Likely GOP presidential contender Jeb Bush says he will try to convince grassroots groups of parents who oppose the Common Core standards to flip-flop and embrace the education initiative.
When Megyn Kelly of Fox News Channel’s The Kelly File observed how unpopular the Common Core initiative is with grassroots conservatives in particular, Bush responded: “Common Core means a lot of things to different people, so they could be right, based on what’s in front of them…but the simple fact is we need higher standards; they need to be state-driven. The federal government should play no role in this – either in the creation of standards, content, or curriculum…”
Bush said he will aim to convince those Republicans who are opposed to Common Core that “high standards are better than low standards.” He added that he will demonstrate what he did as governor of Florida to improve learning and school choice.
“If we don’t have high standards, and assess to them faithfully, we get what we have today – which is about a third of our kids being college and/or career ready,” Bush added. “And, by the way, we spend more per student than any country in the world other than two or three countries.”
Most Common Core opponents would likely want to follow-up with Bush: “Show us the evidence that the Common Core standards are, in fact, ‘higher standards.’”
A multitude of standards experts have been traveling around the nation and testifying in states that there is no validity to the claim that the Common Core standards are “higher standards.” No independent studies have been performed to validate the “rigor” of the standards.
In March, Ze’ev Wurman, former senior policy adviser with the U.S. Department of Education under President George W. Bush, wrote at Breitbart News:
Common Core standards were never validated before being published, and every serious piece of research that has analyzed them since found them lacking. Much of the Common Core is experimental and a rehash of the failed 1989 NCTM [National Council of Teachers of Mathematics] standards that brought America to its knees in mathematical achievement. Parents are justified in their complaints about the strange and meaningless homework their children are bringing home, and they should distrust educators who uncritically praise them. More likely than not, those educators themselves have little experience and have been sold a bill of goods by Common Core’s Washington, D.C. promoters.
Wurman went on to describe how the originators of Common Core put forward a “fake validation” of the standards.
“[C]ommon Core’s ‘college preparation’ in mathematics amounts to a poor-man’s Algebra 2 and Geometry courses,” he wrote. “The U.S. Department of Education’s own data shows that with only Algebra 2 preparation – even the full course – the chances of a student to end up with a Bachelor’s degree – any Bachelor’s degree – is less than 40%…”
Bush’s attempt to distance himself from the federal role in Common Core, i.e. “the federal government should play no role in this,” is politics at its best, since he did his part to urge states to submit Race to the Top grant applications to obtain federal stimulus funds the Obama administration offered in exchange for adopting the Common Core standards, their associated tests, and student data collection.
The obvious question is: If Bush believes education should be decided at the state-level, why does he insist other states do what he did as Florida’s governor?
“What Jeb is trying to do with his Florida education reform is exactly what Mitt Romney did with his Massachusetts ‘Romneycare’ that imploded in a major way when it was imposed on the nation in the form of Obamacare,” Wurman told Breitbart News. “Similarly, Jeb’s brother George also had a pretty decent record on NAEP scores in Texas, yet his No Child Left Behind law – an effort to make Texas-style reform nationwide – did not work out well and was another example of federal overreach.”