December 5, 2014
Karen R. Effrem, MD - Executive Director
As speculation about a presidential run increases, there is more evidence that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is in trouble on Common Core. Instead of trying to deal with the myriad logical academic, developmental, psychological, and privacy problems of the Common Core system, as stated in a recent Wall Street Journal interview reported in Ben Shapiro's Truth Revolt, he had another of what Michelle Malkin had described as a "Common Core snit fit." Jeb whined that he has "lost [his] patience," describing to the Journal, "an unwillingness of special interests to improve public education."
The Wall Street Journal further reported:
"He reiterated his support for higher academic standards--whether they are the Common Core national standards or other equally rigorous benchmarks--and for testing to measure whether students are meeting them. 'If you don't measure, you really don't care,' he said."
As previously laid out in the rebuttals to his Education Next
interview and his foundation summit
speech, Bush continues to either labor under the delusion or foist the deception that Common Core standards are rigorous, internationally benchmarked, academic, not psychologically manipulative, developmentally appropriate, etcetera, when they are NONE of those things. He is either unaware or steadfastly refusing to look at the mountains of evidence of all of the problems with the standards, the testing, and the data collection system. Bush also does not seem to realize that furious parents trying to protect the children's minds, hearts, and futures are not "special interests" to be denigrated and ignored.
Even worse than that, he revealed in that interview that he really doesn't care what the children, parents, and teachers of this nation are suffering under this new regime. He made it perfectly clear that he is willing to alienate the Republican primary voters, especially conservative ones, on Common Core, because he seems to think that the center and the left of the Republican Party and the general electorate will carry him on that issue.
Little does he realize the broad spectrum hatred of Common Core and the coming rebellion from all points on the political spectrum. Retired teacher and Democrat, James Michael Archer listed the following concerns in an Education Week interview, which are remarkably similar to parental concerns from across the spectrum:
1. CCSS will perpetuate the overuse and misuse of high-stakes testing. This will worsen the current transition of schools into test-prep centers, narrowing the curriculum, robotizing lesson plans, creating unmotivated students, dampening discovery and wisdom. I believe learning should be fun, filled with interaction and collaboration, incentivizing lifelong self-improvement. Linking the standards to punitive testing puts the incentive on prep rather than personal enrichment.
2. In some districts, funds will be diverted away from needs such as labs, career training, arts, humanities, and varied college-prep electives. A well-rounded education will be more difficult to obtain, especially in those schools facing financial difficulties and poor evaluations based on test scores.
3. Inappropriate levels of regimentation may be imposed on our youngest students, special ed students and English language learners.
4. Data management will enable the transfer of personal student information, information that should remain family business, to private commercial interests.
Even the normally supportive right and center right pundits are concerned with his approach. Here is a sample:
But Bush's stand on Common Core won't help him much in the general election. For the most part, it isn't an issue of federal policy. So he has stumbled into a fight with the party base that won't yield him any long-term political gains. And while his stand on immigration could arguably help his chances in 2016, it doesn't solve the party's basic economic problem. The risk is that these stances will exhaust Republicans' tolerance for heterodoxy, and leave Bush with less room to adopt a new economic platform. A nominee who conservatives viewed as an ideological soul mate might have more leeway.
Conservatives will never be as comfortable with Jeb Bush as they were with his brother. But the former Florida governor would be ill-advised to continue feuding with them. As recent nominees like McCain, former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., even the first Bush, show, conservatives can make peace with a more centrist Republican presidential candidate. But they will not forgive a candidate who vows to stand against them.
There is considerable opposition already building in the conservative camp as described in the Washington Examiner:
"I don't know of any conservatives who are supporting him," said Richard Viguerie, chairman of ConservativeHQ.com.
"Jeb is a very good moderate Democrat," added top-rated talk radio host Mark Levin. "He's very boring. He doesn't elicit excitement and energy outside a very small circle of wealthy corporatists and GOP Beltway operatives. Time to move on."
The criticism of Bush, a media darling and leading centrist GOP potential presidential candidate, took off when Phyllis Schlafly updated her 50-year-old conservative manifesto, A Choice Not an Echo, with a slap at Bush.
In her latest revision, provided to the Washington Examiner, she wrote: "Do you get the message that the media buildup for Jeb Bush has begun and that the 2016 Republican National Convention may nominate another establishment loser, the next one in line? But it doesn't have to be."
And even noted non-partisan political analyst Charlie Cook believes that Bush cannot get the nomination due to his support for Common Core and immigration:
The author of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report newsletter for almost 30 years also disappointed a local audience when he did not give Jeb Bush much of a chance of gaining the Republican nomination.
"Bush has two issues working against him to win the Republican primary for the 2016 presidential election," Cook said. "One is immigration reform, which he favors; and two, is his advocacy of education reform."
Neither of those causes would sit well with Republican primary voters, Cook said.
Hopefully, this wannabe Bush III will realize that he is not a king and ruler over education in this country, what a huge problem he will have with the nomination, and spare the families and educators of America more pain than they have already endured.
December 5, 2014
Congratulations to Senator Jack Latvala for starting to see the light on Common Core. According to the Tampa Bay Times:
When Jack Latvala returned to the Florida Senate in 2010, he says, he had "no idea" what the Common Core was. Because tea party activists didn't like it, the influential Pinellas County Republican told the Florida School Boards Association on Thursday, "I thought I liked it."
But as he's learned more -- watching his grandchildren try to solve simple math problems in complicated and convoluted ways, for instance -- his questions have increased.
"I think we need to have a discussion, because obviously a vast majority of people don't like it," Latvala said.
This is similar to the concerns raised by Senator Alan Hayes
after trying to help his grandaughter with the same kind of convoluted math at his school board speech a few weeks ago. We are sorry for the pain and frustration these grandchildren have had to endure, but we pray that their trials will help bring about changes that will relieve the suffering of all of Florida's students that have not been accomplished by the concerns repeatedly raised by adult constituents.