Tags: Trump Administration | GOP2016 | Jeb Bush | Mitt Romney | Rand Paul | Scott Walker | Common Core

Growing Opposition to Common Core a Challenge for Jeb Bush

By    |   Wednesday, 20 Sep 2017 02:01 PM

While the departure of Mitt Romney from the presidential field may benefit Jeb Bush, a new poll shows the former Florida governor's support for Common Core could present a significant bump in the road to the Republican nomination.

In a new Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll of likely Iowa caucus voters, finds Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker with 15 percent and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul right behind at 14 percent, while Bush lags behind at 8 percent.

The poll, which was taken before Romney's announcement that he would not run in 2016, found that 30 percent of respondents believed Bush's views on immigration and Common Core were "deal-killers" and 33 percent said those issues would be a factor as they considered which candidate to support.

Only 32 percent have no problem with those stands.

In 2009 and 2010, 43 states and the District of Columbia adopted the standards, according to an analysis by the Education Commission of the States (ECS).

However, state legislatures in Indiana, Oklahoma and South Carolina have passed bills to exit Common Core, while Missouri and North Carolina have legislation pending as of June 2014, according to ECS.

While Bush has not backed away from his support for the controversial Common Core State Standards, which specify what math and reading skills students should achieve in each grade, among teachers and parents support for the program has declined.

According to a September 2014 Gallup survey, support among the parents of public school students 35 percent viewed them negatively and 33 percent had positive views.

However, that represented a decline from an April Gallup survey that found 35 percent had positive views and just 28 percent negative views of Common Core.

"The data suggest that this increase in awareness has led to an increase in negativity, given the 7 percentage point increase in those viewing the standards negatively and the 2 point decrease in those viewing them positively," said Gallup analyst Justin McCarthy.

Those findings echo a 2014 poll conducted by Education Next, a pro-school reform group, that found that among teachers surveyed support for Common Core had fallen from 76 percent in 2013 to 46 percent in 2014, while support among the overall population had declined from 65 percent in 2013 to 53 percent in 2014.

Particularly concerning for Bush is the drop in support among Republicans. Between 2013 and 2014, support among Republicans dropped from 57 percent to 43 percent, while opposition increased from 16 percent to 37 percent.

"The controversy has had a striking impact on public opinion. Although a majority of the public continues to support the standards set by CCSSI, and supporters outnumber opponents by a 2-1 margin, trend lines show serious erosion in support," wrote Michael B. Henderson, Paul E. Peterson and Martin R. West in an analysis of the poll's findings.

"I will tell you from an education policy perspective, there is almost no issue we hear more about than Common Core," Indiana Rep. Luke Messer told the National Journal last week.

Supporters of Common Core, including Mike Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative education group, welcome a debate over the standards because they believe it will allow them to separate myth from fact.

"For sure we expect to hear Republicans rail against it on the floor of the Senate when they get a chance. Which would be fine, by the way," he said in an interview with The National Journal.

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While the departure of Mitt Romney from the presidential field may benefit Jeb Bush, a new poll shows the former Florida governor's support for Common Core could present a significant bump in the road to the Republican nomination.
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2015-05-03
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