Jeb Bush’s Common Core problem continues.
Writing in conservative website Breitbart News, Dr. Susan Berry analyzes the credibility and political problems that Bush has with his unwavering support of Common Core Standards:
The problem for Bush is that just about everything he says about the standards is untrue. Common Core is a federally promoted, not state-led, initiative introduced in the Obama administration’s 2009 stimulus bill through a competitive grant program called Race to the Top (RTTT). Common Core is a set of unproven and untested uniform standards and aligned curricula and testing that allows for a greater role of government in education, higher levels of social engineering, student data collection, and teacher evaluations based on student performance on assessments.
The National Governors Association (NGA), the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and nonprofit progressive education think tank Achieve, Inc. were mainly responsible for the initiative, and both the NGA and the CCSSO are the publishers of the Common Core State Standards. The standards themselves were written by individuals who never even taught math or English. None of these private groups are accountable to parents, students, or teachers.
The 45 state boards of education, most of them unelected, that signed onto the unproven Common Core standards did so with little, if any, public or media scrutiny prior to even seeing the standards themselves.
The implementation of Common Core has been privately funded primarily by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, underscoring the alliance of big government political elites and corporatists in this academic initiative.
Berry’s Breitbart column represents yet another significant conservative source which is critical of Common Core – and Bush. Moreover, conservative language now includes “corporate elites” and the role they have in the “greater role of government in education, higher levels of social engineering, student data collection, and teacher evaluations based on student performance on assessments.” George Will wrote in January that proponents of Common Core were engaged in “political dishonesty.”
Bush’s Common Core is essentially a three-edged dagger. Aside from the aforementioned bureaucratic largess, it imperils his “school choice” agenda. Barry quotes choice supporter, Ben Valderman:
“Bush is jeopardizing 20 years’ worth of hard-won school choice successes by stubbornly promoting and defending the Common Core math and English learning standards.”
“He doesn’t seem to realize that the one-size-fits-all standards are likely to have the practical effect of making instruction in all types of schools – public, public charter, private and even home schools – depressingly similar and mediocre,” he wrote.
Barry points to Core’s third fatal flaw:
What makes the question of Bush’s credibility even more pronounced is his insistence of the “rigor” of the Common Core standards when many astute educators who have worked at developing standards themselves and have reviewed Common Core predict the initiative will only serve to “dumb down” America’s students.
In an interview with Breitbart News, Hillsdale College Professor Terrence Moore described how the Common Core standards will put a nail in the coffin of an already suffering progressive education system.
Moore said the English Language Arts standards are serving to remove classical literature from schools and replace it with “informational texts.”
“It’s not till you start asking questions about what’s not in the standards that you realize the bias,” Moore said. “The texts from the standards are superficial, politically biased, and embarrassingly dumb.”
Similarly, Dr. Sandra Stotsky, who was asked to be a member of the Common Core Validation Committee but refused to sign off on the standards, is herself credited with developing the Massachusetts K-12 standards – one of the country’s strongest set of academic standards.
“Everyone was willing to believe that the Common Core standards are ‘rigorous,’ ‘competitive,’ ‘internationally benchmarked,’ and ‘research-based,’” Stotsky told Breitbart News. “They are not.”
Florida has one of the “unelected” school boards which Barry references in her piece and it’s passage of Common Core late last month disingenuously packaged as “Florida Standards” dooms Florida to the same chaos that has befallen New York. Only Florida doesn’t even have tests yet for this year while republican legislators are insisting upon shoving school grades and teacher evaluations into this black hole.
With most red states legislatures and Washington republicans moving away from Common Core, Florida republicans are isolating themselves. Bills to stop Common Core’s implementation in Florida have republican sponsors but leadership will block the attempts. Is it to protect Bush’s bid for the White House?