Two education initiatives are among the few issues in this partisan climate somehow crisscrossing ideological and political boundaries.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has not backed away from his support of charter schools despite some tensions with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. The new mayor of the country’s largest school system has been critical of the amount of state support directed at charter schools.
Cuomo will serve as honorary chair of a retreat in Lake Placid for some high profile charter school advocates, according to an online article
in Albany’s Times Union. US Senator Mary Landriew, a Louisiana Dem in a tough mid-term race, and Michelle Rhee, the former Washington DC schools chief, will be among the attendees at next month's event.
Cuomo’s staff has played down his involvement in the event, probably because charter schools can be a divisive issue and the governor is up for re-election.
And former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, a strong advocate for the Common Core curriculum, isn’t getting a warm embrace from the conservative base. His frank support of high-stakes testing and the Common Core has upset many on the right, even though Bush is widely seen as a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate who can take down Hillary Clinton.
The Common Core is being implemented in 35 states in an effort to shore up US students’ competency in math and reading. American parents have been lowering expectations for their children, Bush says, while countries in Asia and Europe are raising their expectations.
Tea Party Republican and US Senator Ted Cruz has vowed to get rid of the Common Core, along with the IRS, Obamacare, and who knows what else.
Much of the conservative resistance to the Common Core stems from its nationalized approach to education standards. That it’s linked to the Obama administration hasn’t helped, either.