Bush’s Double Speak on Education in Iowa

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

During a campaign stop in Pella, Iowa, on Wednesday former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was asked a question about education, specifically tied to student loan debt, but he addressed K-12 education first.

Bush said, “Let me be clear on what the federal government should be doing on the K-12 side – very little or nothing.  The federal government should have no say in the creation of standards, content or curriculum indirectly or directly over and out, and if this isn’t passed in a reauthorization of the K-12 law, the next president can do this by executive order and then get the reauthorization done and I would do that.”

Bush has not highlighted his support of the toxic Common Core State Standards, but he hasn’t backed away from it either.  Instead he stakes out the position that the federal government shouldn’t be involved.

Is it ok for DC-based special interest groups, funded by Bill Gates, to drive them then?  Is it all right for the legislative branch to be bypassed in most states when these standards were adopted?  Being a former governor running for President, it would be helpful to know if he respects the separation of powers.  What would his executive order entail?

Then, most importantly, if he truly believes that the federal government should have little to no role in K-12 education, why does he stand behind a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the federal assessment mandates it contains in its current form?

This is classic political double speak, and for the most part Iowans don’t seem to be buying it.  Bush is currently in 5th place in Iowa according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, behind Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and U.S. Senator Rand Paul.

Shane Vander Hart is the online communications manager for American Principles in Action, a frequent contributor to TruthInAmericanEducation.com, and the editor of Iowa-based CaffeinatedThoughts.com.