August 16, 2022

Open letter to Ex-Governor, Jeb Bush 3/14/14

Yesterday, 3/13/14, as you entered the Governors Club in Tallahassee, Florida, you spoke to me as a small group of us held signs to get your attention to our serious concerns about your federal education program called Common Core.

Three grandmas drove 12 hours each to see you, face to face, and you turned and scoured at us as though we were naval lint…pond scum.   I stated “Stop Common Core,” Your disparaging retort was “it is a good thing there’s only 3 of you.” As you turned and disappeared into the exclusive club, $1,000 per plate event to celebrate the Foundation for Florida’s Future, I said, “There were lots more, but we weren’t invited.”

That’s the whole point.  You, Jeb Bush and your corporate cronies, have decided what is good for the children of America and WE; parents, educators, and concerned taxpayers, were not invited. 

We were not invited to create this National takeover of education under the guise of improving our competitive advantage with our kids who are termed by your group as “human capital.”   

We were not a part of the plan to take over 400 data points of information on children and their families including medical records, disciplinary files, family status, religious affiliation, political affiliation and more intrusive facts and share this without parental consent, now that your friend, Barack Obama, weakened the FERPA Laws through executive orders.

We were not invited to participate in the development of the Common Core standards by nameless DC bureaucrats who copyrighted them to prevent their change or improvement.  Experts are ringing the alarms now that these standards are devastating to our kids and our future.

Our legislators and school boards were not invited to vote on the adoption of these national standards, their effectiveness, the billions of dollars in costs imposed, and implementation.  They did not vote to give all their power to determine our state’s education programs to the federal government.

Religious Schools, charter schools, home schools and your very own initiatives on school choice did not vote for, or ask for, and do not want the One Size Fits All Common Core State Standards.

So WHY are you supporting this unconstitutional federal takeover of education called Common Core?  Looking at who else supports this raises even more questions:

President Barack Obama, Arnie Duncan,  Bill Gates Foundation, Mike Huckabee, Center for American Progress (George Soros), Eli Broad Foundation, GE, Hewlett Foundation, Pearson PLC (Education conglomerate whose 3rd largest shareholder is the government of Libya) …..strange bedfellows for certain!

Could it be the confluence of money meets power?  Could it be the platform for your candidacy for President of the USA in 2016 just as you used the Foundation for Florida’s Future to propel you into the Governor’s mansion? 

You have some explaining to do Mr. Bush. 

Your efforts to gain political power will have unacceptable collateral damage.  Our children are NOW suffering from faulty Common Core standards and curriculum damaging their foundations knowledge.  This is a link to hours of heart wrenching testimony at the last State Board of Education meeting in Orlando 2/18/14 by parents, educators and experts documenting the depth of concern and outrage only growing as more are exposed to the seriously flawed National Standards.   Testimony starts after 1 hour 10 minutes.

Your collateral damage will soon include the politicians who have supported your flawed initiative. Governor Rick Scott has received a recent notice from the Republican base, the RPOF, Republican Party of Florida, demanding the removal of Common Core in no uncertain terms.

You assert that drastic actions are needed because we have an emergency in education, and you are right.  But it is NOT the result of too little Federal intervention.  It is quite the opposite. The year of highest graduation rates was 1969, when 77 percent graduated high school, 11 years before the creation of the USDOE.  Since the objective was to increase graduation, we now have over 230 national programs at a cost of over $200 BILLION per year, and our graduation rates were last measured in 2007 at 68 percent, nine points LOWER.  Clearly federal takeovers have reduced results and ballooned costs every time they are tried.   See the results on SAT scores with more and more federal control and less and less parental involvement.

Looking at the empirical results, one can logically conclude the road to success in education is not moving even more toward unconstitutional Federal control but back to parental control and individual choice that you used to believe was important.

So, Mr. Bush, while I realize I must be “naval lint” in your eyes, I and others like me, will continue to appear everywhere we can to prevent Common Core from ruining our children’s future and the future of our country.  To you, Common Core may be just a convenient issue you are using to win an election.  To us, it’s not an issue, but our children and our future.  Like our founding fathers, we will pledge our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor to protect them.


Chris Quackenbush

Stop Common Core Florida