Learning from Jeb Bush

It needs to be said: Jeb Bush cooked his own political goose by pushing Common Core and associated reforms. There was just too much bad will in his own party for him to over come. This is not articulated in the national media, but it is true. He defined himself as a Corporate Establishment candidate before the campaign even started.  There was just too much bad will toward him about this among a large enough group of people for him to overcome.  If he had avoided the Common Core controversy and handled the immigration issue differently things might have been much different for him.

Since Jeb Bush was not a sitting governor he could have stayed away from it entirely.  Or he could have taken the opposing side.  Not only did he support it, he also supported a whole raft of establishment reforms that also happened to be supported by the Obama Administration.  It wasn’t just the establishment financial support that made Bush out to be another establishment toady.  It was his energetic advocacy, including founding his own nonprofit, of the Establishment Education package.

Common Core is seemingly dead in Oklahoma, but some in the Republican party in Oklahoma are STILL pushing the associated reforms. This in spite of the fact that there is no real support for them here. All the support is from outside the state. It is sponsored by non-profits, corporations, and other lobbying groups. Not by Oklahomans.  There is no place in Oklahoma where people are gathering around the water cooler and talking about the need for value added teacher evaluations, or ending the practice ofpaying experienced teachers more to encourage them to keep teaching.   They are, however, talking about how their kid’s teacher is moving out of state next year and how the Republicans are trying to close their local school because it is too small while also trying to open charter schools which are even smaller.

There are others.  There is a crazy scheme to take health insurance benefit money and call it salary so it looks like teachers are paying more.  (In Oklahoma quoted teacher salaries must include their health insurance premiums. so this does nothing.  Except screw things up.)  There is a bill which will provide tuition assistance for wealthy people to send their kids to private school.  This bill is, surprisingly, supported by well-off businessmen and not so much by those of limited means.

Let no one, politician or otherwise, be surprised about how this plays out.  Be warned by the Jeb Bush story.   Learn from the mistakes of others!  Send the lobbyists back to their home states, or perhaps their home planets in some cases.

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