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 supporting research and scholars in the areas Read more
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 and central planners for more personal student data?Such interests include the right of parents to control what type of information is collected (e.g., social and emotional information, behavioral history, Read more
Karen R. Effrem, MD - Executive Director
The wind may be leaving the sails of Jeb Bush's ship Air of Inevitability. His big lead is eroding in poll after poll as parent and taxpayer outrage about his involvement in and undying support of Common Core and the accompanying invasive, punitive, and invalid tests. As other candidates truly enter the race, instead of pretending to be "strongly considering" it, there is more anger about his perceived skirting of campaign finance laws, the appearance of his continued iron fisted control of Florida Legislature and GOP, his testing policies that have metastasized to other states and to federal law, and continued scrutiny of his past financial dealings.Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times said this about Bush and Common Core in his recent article about how Jeb's claim to still be considering a presidential run so as to be able to skirt campaign finance laws and gather more money: At some point this year, however, Bush may find his non-campaign campaign makes primary voters start to doubt his honesty as much as they do his positions on Common Core and immigration reform.
That was a follow-up to Smith's note about Bush's Common Core position in relation to Florida Senator Marco Rubio's now officially announced run: He [Rubio] must have sufficient money to communicate. This may be the first election in which billionaires pick a presidential nominee and that's good news for Rubio. Bush is likely to raise far more money than any other Republican candidate, but he faces so much hostility and skepticism in the base due to his last name and his support for Common Core education standards that he may need all that money.
During that speech, Rubio also took a shot at Bush's air of inevitability RUBIO: I've heard -- I've heard some suggest that I should step aside and wait my turn.AUDIENCE: No. It's your turn.RUBIO: But I cannot. Because I believe our very identity as an exceptional nation is at stake, and I can make a Read more
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 the standards.
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.
And opposite the three Republicans, Hillary just days after announcing her candidacy, defended Common Core in Iowa, saying:
"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, Read more
Karen R. Effrem, MD - Executive Director
Former governor and potential presidential candidate Jeb Bush will be holding a closed fundraiser and an open education forum tomorrow in Tallahassee. Many on both sides of the aisle have concerns about that candidacy. He has been protested by anti-Common Core groups and Republican activists. The Florida Bad Ass Teachers (BATs) and the Democrat Party will be protesting the event tomorrow. Other potential Repbulican presidential candidates are criticizing Bush's support for Common Core: Ted Cruz was on ABC's This Week and said:
"If he [Bush] chooses to run, it certainly looks like he's going to, he's going to have to make the case to Republican primary voters concerning his record, concerning certainly his support for Common Core, concerning his policies on immigration. And I think we'll have a debate on that," Cruz added. "But at the end of the day, I think Republicans are looking for a leader. What I would urge every Republican thinking about running to do, and this is true of senators, of governors stand up and lead. I'd be thrilled if six months from now we have a half-dozen Republicans standing and leading and making the case that there is a better way we can get back to the free-market principles and constitutional liberties that built this country and made this country a shining city on a hill."
Bobby Jindal said in a speech to the American Principles Project:
"Local parents, local teachers, local leaders need to make these decisions," Jindal said at a luncheon sponsored by the American Principles Project, a conservative group that has rallied opposition to the Common Core nationwide. "In our entire history as a country, we've never allowed the federal government to make these decisions for us. Now is not the time to start...."..."Trust these moms," Jindal said. "I have more confidence in the moms in this room than I do in any collection of bureaucrats."
Multiple exposes 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 Bush that we have also reported. Read more
As with Rick Scott, Jeb Bush is continuing to have Common Core problems. So much so, that in an interview with the Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin, he didn't do his usual bashing of Common Core opponents, but rather blamed Barak Obama for the conditional waivers associated with No Child Left Behind. Rubin writes with our comments: Bush may be best known for his education reforms in Florida and his continuing efforts to see comprehensive reform throughout the country. He admits, however, "In the last year or year and a half there has been a stalling-out of the comprehensive reform movement." Common Core has been in the middle of this, with supporters advocating the adoption of high standards originally developed by the states and critics characterizing them as the administration's attempt to take over education. This is a distraction, in Bush's view, along with less central issues like the amount of testing required of children.
COMMENT: This continues to show Bush's tone deafness as both in survey after survey and in numerous scholarly papers, the perception and evidence for federal overreach is plain to see. And if he continues to think that testing is merely a distraction when it takes 40% of instructional time, does not aid teaching, psychologically profiles and career tracks kids, and makes profound decisions for their lives based on just a few tests that are written to be failed, then he will continue to have major problems with the public.
Interestingly, Bush does not castigate Common Core critics for peddling misinformation about the state-developed standards. Instead he invokes a theme conservatives find familiar: "The principal reason [for the fight] has been the president. There is no trust he will faithfully enforce the law." He points to the administration's conditioning No Child Left Behind waivers on adoption of Common Core or equivalent standards, a practice driven not by legislation but by executive whim. "I respect the 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). Opponents argue that the US Read more