Charlie Crist Hits a Nerve of Anti-Common Core Movement

By: Allison Nielsen | Posted: November 20, 2013 3:55 AM
Charlie Crist

Charlie Crist

Former Gov. Charlie Crist has been hitting the campaign trail hard lately, all while knocking Gov. Rick Scott’s record along the way. One of Crist’s harshest criticisms of Scott is on education -- the former governor attacked Scott for cutting education by $1.3 billion during his time in office.

But Crist’s attacks on the governor and his education policies began well before he officially declared his intent to run for his old job.

In an op-ed piece published in the Tampa Bay Times in September, Crist criticized Scott for being “on the fence” over Common Core State Standards.

“These standards have been adopted by 45 states and will allow our children to be equal to their peers nationally,” wrote Crist. “Further, these standards -- which cover language arts and math -- are much more in-depth than the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test and our own Sunshine State standards.”

But Crist took a shot not only at Scott, but at opponents of the education standards as well, dismissing them as "outliers" who are more concerned that the standards were finalized under President Barack Obama.

“Tea party and other outliers have called for a rejection of these standards because they were promulgated under the umbrella of a ‘national’ effort," he wrote. “Truth be told, their opposition probably has less to do with education than the fact the standards, started under President George W. Bush, were finalized while President Barack Obama was in office. This is a nonsensical reason to reject them.”

The standards have drawn considerable criticism from opposition groups who have expressed concerns over the overall quality of the standards, government overreach and the possibility of data mining.

And the opposition is growing. Several groups across the state are challenging the standards. The groups are composed of parents, teachers and members of the public, but opponents are lining up on both sides -- both liberal and conservative.

“You want to blame a specific group and vilify them and call them names rather than answer their objections,” said Chris Quackenbush of Stop Common Core Florida, a grassroots organization opposed to Common Core State Standards. “There’s opposition coming from the left and right. … It’s definitely across the board.” Teachers across Florida are joining in the opposition against Common Core, too. One group in particular, left-wing Badass Teachers Association (BAT), is comprised of over 25,000 members who are speaking out against the national education standards.

“It’s not just the tea party that’s skeptical of the Common Core,” Bonnie Cunard, a Fort Myers teacher who manages the Facebook page for the 1,200 Florida BATs, told the Miami Herald. “We on the left, like the folks on the right, are saying we want local control.”

The mission of the BATs is to “reduce excess testing, increase teacher autonomy and include teacher-family voices in legislative processes that affect students.” BATs fear that the math and language arts standards might not be appropriate for younger students. They also have concerns over “high stakes” testing associated with Common Core.

The BATs have joined forces with other groups in the state who want Florida to take a step back on the education standards.

Quackenbush told Sunshine State News the opposition will continue to keep growing.

“The more people find out about Common Core and the damage it’s doing to our children ... the worse it is. There’s no way they can put us all into one box and say ‘Those are the tin-hat Republican weirdos.’”

She also added that with so many groups objecting to the standards, they will continue to be persistent in their opposition and it will be difficult to stop their voices from being heard.

“We can’t be vilified as one group and we can’t be stopped as one group might be ... every kind of group imaginable is talking about Common Core because they’re experiencing it firsthand.”

Reach Tampa-based reporter Allison Nielsen at or follow her on Twitter at @AllisonNielsen.

Comments (7)

8:33PM JUL 15TH 2014
I will NOT vote for anyone that supports Common Core!!
Peter Richter
1:34PM NOV 22ND 2013
The ONLY candidate for governor of Florida that is vehemently opposed to Common Core, is the Libertarian, Adrian Wyllie! Google Adrian Wyllie! You owe it to ALL of our children!
2:18PM NOV 20TH 2013
Wind Sock Charlie and the Central Planners need to let this one go and then abolish the Dept. of Education, which has been valueless since its beginnings. NCLB didn't work, Race to the Top is a loser and Common Core is no different.
11:10AM NOV 20TH 2013
Say no to Common Core!!!
11:10AM NOV 20TH 2013
Say no to Common Core!!!
All In The Family
8:20AM NOV 20TH 2013
The argument from Jeb Bush and his cronies is that everybody is supposed to automatically think Common Core is a good idea even though their “messiah” Barack Obama didn’t personally put the wheels in motion might normally offend supporters of the president, but as CharLIE Crist so eloquently discloses in his statements they all will do; anything to get the program implemented in all states. In reality they are all just one big happy family whose intent is to suck the United States of American into one big vacuum they call “The New World Order.”
And anyone who brings their schemes to light must have a TITLE of some kind. The problem with their Common Core is that it is like Obamacare it affects every American in some way. Therefore like nothing the Bush’s have ever seen the opposition comes from every faction in America.
After well over a century of Bush family manipulation of “we the people” in the best interest of their financial, industrial and oil conglomerates Samuel Bush furnishing Remington guns for WW1; Prescott Bush financing Adolh Hitler’s training and financing, even several months into the US joining WW2. So many more Bush antics through the years leading up to Iran-Contra; GHWB’s First Gulf War: George W’s over ten years in Iraq. And what did this accomplish? Thousands of deaths and losses of limbs and billions of more debt. Who got the Iraq oil? After all it was always only about the oil. Most all the terrorists from 911 were Saudi’s. But the Bin Laden family and the Saudi royalty were all friends and oil partners with the American Bush royalty. Saddam Hussein was a Texaco Oil partner with George HW Bush before their great falling out.
It would indeed be funny after all the schemes connected to the Bush family to defraud the American people, that something like COMMON CORE is what it takes to finally bring their century old criminal empire face to face with the American people.
Just like their “clone” Barack Hussein Obama owns Obamacare “lock stock and barrel” JEB BUSH likewise owns COMMON CORE “lock stock and barrel” and everyone with brains knows that.
Why did Jeb take Daddy Bush to the White House in his wheelchair twice to speak personally with Obama? Just this last summer why did George W. Bush travel all the way toe Africa to visit Obama while on his African trip and speak personally with Obama? Because they are all one happy family on a mission that’s why!
All In The Family
8:18AM NOV 20TH 2013
Well, Well leave it to CharLIE to wrap up this little package nice and tight and put a big RED BOW on it for all the AMERICAN people to see.

"the standards, started under President George W. Bush, were finalized while President Barack Obama was in office."

“These standards have been adopted by 45 states and will allow our children to be equal to their peers nationally, further, these standards -- which cover language arts and math -- are much more in-depth than the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test and our own Sunshine State standards" wrote Crist.

At National Review Online Jeb Bush also mentions Malkin and Beck in his op-ed:
This is not the establishment of a national curriculum. Contrary to what Michelle Malkin and Glenn Beck tell you, higher standards won’t harm parental choice, indoctrinate our children with a secret liberal agenda, or infringe on the privacy of student data.
These Common Core defenders are all on the “it’s not Obama’s program” page.
It might not be federal, but Obama has used Race to the Top money to encourage states to embrace higher standards, but the Common Core was written under the auspices of the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, an effort that began with Jeb Bush and the help of George W. Bush in 2007, before Obama was elected.
Obama’s embrace of the standards as his idea has given the appearance that they are a Washington edict. It has politicized the issue and complicated the understanding of who initiated and led the development of these higher standards. (Maybe the Bush’s loaded that on the teleprompter who knows?)
Federal overreach should be a concern to every REAL Patriot American. Jeb Bush and family knew running a program like this through the congress would be considered a violation of federalism.
So, Jeb used state governors and state education chiefs who started and led the Common Core State Standards initiative. They claim state and local leaders will retain authority over the implementation and assessments. (Just like Obama and all his lies! Gee did the Bush masters have Karl Rove train Obama in the dark?)

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