Karen R. Effrem, MD - Executive Director
Jeb Bush is becoming increasingly strident and isolated in his support for Common Core. He is often met with protesters as he starts to act like a presidential candidate. Most recently, as in his home state of Florida, he was greeted by parents from Ohioans Against Common Core and members of the Hamilton County Republican Party opposed to Common Core in Cincinnati. Hamilton County is rightly deemed "the most important county in the most important state" because of its bellweather function in elections. Photos of the protest along with this video are courtesy of Ted Stevenot:
Not only is Bush being protested, but he is also becoming more isolated on the political front as other proponents, and especially potential GOP presidential candidates have or are starting to back away or outright reject the standards as federal intrusion into what is constitutionally delimited as a state and local function. Bush and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie are the only two potential 2016 candidates that are still openly supporting Common Core.
Most of the others have firmly rejected them like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum or Marco Rubio. Bobby Jindal has changed his mind by vetoing a Common Core bill in Louisiana. Scott Walker has mentioned concerns about federal overreach, but has otherwise been non-committal. Probably the worst of the bunch, other than Bush, are Mike Huckabee and Mike Pence who have respectively advocated or perpetrated deceptive "re-branding" or "lipstick on a pig" maneuvers like the Bush inspired and directed ones here in Florida.
According to a survey done by Public Policy Polling and reported in Sunshine State News, 50% of voters surveyed in Florida do not want Jeb Bush to run for president compared to 35% who do. According to the article, "While 47 percent of Florida Republicans want Bush to run, 38 percent say he shouldn't. " And, between Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Bush, Rubio is preferred for president 45 to 41 percent by Republicans surveyed.
While not the singular issue, congressional primary candidates all over the nation have made resisting Common Core a prominent part of their campaigns. Dr. Susan Berry lists them in her Breitbart post. Particularly important is the stunning upset victory of obscure college professor David Brat over U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Common Core and immigration reform, i.e. amnesty, were both significant issues in that campaign and both issues that also find Jeb Bush opposed to the Republican base. Tampa Bay Times political columnist Alex Leary labeled Bush one of the week's political losers due to Cantor's loss and National Journal writer Josh Kraushaar mentioned Common Core being a problematic issue for Bush in the column where he said:
Bush shares many of the same vulnerabilities as Cantor--a rusty political operation and being out of touch on the issues that animate conservatives.
Bush backed candidates have had problems or have had to distance themselves from Common Core. In Florida, these include Florida Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto who lost a congressional primary and is now being challenged for her senate seat in large part due to Common Core and Carol Platt, who is backed by Bush in the FL-9 congressional primary and supports Common Core, but was a distant third in a straw poll after a congressional primary debate. Even North Carolina Senate candidate Thom Tillis, though backed by Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, and the Chamber of Commerce, had to say he was opposed to Common Core in the primary.
Other media outlets are finally starting to write about the crony capitalist connections that are fueling Jeb Bush's foundation and his potential presidential run after Michelle Malkin, Glenn Beck and activists across the country have written much about this issue. Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times' The Buzz column wrote an article outlining Bush's connections to Bill Gates' foundation and Microsoft, GE, Apple, and Rupert Murdock's part of Big Data called Amplify.
Feeling the powerful backlash from parents and teachers, even Bill Gates has started to at least acknowledge the many problems with implementation by calling for a two year moratorium on the high stakes testing consequences of the standards. Yet, Bush is refusing even that kind of a mild delay. State Impact quoted a Wall Street Journal piece (subscription required), saying:
"Pressing pause means stopping forward momentum," said a letter released Monday by Mr. Bush's nonprofit Foundation for Excellence in Education. "And when that happens, things can go backwards."The Twitter hashtag #StopJebNow was developed by the Ohio activists before their rally last week. Given his dangerous promotion of the academically inferior, developmentally inappropriate, and psychologically manipulative Common Core standards, tests, and data collection system, we believe many activists across the nation, including here in Florida, will be using that as one more weapon in the war to save the hearts and minds of our precious children.