WASHINGTON — Jeb Bush has pledged to campaign “joyfully” if he runs for president in 2016, proud of all aspects of his record.
That joy will be seriously tested when it comes to his support of Common Core, a national education standard designed to boost student achievement but seen as a symbol of big government by the Republican Party’s conservative base.
The former Florida governor has steadfastly embraced Common Core as he considers whether to enter the race, despite increasing criticism from potential rivals and demands that he reconsider his support for the program. Just saying the name Common Core generates animosity among some GOP primary voters.
“It’s become Obamacare for education,” said John Brabender, a Pennsylvania-based Republican consultant who has been an adviser to Rick Santorum. “Even people who cannot articulate why they are for or against it — they still consider it toxic.”
“It’s become Obamacare for education”. I disagree that most people can’t articulate why they are against it. Most people have a virtual buffet of reasons they can’t stand it. Between the data mining, veteran teachers who are refusing to administer the test and leaving the profession beacause of it, the public has so many reasons to be angry about the Common Core.
Although Common Core is despised by many conservatives, mainstream and pro-business Republicans are more supportive. It has the backing of the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The Wall Street Journal editorial page wrote in December that Bush “needn’t repudiate his support for national education standards.”
And he hasn’t.
Although he still is an early favorite for the Republican nomination, his reluctance to distance himself from the Common Core may very well sink his chance at the nomination, and open a door for someone more astute at understanding what voters really want.
Avon Lake, Ohio is a small town that is experiencing a phenomenon that is about to hit the rest of the United States. Parents are opting their children out of the Common Core exam, reports Cleveland’s Fox 8 News:
AVON LAKE, Ohio- There is a growing movement in Ohio called opt-out.
Parents are refusing to let their kids take the Common Core or PARCC testing, due to the increase in time spent on testing and pressure on students, as well as teachers, to do well.
Melissa Svigelj-Smith is a parent and teacher in Cuyahoga County and has been vocal about pulling her son out of the new tests. “Any type of high stakes standardized testing that is not produced by a classroom teacher has been shown for a very long time to be completely invalid,” said Svigelj-Smith.
Ohio is the first state in the nation to administer the test in English Language Arts and math this week, which will now replace existing standardized tests.
But now the question: Are parents breaking the law by opting out?
According to the Ohio Department of Education the answer is simply no. Ohio has no legal requirement for kids to take the test.
But they say there are possible consequences, including not being promoted to the fourth grade or for high school seniors, being denied a diploma.
Superintendent Bob Scott of Avon Lake said, “We’re not going to force kids to sit and take a test that their parents really don’t want them to take.”
Even if parents were breaking the law by opting their children out, they wouldn’t care! This is the start of what will be a massive wave of children opting out of Ohio, and the rest of the U.S. Expect to see a multitude of interviews of exasperated administrators and angry parents over the next few months.