Monday, August 12, 2013

Jeb Jab

As the right continues to recoil from the Common Core State Standards, Jeb Bush is the latest to get caught in the undertow, according to Politico. There's a lot wrong with Florida education, but little of it has to do with Jeb's fondness for the new standards. The fact that the standards have gotten tangled up with testing and with teacher accountability is what caused the original flap, and now we're hearing alarm bells about the demise of local control (as if there were any local control at a level below state control). We're in big trouble when right-wing hysteria over the overreaching of government merges with teachers' union hysteria over the overanalysis of teachers merges with parental hysteria over the overtesting of children. Fact is, the Common Core emerged from a consortium of governors and state education leaders, members of both parties, and Jeb was just one tiny cog in that machine. The fact that the sensible plan to work backward from community college and employment requirements so that our kids might actually be prepared for college and career was then co-opted by multi-billion-dollar testing companies and then pinned to NCLB's desire for teacher accountability is neither the fault of the standards nor of Jeb Bush—but both may go down in flames if the hysterics have their way. It's hard to feel sorry for a Bush, but I sort of do.

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