Jeb Bush Discusses Education in Campaign Announcement

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore (CC-By-SA 2.0)

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore (CC-By-SA 2.0)

On Monday former Florida Governor Jeb Bush announced that he was running for President making him the 11th (Donald Trump became the 12th today) Republican to jump into the 2016 race.

Unsurprisingly education was part of his announcement speech.  Here is what he had to say on the topic:

After we reformed education in Florida, low-income student achievement improved here more than in any other state.

We stopped processing kids along as if we didn’t care – because we do care, and you don’t show that by counting out anyone’s child. You give them all a chance.

Here’s what I believe.

When a school is just another dead end, every parent should have the right to send their child to a better school – public, private, or charter.

Every school should have high standards, and the federal government should have nothing to do with setting them.

Nationwide, if I am president, we will take the power of choice away from the unions and bureaucrats and give it back to parents.

We made sure of something else in Florida – that children with developmental challenges got schooling and caring attention, just like every other girl and boy. We didn’t leave them last in line. We put them first in line because they are not a problem. They are a priority. (Emphasis mine)

This is the approach he has been taking ever since he began to consider a run for President.  This isn’t a repudiation of the Common Core.  It’s just stating a talking point everyone can agree with.  Who doesn’t want high standards?  The problem with his statement on Feds setting standards is he still favors federal assessment and accountability mandates.  He didn’t express concern about Race to the Top at the time it was implemented.  Sure he doesn’t like the Feds setting standards, but it is ok to coerce them through the power of the purse and other mandates?


Tom Latham: Bring Back Control and Power of Education to State and School Districts

latham-interviewI had the opportunity to recently interview Congressman Tom Latham (R-IA) for Caffeinated Thoughts.  He is running against Congressman Leonard Boswell (D-IA) in Iowa’s newly drawn 3rd Congressional District.  We had a chance to discuss Federal involvement in education.

“No Child Left Behind was an experiment with great intentions that hasn’t worked because of the way it was implemented.”  Latham said he was ok with Federal assistance for disabled children who received Title I, but was concerned about their breadth of involvement:

…to have the federal government try to dictate what curriculum is at that level and what they can or cannot do – local school districts get maybe 5 to 6 percent of their revenue from the federal government but about 70 to 80 percent of the regulations come from the federal government.  It is cumbersome to deal with.

I also asked him about District Race to the Top:

It dramatically expands the role of the Federal government.  They are going to be writing the grant applications based on what the rules that come out of Washington rather than what the needs are here at home, and that is of great concern…  I really think that we’ve got to bring the power and control back to the state and certainly the local school district.  That has been the strength of education in Iowa ever since they settled here in Iowa.  The first thing they did was build a church.  The second thing they did when they settled was build a school.

Tom Pauken on the Decentralization of Discretionary Spending

Tom Pauken, author of Bringing America Home and chair of the Texas Workforce Commission, discussed the decentralization of discretionary spending during a speech at the Eastside Conservative Club in Altoona, IA.  He mainly discusses education spending.

Texans seem to understand the federalist position in regards to education intuitively.