Former Florida governor and almost-certain 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush took part in an education summit in his home state of Tallahassee, Fla. on Tuesday.
As he spoke and participated in a 44-minute, education-related question-and-answer session, he was impressively able to avoid using the toxic phrase “Common Core” — the whole time.
Bush focused on a mantra of “higher standards” and an insistence that his goal is to limit decisions about education to state and local governments instead of the federal government, reports CNN.
“I am for creating real restrictions on the federal government’s role in this so you can alleviate people’s fears that you’re going to have some kind of control by the federal government of content, of curriculum, or even standards. I’m against all that,” the Republican said.
“I’m against the federal government being involved in demanding that assessments are done in a certain way,” Bush added.
“I was a governor of a state where I got a chance to implement the most meaningful reforms in the country and I can’t wait to go to places and share that,” Bush said, according to TIME.
“There’s a story to be told there, and it’s a story of leadership and it’s a story of taking conservative principles and ideas and acting on them, not just talking about them,” he also said.
Back when Bush was presiding over Florida’s executive branch, Common Core was a very popular thing among both Democratic and Republican governors. It was especially popular among unelected technocrats in expansive education bureaucracies as well.
In many states across the country, Common Core was instituted with little to no democratic process.
The national standards, which attempt to standardize various K-12 curricula around the country, have remained toxic among many conservatives and factions of the Republican Party ever since.
As Politico notes, Bush is definitely evolving his Common Core talking points as he prepares for a 2016 presidential run.
As recently as March, for example, he was charging that Common Core critics “support the status quo.”
Now, he is using the words “status quo” as slur against teachers unions.
In the fall of 2013, a huge majority of the states — including Florida — began implementing Common Core. It was famously supported by titans of industry such as Bill Gates. (RELATED: Bill Gates Loves Common Core For Your Kids, BUT NOT HIS)
Statewide politicians in Florida have been very supportive of Common Core. (RELATED: Florida Pols To Voters: You’re Morons And Conspiracy Wackos For Not Loving Common Core)
Many parents, students and teachers around the country have long condemned the national educational standards and the haste with which they were implemented.
In response, Common Core proponents have frequently adopted the strategy of simply refusing to call refer to Common Core as “Common Core.” Some have opted for the McDowell Strategy.
This crafty, high-risk, high-reward strategy originated in “Coming to America,” a 1988 comedy in which Eddie Murphy plays a wealthy African prince who works at a fast food restaurant in Queens, New York called McDowell’s.
Owner Cleo McDowell — the inventor of the McDowell Strategy — tells Murphy that McDowell’s is not to be confused with McDonald’s.
Yes, the logos are similar. McDonald’s has the Golden Arches. McDowell’s has the Golden Arcs. Similarly, McDonald’s has the Big Mac. McDowell’s has the Big Mic.
“They both got two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions. But they use a sesame seed bun,” Cleo explains. “My buns have no seeds.” (RELATED: Common Core Proponents Try To Save Flailing Standards Using This One Weird Trick)