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Jeb Bush asks for a do-over on common core.

I found an editorial in the North West Florida Daily news about Jeb Bush and Common Core very interesting. You should know right off the bat I am proudly a big government liberal. I believe the federal government should set nation wide standards on many things. Furthermore if Common Core were done the right way it is probably something that would have been right up my alley but unfortunately it wasn’t done right for several reasons.

First I don’t think the United States government should be coercing and threatening the states and this is what they did with Common Core. During the great recession they bribed scared and cash strapped states to trade local control and then when some states balked they threatened them with withholding No Child Left Behind waivers.  If it wasn’t for those two things I believe far fewer states would have signed on to Common Core. Instead of forcing the states to except which will basically be a national curriculum they should have collaborated with the states and found parts that could have been palatable to all.

Worse however is Common Core does not address the real problem in education and that is poverty. When you factor out poverty our scores on international tests zoom to the top of the rankings. Common Core is not going to make a kid feel safer, put food in their belly, make their parents be more involved or provide wrap around services because often why a kid acts up or does poorly in school has nothing to do with school. Instead common core doubles down on high stakes testing which has siphoned the joy out of learning and teaching for so many students and teachers alike and likewise siphons millions and millions out of the classroom and into the coffers of the testing industry. We have a poverty problem not a standards problem. 

There is also one thing thought that I think you missed. In so vigorously supporting common core Jeb Bush is basically saying what he implemented was a failure. He was in charge of education for eight years and since he has been gone his legacy has continued on loudly and forcibly but that hasn’t stopped him from saying that if we want Florida’s kids to compete internationally, unless of course they take a voucher that is because those kids will be exempt from Common Core, that we need Common Core.

In effect he is saying, hey we need to completely change the standards I put in place and championed until just recently. Forget everything I have done and please give me a do-over. 

An expensive do-over that takes money out of the classroom, doubles down on standardized tests and doesn’t really address our real problem, poverty, at that.

Chris Guerrieri
School teacher/Publisher Education Matters

To read the editorial, click the link: http://www.nwfdailynews.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-common-core-and-jeb-bush-

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