Tampa Bay Times Examines Rubio’s Involvement in Common Core

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times discussed Common Core’s role in the campaign of the two Florida presidential candidates, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush. The article, titled “Rubio may oppose Common Core but has supported the ideas behind it,” lists several ways that Marco Rubio has supported the components of the Common Core system:

…while Rubio never advocated for Common Core, he was a proponent of the building blocks.

Bush on Thursday noted that Rubio had supported Race to the Top, the federal program that incentivized states to adopt Common Core.

I think that’s a good idea,” Rubio said in 2009. He did stress, however, that he felt “education is a state function, best regulated and governed at the state level.”

That year Rubio also praised Obama’s hire of Arne Duncan as education secretary, calling him an “innovator” while praising the federal government’s effort “encouraging” states to adopt curriculums “that reflect the 21st Century.”

Rubio’s 100 Ideas book, a template for his tenure as House speaker, endorsed ideas such as more testing and a revamped curriculum. Idea No. 2 called for Florida to “systematically and sequentially replace the Sunshine State Standards with a new, world-class curriculum comparable to those found in the leading education systems in the world.”

As Gary Fineout of The Associated Press pointed out Thursday, Rubio never asked state officials or Gov. Scott to stop Common Core from being adopted in Florida. (Amid the backlash, the state has simply whitewashed the words Common Core from official policy.) [See also Even Mainstream Media Question Scott’s Statements about Being Out of Common Core]

Obviously, Race to the Top and Arne Duncan were the means the Obama administration used to impose and spread the Common Core that was aided by Bush and his Foundation for Excellence in Education, as Rubio correctly pointed out. Bush also took credit for the Common Core-cementing and Fed Ed-expanding Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), while Rubio, to his credit, voted against the initial Senate version. However, Rubio failed to vote against cloture or the final version of ESSA or the omnibus that increased funding for the tyrannical federal programs that are in ESSA.

Leary clearly explains the damage that Bush’s support of Common Core has done to his campaign:

Bush’s support is clear as is the damage it has done to him in the presidential race.

Although Rubio’s record is far better than Bush’s on the Common Core system, it is far from perfect. In addition to what is shown above, we have documented the major contributions to Rubio by Common Core billionaires Bill Gates and Paul Singer, and our friends at The Pulse 2016 have shown that Rubio is pushing the invasive data mining bill, The Know Before You Go Act. This bill seeks to have the federal government collect data on students throughout their lives just to be able to provide information to others about which colleges and majors provide the best jobs. This contributed in large part to the Florida Senator’s merely average grade of a ‘C’ on Common Core by American Principles in Action. Privacy expert Barmak Nassirian, Director of Federal Relations and Policy Analysis for the American Association of State Colleges, said:

Tracking autonomous free individuals through most of their lives in the name of better information for the benefit of others may be justifiable, but its extremism should at the very least be acknowledged and addressed.

Rubio has recently been echoing the strong opposition both to the Common Core (by criticizing Chris Christie) as well as talking about abolishing the U.S. Department of Education. Senator Ted Cruz has been forcefully stating these positions since at least 2011, according to Donna Garner, a long-time activist from Cruz’s home state of Texas. Cruz was also the first candidate to sign Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly’s pledge against Common Core. Ultimately, though, Rubio’s opposition to the standards and the US DOE has not been as strong and long standing as that of Cruz and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, both of whom received grades of ‘A-‘ on the APIA report card.

Garner also points out that although billionaire businessman Donald Trump expresses opposition to Common Core, he has given liberally to the politicians that put the terrible system into place:

Our country needs to turn a deaf ear to Donald Trump’s recent anti-Common Core comments. It is Donald Trump who used his vast wealth to give campaign donations and/or to support publicly the Democrats who perpetrated both ObamaCare and Common Core.  These include Obama, Rahm Emanuel, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Charlie Rangel, John Kerry, and Bill Gates:  6.22.15 – “How Donald Trump Helped Democrats Pass Obamacare” — by Marc A. Thiessen – Washington Post

Voters need to be discerning in their choices especially when it comes to the freedom, futures, and privacy of their children.

Dr. Karen Effrem is trained as a pediatrician and serves as president of Education Liberty Watch and the executive director of the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition.