge fees to represent them – that same company also pays Cagle’s wife to hustle Pearson’s Common Core products in Tennessee.


And to think we were all told that Common Core was just about “raising standards” for our precious little school children. Man, were we stupid or what?

Now that legislators know the SCORE, the big question is what are they going to do about it? Whatever they do or don’t do, you can count on it being a big, BIG issue in the August primaries.

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