High-profile Republicans are embracing school choice, notably in the current fast-tracked No Child Left Behind rewrite, but in such a way as to anger their most politically effective constituents.
Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor and prospective GOP presidential contender, was wrong to support Common Core. Now, on the campaign trail, he appears to be backtracking a bit. He should go all the way and admit he was wrong in the first place.
The heat on Common Core was high this spring, but I predict it will be even higher come state legislative sessions this January. It’s the last year states can conceivably avoid joining the train wreck that will be Common Core tests, which are due to replace state tests in March and following. But the earnest moms and dads that comprise the Common Core grassroots have been largely burned by their representatives, who either have responded to serious arguments by relabeling Common Core or diverting blame for it. They’re politicians, man, not representatives.
To briefly summarize Common Core, the decision to adopt the Common Core standards was left almost exclusively in the hands of the governors and the state boards of education. The public was not made aware that our education system was in the process of being changed, and certainly we were clueless that all states had been asked to accept an education system initiated at the federal level, something our forefathers prudently warned against. However, forty-five states committed to those standards, and did so even before the standards and/or accompanying curriculum were completed.
The special interests behind national curriculum and testing mandates are pouring millions into public relations and lobbying this spring after parents across the country began to oppose and destabilize their big project. Friday, Politico reported that the Business Roundtable and Chamber of Commerce are buying pricey ads on Fox News and mobilizing their state chapters to keep lawmakers in line. The same day, Bill Gates joined George Stephanopoulos to continue branding the Common Core mandates as a catalyst for improving U.S. education. Gates has joined with left-leaning philanthropies on a communications push worth more than $2.35 million.
An hour or so ago, I finished testifying about Common Core national education standards to the Arkansas legislature. It looks like Twitter may be obsessing a bit over the happenstance that I recited the Pledge of Allegiance for a mic check, since I testified by phone.