Gov. Bush Insults Concerned Parents
Former governor of Florida Jeb Bush appeared at the National Press Club in September. He was there to support Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, whose school voucher program is under attack from the federal government; the Justice Department has filed suit against it.
Reporters asked Gov. Bush about the Common Core revolt and Bush enthusiastically defended Common Core. It is ironic that federal intrusion in Louisiana troubles Bush, but the biggest federal intrusion into education in history does not.
Bush responded to critics of Common Core, “If you’re comfortable with mediocrity, fine. I’m not.” He continued, “There is a lot of heat right now. But the simple fact is, no one can defend the lower standards that we have across this country.” This ignores the fact that several states already had higher math and English language arts standards than those mandated by Common Core. Bush continued, “We have abject failure across the board.” Another falsehood. States vary widely with some performing at much higher levels than others.
Bush attempted to paint the fight against Common Core as “political,” as opposed to a grassroots groundswell of parents and concerned citizens who have legitimate concerns about Common Core. Having educated themselves about the standards, they are concerned about the federal government’s role in promoting and enforcing the use of the standards and tests. The collection and sharing of individually identifiable student data and the lack of field testing of the standards before roll-out are two facets of Common Core that particularly trouble the parents and state legislators who are scrutinizing the standards.
If Jeb Bush is a 2016 presidential hopeful, he has done himself a disservice by attacking individuals with sincere concerns about education and schoolchildren.