Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, prospective 2016 candidate, is already moving to the right in an attempt to garner more support from the conservative base. Speaking with Time magazine, he was asked, “Is there a center? And if so, can it hold?” Jeb Bush answered:
Yeah, there is a center. We’re a part of it if you call it a center. I’m getting nervous to be called a centrist. Breaking out in a rash. I’ve been accused of that now three or four times today. I’m pretty damn conservative to be honest with you.
Of course, he then followed up that slightly delusional self-assessment with this blatantly unconservative statement on the education system:
There are people on the right who are fearful of federal encroachment. That fear, I don’t think is justified, although there is enough history behind federal encroachment for everybody to be diligent.
No federal encroachment into education? George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind program actually threatened the success of Florida’s education policy. As Matthew Ladner of the Heritage Foundation wrote back in 2009, “While the federal government provides only 9 percent of the funding for public education, NCLB greatly expanded its policymaking authority by overseeing education governance at the state and local levels …. Researchers have reported a pattern whereby states lower passing thresholds and otherwise ‘dumb down’ assessments to boost proficiency scores and avoid federal sanctions under NCLB.”