Throughout the early 2000’s the Bush family proved to be the ‘Masters of Education’. Florida Governor, and now contender for the GOP Presidential bid Jeb Bush received national attention for his role in raising the stakes of his statewide assessment test, the FCAT. By giving schools an A to an F grade for performance on the state test, Bush increased the pressure on districts, individual schools, teachers, and administrators to increase student achievement. The pressure on students to perform became common knowledge, and led to disgust among teachers and parents (particularly this one). Studies showed a vast increase between the late 1990’s and the mid-2000’s in the achievement of Florida’s students against the national average.
Meanwhile, in the White House, George H.W. Bush introduced his No Child Left Behind legislation in 2001. NCLB (or ‘nickelbee’ as teachers called it) was designed to bring up standards across the board, particularly in lower-performing communities. By measuring Title 1 funding based on whether a school attained Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) each year, NCLB was yet another method of increasing pressure on districts, schools personnel, and ultimately, children. With both brothers focusing on learning gains, they gained the reputation, if undeserved as masters of education.
Now that Jeb Bush is the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, his stance on education, and his zeal for standardized testing is becoming scrutinized far more closely. Jeb Bush has thrown his support behind Common Core, which may end up thwarting his hopes for winning the Republican nomination. The Common Core has upset so many parents and teachers, and it’s corporate influence from obvious, and not so obvious sources means a lot of companies stand to make millions on the misery of teachers, parents, and children. Yes it’s true, the masters of education padded the balance sheets of family members and corporate partners.
As a parent in Palm Beach County, Florida, I remember the sheer test anxiety that so many children had to deal with. The pressure that Gov. Bush’s policies placed on these children, where one test carried such a tremendous amount of weight was disgusting to witness. Thankfully, millions of parents are raising their voices in protest of Common Core, and the same practices that Jeb Bush put into place here in Florida. The anger of parents who are Republican voters may be enough to keep him from continuing the family reputation as the masters of education of the United States.
With serious questions arising about how Common Core is data mining our children, southern states are preparing to back out. Here at Take Back Your Classrooms, we are going to give people a nonpartisan perspective on this educational crisis, and hopefully a way out. If enough of us make noise, at the right time, to the right people, then I believe that we can force our lawmakers to remove this cancer from our children’s lives. Join us, and let’s take back our classrooms!