Frustrated Jeb Bush Still Won’t Give Up on Common Core

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (photo credit: Michael Vadon, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Jeb Bush is disgruntled. The grand Common Core edifice is crumbling around him, and he can do little other than lash out at the people responsible. He did so last week in a forum held at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he has spent several weeks co-teaching a class on education reform.

During the 93-minute conversation, Bush advocated a number of reform-y ideas, such as school choice (the tax money should follow the child), digital learning (technology should be “integral to the learning experience”), expanded preschool (with training for teachers to handle “every interaction with a four-year-old”), and competency-based training (as opposed to genuine liberal-arts education). But nothing engaged his emotions — primarily anger and frustration — more than discussion of the politics of the Common Core national standards.

When asked about his support for Common Core, Bush doggedly repeated and expanded on his mantra: “I’m for higher standards. High standards, assessed faithfully, will yield college- and/or career-readiness after 12th grade.” He didn’t explain why the Common Core standards are “higher,” but then he never has.

Interestingly, Bush also admitted that the pre-Common Core Massachusetts standards were “probably” higher than Common Core: “I’m not sure why Massachusetts had to change — that was their decision.” If Bush really isn’t sure why Massachusetts ditched its superior standards for Common Core, he’s the only one in the education universe who is still puzzling over that one. A federal payout of $250 million can be a powerful inducement. Continue Reading

Memo to Donald Trump: The Gold Standard Will Guarantee 4 Percent Growth

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

In calling for 4 percent growth, Donald Trump hit a home run.

He has the right instincts. If he follows them he can turn this home run into a grand slam.

When Jeb Bush declared his candidacy, he did it in a speech demanding no less than 4 percent growth:

Growth above all. A growing economy, whether here in Detroit or throughout this country is the difference between poverty and prosperity for millions. If you want to close the opportunity gap, grow the economy. This is a principle that concentrates the mind.

If a law or a rule doesn’t contribute to growth, why do it? If a law subtracts from growth, why are we discussing it? And for what it’s worth, I don’t think the US should settle for anything less than 4% growth a year – which is about twice our current average. At that rate, the middle class will thrive again.

I applauded Bush’s declaration at the time in Forbes.com. But Governor Bush never provided the credible plan to get there which he also promised. He soon drifted off to other issues… and drifted down in the polls. Trump focused in on a commitment to job creation and making us rich again, and he rode this pledge to the nomination.

Trump now has unveiled such a plan. His commitment to 4 percent is highly credible. There are credible components in his proposed tax rate cuts and in peeling back oppressive and pointless federal regulations that stifle economic growth. Continue Reading

Report: Trump Benefited from Media Coverage, Clinton Suffered

Photo credit: flash.pro via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

A blitz of both positive and negative media coverage played a large role in propelling Donald Trump to capture the Republican nomination, according to a new Harvard study out of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy. The study analyzed the coverage of both print and broadcast sources, reaching the conclusion that “Trump exploited their lust for riveting stories.” Had Trump spent money on advertising equivalent to the amount of free media coverage he got, he would have spent roughly $55 million, the study found. Trump’s next closest competitor, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, got just $36 million in free time by comparison.

Most of Trump’s media coverage (34 percent) had to do with his campaign activities and events, while 21 percent of it had to do with polls, and 27 percent of it was other miscellaneous coverage.

Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, independent Senator Bernie Sanders enjoyed the most positive coverage during the money primary, the report notes, while former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had the most unfavorable media coverage, with over a quarter of her reporting time spent on the issues and over 80 percent of that time spent on negative coverage. Trump, Ted Cruz, and Sanders had issues-related coverage 12, 9, and 7 percent of the time, respectively, and Trump had negative issues-related reporting 43 percent of the time, while both Cruz and Sanders had negative issues-related reporting less than one-third of the time.

With the primaries now over, will the media continue to bolster Trump and damage Clinton? Continue Reading

Clinton Supporters Are Recycling These 3 Failed Attacks on Trump

Donald Trump (photo credit: Disney | ABC Television Group via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0)

Now that Donald Trump is the presumptive GOP nominee, an onslaught of negative ads are, undoubtedly, on the horizon. Trump is, by now, no stranger to negative campaigning, having already faced numerous attacks from his former Republican primary rivals, as well as high profile GOP leaders like Mitt Romney.

Now it’s Democrats’ turn. Politico reports that a pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC, Priorities USA Action, will start running anti-Trump messages this week:

The three central tenets of the message will be that the real estate investor is a divisive character, that he’s too dangerous to vote for, and that he’s a con man, Priorities’ chief strategist Guy Cecil explained to POLITICO on Monday — two days before the organization started its run of television advertising that’s set to effectively stay on the air straight through Election Day in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Virginia.

Given the failure of the GOP establishment to stop Trump, one would expect the Left to pursue a different set of tactics when attacking him. However, if Cecil’s statement represents their current plan, they are bound to be disappointed. These three “central tenets” are not new to voters. In fact, Trump’s GOP primary rivals tried all three to no avail.

Take, for example, the accusation that Trump has a “divisive character.” In August of last year, Jeb Bush compared Trump’s rhetoric to President Obama’s, stating that Trump used “[l]anguage that divides us,” and that “[a]ll [Trump] does is push people who don’t agree with him down to make his side look better and the divide makes it hard to solve problems.” Bush further cautioned the GOP against buying into rhetoric that is “really, really divisive that preys on peoples’ legitimate angst.” But despite Bush’s attacks, Trump’s poll numbers continued to rise, and after finishing well behind Trump in several primaries, Bush dropped out on February 21st. Continue Reading

Former Candidates Start to Coalesce Behind Trump

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

With the Republican primary race all but over, GOP leaders are slowly beginning to unite behind the party’s presumptive nominee, Donald Trump. This includes three of his former rivals for the nomination.

Just days following Trump’s significant victory in the Indiana primary, former candidates Scott Walker and Rick Perry announced they would be backing Trump in this year’s presidential election. Walker framed his support as a fulfilling of his pledge last August to support the Republican nominee and stated that he thinks Trump “is clearly better than Hillary Clinton for a variety of reasons.” Perry was even more complimentary, stating that Trump “is one of the most talented people who has ever run for the president I have ever seen,” and promising that he would help in any way he could.

Then, over the weekend, Bobby Jindal joined the fray, declaring in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that “I’m Voting Trump, Warts and All”:

Some of my fellow Republicans have declared they will never, under any circumstances, vote for Donald Trump. They are pessimistic about the party’s chances in November and seem more motivated by long-term considerations. They think devotion to the “anybody but Trump” movement is a principled and courageous stance that will help preserve a remnant of the conservative movement and its credibility, which can then serve as a foundation for renewal.

I sympathize with this perspective, but I am planning to vote for Donald Trump. Why? Because the stakes for my country, not merely my party, are simply too high.

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Jeb Bush Endorses Ted Cruz for President

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

CNN reported this morning that Jeb Bush endorsed Ted Cruz for the Republican presidential nomination, saying, “Ted is a consistent, principled conservative who has demonstrated the ability to appeal to voters and win primary contests.”

In a statement provided to CNN, Bush said: “Washington is broken, and the only way Republicans can hope to win back the White House and put our nation on a better path is to support a nominee who can articulate how conservative policies will help people rise up and reach their full potential.”

Bush’s endorsement emphasizes the belief that a Donald Trump nomination would ultimately be a win for Hillary Clinton. Last month, before he dropped his own bid for president, Bush characterized Trump as a “bully” and “not a conservative.”

While Bush and Cruz might differ on immigration policy, the former Florida governor’s endorsement is in keeping with wider, shared values.

In a statement to CNN, Cruz said: “I’m truly honored to earn Governor Jeb Bush’s support. . . . Governor Bush was an extraordinary governor of Florida, and his record of job creation and education innovation left a lasting legacy for millions of Floridians. His endorsement today is further evidence that Republicans are continuing to unite behind our campaign to nominate a proven conservative to defeat Hillary Clinton in November, take back the White House, and ensure a freer and more prosperous America for future generations.”

Brittany Klein is the co-author of Jephthah’s Daughters: Innocent Casualties in the War for Family ‘Equality’ and serves on the board and academic council of the International Children’s Rights Institute. Continue Reading

A Job for Jeb

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Nothing in his political career so became Jeb Bush as much as his eloquent and moving withdrawal from the 2016 presidential race. By making his announcement on Saturday night, he deftly stole the limelight from that shameless camera hog, Trump.

Jeb’s ending of his campaign opens up a new role for him: He can be the John Quincy Adams of our time. Adams was crushed in the presidential election of 1828. He had spent his entire four-year term waiting for the inevitable Jackson bandwagon to roll over him.

But once his presidential aspirations were dashed, Adams came into his own. He re-entered politics by serving as a simple Congressman from Massachusetts. No longer did he have to worry about his ambitions. He threw himself into the cause of Liberty.

Slaveholders in Congress had refused even to allow petitions for ending slavery to be considered in the people’s House. They imposed a “Gag Rule” and killed every motion to take up those abolition petitions. Adams saw this as a gross violation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of the people’s right to “petition for the redress of grievances.”

Adams could be seen, year after year, battling for Liberty and the Bill of Rights in the well of the House of Representatives. Elderly and ailing, he nonetheless roared against the injustice of denying the right of petition.

“Old Man Eloquent” they called him. On reaching eighty, he was asked if he would retire. “The world will retire from me before I retire from the world,” Adams replied. Continue Reading

Cruz, Rubio, Bush: Why the Missing Prosperity Crusade?

It’s a mystery worthy of Sherlock Holmes.

Most of the Republican presidential aspirants, mysteriously, are not focusing on the issue that all of the polling shows at the top of voter concern: restoring prosperity. This, not Donald Trump (who hits the theme rather brilliantly although his proposals to restore prosperity are pure Jabberwocky), is the real wrecking ball of this election cycle.

What’s going on? Elementary, Watson.

In the Sherlock Holmes story The Adventure of Silver Blaze Conan Doyle presented a conversation between a Scotland Yard detective and Holmes:

Gregory: ‘The dog did nothing in the night-time.’ Holmes: ‘That was the curious incident.”

Why aren’t the Republican candidates crusading for prosperity? Holmes: “Obviously the midnight visitor was someone whom the dog knew well.” So too do the candidates know, or believe they know, the “midnight visitor” behind our “sclerotic growth.”

And the candidates cannot bear to criticize that midnight visitor, their presidential predecessors. Follow along. …

Read the full story at Forbes.com.

Ralph Benko, internationally published weekly columnist, co-author of The 21st Century Gold Standard, lead co-editor of the Gerald Malsbary translation from Latin to English of Copernicus’s Essay on Money, is American Principles Project’s Senior Advisor, Economics. Continue Reading

Jeb’s Support for Common Core Doomed His Candidacy From the Start

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

After his disappointing fourth place finish in Saturday’s South Carolina primary, Jeb Bush announced he was suspending his 2016 presidential campaign, bringing an end to his long descent from an early GOP front runner to an unpopular establishment also-ran.

While many factors contributed to the failure of Jeb’s candidacy, one issue in particular stands out due to the significant damage it wrought on his campaign: Common Core. The Daily Caller yesterday quoted Emmett McGroarty (a contributor to The Pulse 2016) in underlining just how badly Bush’s support for Common Core ultimately hurt him with primary voters:

“From the very beginning, Governor Bush’s stubborn support for the low-quality Common Core standards permanently damaged his credibility with voters — and not just with conservatives but with voters across the political spectrum,” Emmett McGroarty, director of the American Principles Project, said in a statement sent to The Daily Caller.

[…]

“Let Governor Bush’s fate be a lesson for all politicians. Voters want to see politicians not only oppose Common Core but actively work to eliminate it and return control of education to local and state government,” McGroarty declared on Saturday night.

“Politicians — and it doesn’t matter which party — who fail to fight Common Core will be severely handicapping themselves on Election Day,” he warned.

Let’s not forget that Emmett predicted Gov. Bush’s eventual failure more than a year ago. From The Washington Post:

Though conservatives oppose the Common Core, general polling has not produced a clear picture of how most Americans feel about the standards.

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Jeb Bush’s Friends Spend Big to Support Student Data Grab

Just as the Common Core pushing textbook publishing giants like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Pearson have had financial incentive to support Jeb Bush and his now former organization, the Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE), corporate cronyism is also alive and well via those companies involved in Big Data.

The Data Quality Campaign (DQC) is a corporate-backed front group that spends all its time trying to portray the ugly and invasive womb-to-tomb data grab and psychological profiling of our children as helpful, necessary, and the government’s right. They strongly support the incredibly invasive Strengthening Education Through Research Act (SETRA) which sadly has already passed the Senate after an unannounced voice vote, with fawning praise after an earlier version passed the House in 2014:

DQC sees immense value in the ability to link data across early childhood education, K–12, postsecondary, and workforce systems. The most pressing questions for education stakeholders (alignment, feedback, etc.) require data to be shared from disparate collections, which means that it’s vital to align these systems to effectively answer these questions. SETRA would require grantees to do that. By linking data systems across the P–20/workforce spectrum, states will gain the ability to evaluate whether students, schools, and districts are meeting their college- and career-readiness expectations. [Emphasis added]

DQC also loves having data on the workings of our children’s minds:

Early warning systems (EWS) are one of the best examples of transforming data into actionable information that, when used effectively, can improve student outcomes. EWS, developed around research-based indicators such as student academic performance (grades) and attendance and discipline records, help educators accurately and quickly identify students who are most at risk of academic failure, not being on track to graduate college and career ready, or dropping out of school.

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