Peggy Noonan writes at the Wall Street Journal that Jeb Bush’s “dynasty” will be less of a problem than his education views should he run for President in 2016.
Jeb Bush’s real problem, and not just with members of the tea party, is his early and declared support for the Common Core national school curriculum. He decided to back federal standards for what should be taught in the public schools at the exact moment the base of the Republican Party had had it up to here with federal anything.
A year ago I attended a meeting in which Jeb spoke of his support for the core to conservative education policy intellectuals. When told the subject of the meeting, I was confused: He’s for Common Core or against it? For it? Really? In what abstract universe are conservative intellectuals operating? Federal standards for what should be taught in the classroom would immediately be received with skepticism by parents who, year after year now, have seen their children turned into test-taking monkeys. They are taught to the test, and the tests seem to exist so that school systems can claim achievement. What used to be called the joy of learning gets crowded out. Moreover, some parents, maybe a lot, would assume any new education scheme would be administered by the education establishment, meaning a lot of Lois Lerners—apparatchiks, ideologues, politicos. Federal programs like Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind always mean well, but maybe the answer to our education woes won’t come from the federal level.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore