Bobby Jindal Takes Aim at Common Core (and Jeb Bush)

The Louisiana governor is going after what many see as a major liability for Bush.

on October 6, 2014 in Washington, DC.

Photographer: Win McNamee/Getty Images

When it comes to education policy, Common Core is something of a no-go zone for many prospective Republican presidential candidates. 

On Monday, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal will deliver a speech in Washington in which he will criticize Common Core, the much-maligned national educational standards, and, by extension, one of its few GOP supporters, Jeb Bush. 

While outlining a series of proposed educational reforms, Jindal will also take a swipe at Bush, though without directly naming him, when he speaks at the Christian Science Monitor breakfast. "There's a belief among some that don't trust the states, they don't trust parents, [it's] this belief that a centralized elite knows better," Jindal told National Journal in a preview of the speech.  

Bush, who supports rigorous educational standards as a way to better prepare American students for the global economy, has attempted in recent weeks to turn what his opponents consider a presidential weakness into a strength. 

"As I look over the horizon, I see great social strains if we don't get education right," Bush said in a January speech at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in San Francisco. "This needs to be, not a federal program by any stretch of the imagination, but this should be a national calling. A great country like America needs to make sure that students will have the skills and the drive and the determination to rise up."  

While allowing that academic standards could be achieved on the state level, Bush's past support of Common Core have given his GOP rivals a perceived opening, and Jindal seems intent on taking advantage of it. 

"The federal government should absolutely not be offering incentives, mandates, or coercecing states to adopt a national curriculum—whether it's Common Core or the next iteration of it," Jindal told National Journal. "We don't think curriculum decisions should be made at the national level. I'm all for rigor, I'm all for standards, but ultimately, I trust parents. I trust choice and competition. I don't want a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach." 

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