Jeb Bush is staunchly defending his support for the controversial Common Core standards. In New Hampshire, the former Florida governor touted his persistence and “backbone” to a Nashua Chamber of Commerce business roundtable.
According to The Hill, Bush told the Chamber, “You don’t abandon your core beliefs, you go try to persuade people as I’m doing now. I think you need to be genuine. I think you need to have a backbone.”
Bush and other proponents of Common Core have been desperately trying to salvage his potential 2016 candidacy with the grassroots conservative base of the Republican Party, which is fiercely opposed to both the standards and amnesty for illegal immigrants. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports the Common Core standards and amnesty since both are linchpins of “workforce development,” whereby government can assure a steady supply of inexpensive labor to big business.
As Breitbart News reported Friday, Bush voiced his support as well for the previous Senate’s “Gang of Eight” amnesty bill that would have offered citizenship and taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal immigrants in the United States.
In order to win over conservatives, Bush and other champions of the nationalized Common Core are making the rounds in media attempting to infuse the federally driven education reform with a dose of federalism.
Bush told the New Hampshire group that it was “wrong” for the federal government to offer funding to states to draw them into adopting the Common Core, even though he and his foundation encouraged states to sign onto them six years ago. He now says the federal government should not be involved in creating education standards, but only years after federal funds have supported the development of the two test consortia that are creating the tests associated with the Common Core.
Similarly, Michael Petrilli, president of the pro-Common Core and Gates-funded Fordham Institute, wrote at National Review on Thursday, “Thankfully, this era of federal overreach in education might finally be coming to a close. That’s because Republicans in Congress have had enough of big-government conservatism and are demanding that bureaucrats stop micromanaging our schools from Washington.”
Parent grassroots activist in New Hampshire Ann Marie Banfield observed to Breitbart News that Bush skipped over meeting with parents in her state who are concerned about federal control of education.
“It’s worth noting that when Sen. Rand Paul came to visit New Hampshire a short time ago, he reached out directly to parents and others concerned about Common Core,” she said. “One has to wonder if Gov. Bush overlooked or if he’s purposely avoiding us.”
“The growing opposition to Common Core and its testing continues in New Hampshire. We are looking for leaders who will listen and then present a plan on how to return control of education to the local parents, teachers and the community,” Banfield added. “I suspect we will not be hearing that from Gov. Bush since he continues to defend Common Core. That’s going to be the biggest disappointment from his visit since we pride ourselves on local control in education.”