Jeb Bush, the early favorite for the Republican nomination in 2016, is facing backlash from conservatives due to his insistence on backing the Common Core education standards. While he certainly has the experience as two-term Governor of Florida, the name recognition and the pedigree (son of former President George H.W. Bush, and brother of George W. Bush), he will run into considerable opposition from conservatives due to the fact that he has so staunchly stood in favor of the federal standards.
George F. Will wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post this week, and pointed out that no matter Bush’s argument, he should realize that conservatives will perceive that the Common Core initiative is nothing more than a power grab by the federal government.
Bush’s support of Common Core is much less nuanced and persuasive, and there seems to be condescension in his impatience with the burden he bears of taking seriously the most important reason for rejecting Common Core. It is not about the content of the standards, which would be objectionable even if written by Aristotle and refined by Shakespeare. Rather, the point is that, unless stopped now, the federal government will not stop short of finding in Common Core a pretext for becoming a national school board.
Bush says “standards are different than curriculum” and: “I would be concerned if we had a national curriculum influenced by the federal government. My God, I’d break out in a rash.” But standards will shape what is tested, and textbooks will be “aligned” with the tests.
However, after establishing himself as a pioneer in high-stakes testing after his work with Florida’s FCAT, it is no surprise that Bush is backing the Common Core. In fact, it would be seen as disingenuous if he didn’t back it. Regardless, it will be impossible for Bush to remove the stink of Common Core. As Breitbart.com put it this week, Jeb Bush ‘owns’ Common Core. What remains to be seen is if conservatives will ‘own’ him.
With serious questions arising about how Common Core is data mining our children, southern states are preparing to back out on the federal standards in education. This is an issue for moderates, liberals and conservatives. 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!