Jeb Bush Helps Quash Move to Oppose Common Standards

By Catherine Gewertz — August 08, 2011 1 min read
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In this space, we’ve been telling you about a few efforts in state legislatures to complicate adoption or implementation of common standards (See an earlier blog post for the most recent update). A move that had the potential to involve many states unfolded last week in New Orleans, but was stopped in its tracks. And none other than former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush, revered by many conservatives, was involved in stopping it.

Apparently, at the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the education subcommittee was slated to consider model legislation to forbid adoption or implementation of common standards. (Hat tip to Kris Amundson, by the way, who brought us this news in Education Sector’s blog.) Such a model could be used by state lawmakers to move ahead in their own states. ALEC, a conservative-leaning organization that includes state lawmakers and private-sector members, has created a wide variety of model legislation, not only in education, but in other areas as well.

As best I can gather so far, common-core advocates got wind of the model legislation before the New Orleans gathering and sought to delay consideration of it. Among them was Bush, who wrote a letter to the subcommittee declaring support for the common standards and urging them to table the legislative package. I haven’t been able to ascertain who else the subcommittee heard from, but I’d like to know.

ALEC spokeswoman Raegan Weber says the group’s policy is not to comment on anything before it goes all the way up to the board of directors and becomes official ALEC policy. But several sources outside the organization tell me that the package was indeed tabled and that ALEC is scheduled to conduct a workshop on the common standards in early December.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.