It is so good for EdWeek to point out that yes there is dissention in the ranks. Not all Republicans have bought into Governor Jeb Bush’s vision of education reform, as far as, national standards are concerned.
On the one hand, there’s Jeb Bush, a key Romney surrogate and the former GOP governor of Florida. He points out that a majority of GOP governors have embraced the standards. And then you’ve got Gayle Ruzeicka, president of the Utah Eagle Forum, and a delegate to the Republican National Convention.
“We call it Obama Core,” she told me in an interview on the convention floor Monday, an obvious play on “Obamacare,” GOP activists’ name for the president’s landmark health care law. “It’s been co-opted by the Obama administration. They’ve done everything they can to tie us into these standards. We’re Republicans and we’re letting Obama take over our education system.”
They talked to S.C. State Senator Mike Fair:
Still, some state lawmakers—including Sen. Mike Fair of South Carolina, an attendee here—are trying to get their states to dump the standards, or at least delay their implementation, arguing that they’ve got too much of a federal stamp.
Another Utah activist was also interviewed:
The Republican party platform embraces high standards, but is silent on the common core, to the disappointment of some GOP activists. Christel Swasey, a former high school English teacher from Utah, submitted anti-common core language to a portion of the RNC website soliciting ideas for the platform from voters around the country. Swasey’s language was never formally introduced in the platform committee, she told me. But it made its way to the inboxes of delegates at the convention who are skeptical of common core.
She’s disappointed that Mitt Romney hasn’t come out against the standards. His position, as outlined in a white paper, is that states should be free to work together to create rigorous standards. But he doesn’t mention common core by name.
Swasey found that disappointing. “I thought that was really strange,” she said, noting that the standards are going to have a “transformative” impact on K-12. Then, she said, she found out that some of Romney’s campaign surrogates (including Bush) support the standards. “There’s a real divide in the Republican party over common core,” she said.