Karen R. Effrem, MD – President
Former governor and potential presidential candidate Jeb Bush held a closed fundraiser and an open education forum in Tallahassee, Florida on February 11th. Many on both sides of the aisle have concerns about that candidacy. He has been protested by anti-Common Core groups and Republican activists. The Florida Bad Ass Teachers (BATs) and the Democrat Party will be protesting the event tomorrow.
Other potential Republican presidential candidates are criticizing Bush’s support for Common Core:
- Ted Cruz was on ABC’s This Week and said:
…”Trust these moms,” Jindal said. “I have more confidence in the moms in this room than I do in any collection of bureaucrats.”
Multiple exposes have been published in recent weeks discussing his questionable education and business dealings. During that time, Bush dismissed the conservatives in Iowa, the first caucus state in the nation skipping a major gathering of potential presidential candidates. Several 2016 polls have come out in in the last few weeks since that Iowa Freedom Summit showing that Jeb Bush is having major problems. Here are some examples:
- Bloomberg – 2/3 of likely Iowa Caucus goers think Common Core and immigration are deal breakers or would have to think about about those issues when considering Jeb Bush
- Drudge Among over 440,000 online votes on the Drudge Report website, Bush only managed to garner 4% of the vote, with anti-Common Core potential candidates Governor Scott Walker with 44%, Senator Ted Cruz at 13%, and Senator Rand Paul at 12% dominating the field. Governor Chris Christie, also pro-Common Core only received 1% of that vote.
- Public Policy Polling – Jeb Bush is tied for the lead in North Carolina with Scott Walker and Ben Carson, but the polling firm notes a strong rise in Bush negatives since his announcement in December:
The Washington Post again reviewed the all too cozy connections between Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education and major textbook, testing, and software companies who are reaping or will reap hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars from the Common Core standards, tests, curriculum, and data collection system. Here are some example quotes:
The foundation has, for instance, pushed states to embrace digital learning in public schools, a costly transition that often requires new software and hardware. Many of those digital products are made by donors to Bush’s foundation, including Microsoft, Intel, News Corporation, Pearson PLC and K12 Inc.
The foundation has helped its corporate donors gain access to state education officials through a committee called Chiefs for Change, composed of as many as 10 officials from mostly Republican-led states who convene at the foundation’s annual meeting. The meetings include private two-hour gatherings with the chiefs and company executives.
The article also covered the foundation’s close ties to Pearson, the textbook and testing giant with ties to Libya and publisher of extremely biased pro-Islamic textbooks, and other education corporations. Pearson’s World History textbook has been the subject of much controversy in Marion, Volusia, Palm Beach, and Charlotte counties. The Pearson text is the most conservative of the three and yet it has 36 pages of Islam and only a paragraph or two each about Christianity and Judaism.
Brandon Pinette, a spokesman for Pearson, declined to answer questions about whether the company has benefited from its relationship with Bush’s foundation. He said the company has a “long, proud history of investing in and across the U.S., and this work includes a sponsorship of a variety of education organizations focused on improving learning.”
Bowen, who resigned as Maine’s education commissioner in 2013, said in an interview that donors to Bush’s foundation did not have “unusual” access to state decision-makers. But he acknowledged that the intertwining of policy and corporate interests is a reality of how education policy is crafted.
The Leona M. & Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust gave the foundation $2.3 million in 2013, primarily because of its advocacy for digital education and the Common Core, said Rich McKeon, its education program director…
…Corporate donors also include Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a large testing company, [Note: This company is the publisher of Go Math which is used extensively for Common Core math teaching and PARCC test prep in Florida even though Florida has switched to the Florida Standards Assessment by the American Institutes for Research] and the Educational Testing Service, which administers advanced-placement tests and English proficiency tests and has $43 million in contracts to develop tests connected to the Common Core. Another donor, McGraw Hill Education, sells math and reading programs and classroom materials aligned to the Common Core standards, among other products.
Another article by Bloomberg, titled Jeb Bush has a Mitt Romney problem, discussed Bush’s other financial dealings, including with failed Lehman brothers and a Communist Chinese conglomerate and how they will likely hurt him in a presidential campaign:
“Running as the second coming of Mitt Romney is not a credential that’s going to play anywhere, with Republicans or Democrats,” says John Brabender, a Republican consultant and veteran of presidential campaigns. “Not only would this be problematic on the campaign trail, I think it also signals someone who isn’t seriously looking at the presidency or he wouldn’t have gone down this path…”
…Soon after his tenure as governor ended, Bush became an adviser to Lehman Brothers and, later, Barclays. As Lehman faltered during the 2008 financial crisis, he was called upon to use his family connections to try and broker a rescue from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. The plan, code-named Project Verde, was unsuccessful. At one point, according to testimony in Lehman’s bankruptcy case, Lehman Chief Executive Officer Richard Fuld considered asking Bush to have his brother, President George W. Bush, intervene on the company’s behalf with the British government, which was blocking a potential merger with a British bank…
…In turn, Bush and his partners get a chance to profit from China’s insatiable appetite for energy. On July 25, Dorian announced a “memo of understanding” with HNA Group and explained in a presentation to investors that this would “enhance Dorian LPG’s access to the Chinese market and Chinese LPG importers, significantly improving its access in this growing market…”
…Bush’s newest fund, BH Global Aviation, is his largest and most complicated. It deepens his financial ties to China and Hainan. Controlled by Bush through a U.S. holding company, it’s set up to receive money from foreign investors. (Emphasis added).
Education Liberty Watch and its project organization, The Florida Stop Common Core Coalition will continue to join with organizations across the country to make sure that primary voters in every state understand especially the education concerns related to Jeb Bush’s potential presidential candidacy.
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