April 16, 2015
The last several weeks have been encouraging for parents and taxpayers that want to see a presidential candidate stand for the Tenth Amendment regarding education and against the federal over reach of Common Core and the associated tests and data collection system. Three Republican US senators have declared their candidacy for the highest office in the land: Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Marco Rubio of Florida.
Senator Ted Cruz declared at Liberty University in Virginia and said in his speech, "Instead of a federal government that seeks to dictate school curriculum through Common Core...imagine repealing every word of Common Core.
Senator Rand Paul has always been against Common Core and has been innovative enough to introduce federal budget legislation to de-fund the US Department of Education (2011 - S162) He did not mention Common Core or education during his speech, but many statements at various events including in Florida as well as his co-sponsorship of various bills and amendments have shown that he is strongly against
Senator Marco Rubio just declared at the Freedom Tower in Miami. He also has said on numerous occasions that he is against the standards. His speech
did not specifically mention Common Core, but did talk about school choice and affordable higher education.
"Wow, that is a powerful, touching comment that I absolutely embrace. You know when I think about the really unfortunate argument going on around Common Core it's very painful because the Common Core started off as a bipartisan effort, it was actually non-partisan, it wasn't politicized, it was trying to come up with a core of learning that we might expect students to achieve across our country no matter what kind of school district they were in, no matter how poor their family was, there wouldn't be two tiers of education. Everybody would be looking at what was to be learned and doing their best to try to achieve that," Clinton responded.
Mrs. Clinton does not seem to understand that many New York Democrats oppose Common Core and that opposition is just as bipartisan as the alleged support for the national, federally funded standards and tests.
Photo Courtesy of Truth in American Education
It will be interesting to see how the campaign progresses as both establishment candidates, Clinton and Jeb Bush both strongly support Common Core.
March 8, 2015
Karen R. Effrem, MD - Executive Director
Despite lots of money and trying to project the aura of inevitability, Jeb Bush is having a lot of problems in polls and surveys even here in his home state of Florida. A poll by Gravis Marketing
that came out this past week showed that he is in a dead heat with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker:
Head-to-head, former Florida governor John E. "Jeb" Bush barely beats his acolyte Sen. Marco A. Rubio in the Feb. 24-25 Howie Carr/Gravis poll
of 513 registered Republican voters, but in an open field Bush is in a virtual tie with Wisconsin Gov. Scott K. Walker with Rubio finishing third...
"Pitted against each other, Bush is at 40 percent and Rubio is at 36 percent," said Doug Kaplan, the managing partner of Gravis Insights, the Florida-based firm that conducted the poll. The poll carries a margin of error of 5 percent. The total may not round to 100% because of rounding.
But, when the field is opened up to other candidates, the dynamic changes, he said. "We are seeing the early stages of two-man horse race between Bush and Walker."
In the open field, Bush still leads with 23 percent to Walker's 22 percent, he said.
"But, Bush v. Walker is, again, inside the margin of error," he said.
"Rubio is popular, but in his home state, he is taking a back seat to Bush v. Walker," he said. "Even among Hispanics, Bush takes 24 percent, Walker 23 and Rubio, a Cuban-American, comes in third with 11 percent--roughly, his same level of support across the state's Republicans in an open field."
By law, Rubio cannot run for both president and for reelection to the Senate, but, he does not have to make that decision until May 2016and by then, the primary season will be winding down anyway.
The other GOP hopefuls offered in the survey fared like this:
This poll comes right after the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) where many attendees walked out on Jeb Bush and he had to bus in many people to attend his speech and vote for him to save face during the famous straw poll by finishing 5th after Senator Rand Paul, Governor Scott Walker, Senator Ted Cruz, and Dr. Ben Carson.
August 23, 2014
There are three candidates in Congressional District 9 vying for the Republican Nomination to take on Democrat Congressman Allen Grayson in the November election. One of them, realtor Carol Platt, is endorsed by Jeb Bush and seems to be supportive of Common Core. Because of the political unpopularity , she is now backtracking a bit and will not answer the question in a straightforward manner as evidenced by audio from the Carl Jackson Show. Platt goes on for several minutes and still does not answer the question.
This is in stark contrast to both of the other opponents, especially Jorge Bonilla, who clearly oppose Common Core with Bonilla vowing to defund it and Peter Vivaldi:
August 23, 2014
Of the five candidates that are running in the August 26th primary to take on Democrat Congressman Joe Garcia in Congressional District 26 that runs from Miami to Key West, only Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo supports Common Core. And according to his op-ed in the Miami Herald, he supports it in a big way.
In that piece, he used all of the typical pro-Common Core talking points while demonizing the experts and parents that have brought up many legitimate concerns. Here are a couple of the more egregious points:
"However, in order to win debates, and more important, elections, conservatives must brandish facts while ignoring scare tactics that yield irrational paranoia. Skepticism should not devolve into callousness, stubbornness, and the rejection of government in all its manifestations. Ours should be the belief that a limited and responsible government can contribute to the advancement of our nation and its people, and nowhere is that fact more evident or more critical than in the area of education. That is why we should support the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for K-12 education."
Translation Government overreach is bad, just not in education. Curbelo is apparently unaware that the RNC; the National Federation of Republican Women; multiple committees within the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF); nearly 30 Republican Executive Committees (RECs) in Florida; and almost all of the potential Republican presidential candidates except for Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and Mike Huckabee; have all rejected Common Core. Would he say that any of these people are irrationally paranoid?
Miami activist Maria Peiro put it well in the comments for this piece: "The Conservative thing to do is to NOT give up the state and local control over the education of our children. The best form of government is that which is closest to the people. To centralize curriculum and testing and put it in the hands of a few is a huge mistake for which we will all be sorry in the future when all sorts of mandates are forced upon us.
"Neither should it be a surprise that 45 states throughout the country including many like Florida which has been governed by Republicans since the 90s, are voluntarily embracing the CCSS. After all, how could any good conservative be opposed to high education standards for mathematics and English language arts?"
When Curbelo wrote this in June of 2013, he was also not unaware that many Republican governors would reject Common Core like Mary Fallin (OK), the chairwoman of the National Governor's Association; Bobby Jindal (LA), a former supporter; Nikki Hayley (SC); Pat McGrory of (NC); Scott Walker (WI); and ostensibly Mike Pence (IN).
None of the other four candidates Viet Nam veteran, former police officer and Mayor Ed Macdougall; Joe Matinez; Lorenzo Palomares-Starbuck; and David Rivera, a former member of Congress who is not campaigning due to being investigated for corruption charges, but has not formally withdrawn from the race support Common Core. Only Mr. Curbelo does, who is endorsed by Jeb Bush, even though Bush did not talk to any of the other candidates and then half-heartedly apologized to Macdougall
. It is interesting to note, however, that education and mention of Common Core are no longer on the issues page of Curbelo's campaign website. Is he backing off the way Jeb Bush endorsee Carol Platt seems to be when she wouldn't answer a simple yes or no question
, political writer for the Herald said that Curbelo has "deploy[ed] the Jeb Bush bomb" in the race. He went on to portray that "Common Core hasn't appeared to hurt Bush's standing with Florida Republican voters. In a series of Florida polls, Quinnipiac University consistently finds he's most-liked by the GOP in a presidential match-up
against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who nevertheless edges him." What he did not point out was that there is other polling information reported in Sunshine State News
from a Survey USA
poll showing that Bush is now behind Senator Rand Paul here in Florida in head-to-head match-ups against Hillary Clinton.
The other thing that Caputo said that is highly debatable is, "Common Core, though, hasn't really been an issue in this congressional race. After all, Common Core was created and managed by the states. A federal conservative who opposes a states' rights issue has a measure of explaining to do." Mr. Caputo is apparently not aware that nearly the entire Republican U.S. House caucus voted yes on the Student Success Act which contained language limiting the federal Department of Education so that they would not "either directly or indirectly, attempt to influence, incentivize, or coerce State adoption of the Common Core State Standards...or any other standards...or assessments tied to such standards." Common Core IS definitely a federal issue. It played a significant role in the CD 19 race won by Curt Clawson
and is playing a key role in the CD-9 primary
where another Bush endorsee appears to be behind anti-CCSS candidate Jorge Bonilla, and is taking heat about Common Core. Common Core has also been a prominent issue in other congressional primaries
across the nation.
July 7, 2014
Karen R. Effrem, MD - Executive Director
New polling data continues to show that as more people, especially parents and even business people, find out about Common Core, support for those awful standards continues to decline. This verifies data
we have previously presented.
A June 26th Rasmussen poll
"...just 34% of American Adults with children of elementary or secondary school age now favor requiring all schools nationwide to meet the same Common Core education standards. That's an 18-point drop from 52% in early November of last year.
Forty-seven percent (47%) oppose the imposition of the national standards, compared to 32% in the previous survey. Little changed are the 19% who are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.
And a Pew Research poll
shows that Common Core is strongly opposed both by "Steadfast" (social, Tea Party) Conservatives and "Business" (Establishment) Conservatives.
"The two solidly-Republican groups, Steadfast and Business Conservatives, oppose Common Core by more than two-to-one (61%-25% and 61%-23%, respectively)."
Here is some analysis by writer Libby Nelson on the blog Vox
"Supporters might hope otherwise, but the fight in the Republican Party is over and the standards have lost...
...This is a huge failure for the US Chamber of Commerce. The group spent much of the past year making a case for the standards from a business perspective.
The chamber argued that high, uniform expectations in math and language arts will produce better workers and a stronger economy. They made slick videos. They published op-eds. Yet they failed to convince even their core constituency -- business conservatives...
...This is very bad news for the standards' supporters. Right-leaning supporters of Common Core say the standards are a state issue, created for states and by states (and that they wish Education Secretary Arne Duncan would stop talking about them). Opponents argue that the US Education Department's efforts to get states to adopt the standards are an example of federal overreach.
Pew makes it clear: The opponents won. No matter how much supporters talk about state-led initiatives, the standards have been defined.
Those two results when combined and added to the previous polling data and the continued abandonment of Common Core by Republican governors Jindal, Fallin, and Hayley should provide devastating blows to Common Core proponents like Jeb Bush and the Chamber of Commerce. Nelson was mixed in her review of the effect on Bush:
That doesn't mean Jeb Bush's Common Core support will derail his national aspirations. Pew found the former Florida governor is broadly popular among both business conservatives (63 percent favorability) and steadfast conservatives (60 percent favorability). John McCain and Mitt Romney, among others, could tell you that a candidate doesn't need to agree with his party on everything to win the nomination.
But now Bush's support for the Common Core can't be waved away as picking a side in an active intraparty controversy. Bush is backing an initiative that his party broadly opposes. Jindal didn't turn on the Common Core to burnish his credentials with the most conservative Republicans. He did it to win over the mainstream. (Emphasis added).
and Real Clear Politics
show that no one potential Republican 2016 presidential candidate is standing out right now and there are not many differences in the favorability/unfavorability ratings between Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal or the rest. Time will tell if the Twitter hashtag #StopJebNow and the almost universal opposition to Bush's
presidential aspirations from parents and other activists in the anti-Common Core movement will continue to grow.
December 14, 2016
In the recent analysis of the DeVos nomination, it was mentioned that T74, a DeVos Family Foundation funded website published a critique of Jane Robbins's and Dr. Effrem's Federalist article warning of the dangers of social emotional learning (SEL) and that the author's employer had connections to many pro-Common Core and SEL groups:
The T74, a pro-Common Core education blog funded by the DeVos Family Foundation carried a post attacking the Federalist article written by Jane Robbins and myself as the "journalistic equivalent of yelling 'fire' in a theater" without substantively answering our concerns. The author works at Bellwether Education Partners, whose partners include (surprise, surprise) DeVos' PR [Philanthropy Roundtable], Bush's FEE [Now called ExelinEd], and the Gates Foundation, all major supporters of Common Core and of SEL.
Here is an extensive excerpt of the rebuttal to that misguided critique published in the Federalist today:
In response to our recent article Read more
December 2, 2016
Karen R. Effrem, MD - Executive Director
President-elect Donald Trump has selected Michigan billionaire; Republican mega-donor, and school choice advocate Betsy DeVos as his Secretary of Education. The corporate, big government Republican establishment, such as Jeb Bush, his Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE), Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, as well as groups that have received her large contributions, are thrilled with her appointment. Key education freedom leaders like Frank Cannon, president of the American Principles Project who called her a "very Jeb-like pick"; Joy Pullman, managing editor of The Federalist; and grassroots parent anti-Common Core groups in Michigan, Oklahoma, we here in Florida, and around the nation are justifiably concerned.
Understanding her future boss' promise to get rid of Common Core, as well as how fatal it was to the presidential campaigns of her friend and fellow FEE board member, Jeb Bush, whom she supported, and others that Donald Trump beat, she put out a hastily constructed statement Read more
November 5, 2015
PHOTO CREDIT - 2016 THE PULSE
As Senator Marco Rubio moves up in the polls after three strong debate performances, his own record, as well as the financial connections of the major donors for his campaign are starting to undergo significant review. For those that care deeply about downsizing the federal role in education, that means examining monetary ties to Common Core, testing and data mining.
Rubio has done very well in his speeches, the one debate where he or anyone was able to talk about Common Core and votes related to Common Core and the overreach of the federal government via the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) currently known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). He is to be thanked for voting against the final ECAA/No Child Left Behind rewrite and for Senator Cruz's amendment on state sovereignty in testing in that mammoth federal bill. He received a solid C, but not higher, on the Pulse 2016 Common Core report card because of his "Know Before You Go Act" which will require a boatload of student data mining, but has room for improvement.
Unfortunately, Read more
August 21, 2015
Republican Senators Ted Cruz (TX) and Rand Paul (KY) earned the best grades of A- while not surprisingly, former Governor Jeb Bush and current Ohio Governor John Kasich received failing grades for their positions and actions on Common Core. The graded review of 16 Republican candidates was done by the American Principles in Action group. The full report card is available HERE.
The report was based on how well candidates by their statements and actions have answered three questions: 1.) Have they spoken out and acted against Common Core?
Statements opposing Common Core must acknowledge that the standards are of low-quality, fail to meet the expectations of high-performing countries, and contain language that controls the curriculum and instructional methods used in the classroom. Recognition of these deficiencies is central in determining whether a candidate's actions have been a sincere effort to replace the Common Core with high standards or to simply rebrand it under another name.
2.) Do they understand and have they made a specific commitment to protect state and local control of education from further federal intrusion?
In particular, we are looking for candidates who understand how the federal government intrudes onto state decision-making and who advocate for structural changes to prevent such intrusions. Moreover, the candidate must understand that the intended division of power between the federal government and the state is meant to ensure that people can shape state and local policies. He must understand how the breakdown of that division destroyed the safeguards that could have, and likely would have, prevented Common Core.
3.) What efforts has the candidate made to protect student and family privacy interests against the rising demands of industry Read more
July 20, 2015
Karen R. Effrem, MD - Executive Director
Sadly, despite clear and detailed warnings from parents, teachers, activists, and policy experts, the US Senate passed its rewrite of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB)/Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) called The Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA S1170) on July 16th by a vote of 81-17. Three Democrats voted against the bill because of not enough government control, but nonetheless did the right thing. It is extremely clear that big government and big business interests, who are supporting pro-Common Core candidates like Jeb Bush, John Kasich, and Hillary Clinton, are colluding to cement federal control over American education.
We would like to thank the following senators for their opposition votes to the overall bill:
Flake (R-AZ) Lee (R-UT)
Rubio (R-FL) Sasse (R-NE)
Florida's other US Senator Bill Nelson did not vote on the bill or any amendments as he is recovering from cancer surgery. We wish him well.
Three of the five presidential candidates in the Senate Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) voted no. Bernie Sanders (I-VT, a member of the Socialist Party running for president Read more