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, the bloom may be coming off his anti-Common Core rose due to significant donations from two of the largest funders of Common Core in the nation and the world. The first are two donations totaling $3000 from Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates. Gates recently said in an Atlantic interview that " representative democracy is a problem" in regard to climate change. Rubio is the only one of the seventeen Republican candidates that received any political contributions from Gates in the period covered in this chart.
PHOTO CREDIT - RAMIN TALIE/GETTY IMAGES
The other major donor and perhaps more influential for Rubio, is Wall Street billionaire Paul E. Singer. The following excerpts from an excellent Breitbart article by Dr. Susan Berry explain Singer's foundation:
Singer "founded the Paul E. Singer Foundation, whose work thus far has 'focused on Read more
Photo Credit - Breitbart New
During an interview with Breitbart News at a North Carolina campaign stop, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul explained his opposition to Common Core:
"I don't think there's really a constitutional role for the federal government in education. So I'm not for a national curriculum," Paul said, adding:
"I think the danger of having one central governmental authority deciding curriculum is what if we get some people who decide we really need to treat Karl Marx fairly, we need to make sure he gets a good writeup in the history and Adam Smith, oh gosh, he was terrible. You can see how once it's nationalized, one person can insert a bias into the curriculum, and it goes everywhere, and then you have to fight it. Should your local school district have to fight Washington, or shouldn't you have to go to a school board member and say, "Should we have that in our textbooks?" So more local control is better. And different parts of the country might choose different curriculums--and North Carolina is more conservative, so my guess is they might have a little bit different curriculum than San Francisco."
While not mentioning Jeb Bush by name, he had a harsh warning for potential 2016 presidential contenders on Common Core
"I don't see Common Core being--if you're for Common Core and you're for a national curriculum, I don't see it being a winning message in a Republican primary," Paul said in an interview backstage at an event where he endorsed Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) for reelection. "If there's a Republican candidate out there--let's just say there's a hypothetical one that's for Common Core. I'm saying that that hypothetical candidate that's for Common Core probably doesn't have much chance of winning in a Republican primary."
The article went on to describe Jeb Bush's awkward campaign appearance for Thom Tillis related to Common Core and immigration where Tillis had to distance himself from Read more
We couldn't agree more with Adam Smith's assessment of Jeb Bush's political fortunes in the Tampa Bay Times' column The Buzz:
Loser of the week
Jeb Bush. The Lee County School Board voted to opt out of Common Core. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a presidential contender, sued the federal government over Common Core, while Rick Scott is scrambling to distance himself from Common Core and standardized testing. Bush's strength as a presidential candidate looks much more dubious today than a few months ago, amid widespread backlash against education accountability policies closely associated with him.
In addition, even though, despite the opponents running valiant, but underfunded campaigns (Thanks to Jorge Bonilla, Michael Dreikorn, and those that ran an anti-Common Core platform in CD 26); some of Mr. Bush's preferred candidates did win, there are at least two legislative candidates and a veritable army of school board candidates who won or advanced to the general election on an anti-Common Core or anti-high stakes testing platform. They are ready to do what Lee County did, even though bullying tactics from Tallahassee may reverse that on Tuesday. Here is just a partial list (please let us know who we are missing) with more to come:
Florida House of Representatives:
District 74 - Julio Gonzalez
District 31- Jennifer Sullivan
District 3 - Gunner Paulson (won & opposes high stakes testing)
District 5 - Rob Hyatt (won & opposes Common Core completely)
District 1 - Kelly Lichter (won & opposes Common Core completely)
District 3 - Erika Donalds (advanced & opposes Common Core completely)
District 2 - Janet McDonald (advanced and opposes Common Core completely)
District 4 - Terry Kemple (advanced & opposes Common Core completely)
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 Read more
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 shows: "...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). Read more