Where Does Mark Jacobs Land on Common Core?

mark-jacobs-photoI’ve talked with Sam Clovis, Joni Ernst and Matt Whitaker about the Common Core State Standards.  Those Republican candidates for U.S. Senate have said that they oppose the Common Core.  I have not had the opportunity to speak with David Young about it.

Then there’s Mark Jacobs, the former CEO of Reliant Energy, who is exploring whether or not he’ll run for Iowa’s open U.S. Senate seat in 2014.

The Quad City Times reports that he advocates quality education as the key for future employment:

He assured them he’s not a politician, but someone who cares about making sure people have the opportunity to succeed. The key to success, according to Jacobs, 51, is education.

“When I graduated high school in 1980, Iowa had the best education,” he said.

Now, Iowa rates in the middle of the pack, according to Jacobs, who earlier this year founded Reaching Higher Iowa, a private education foundation that lobbies for public education reform.

He also served on the board of a Houston KIPP — Knowledge Is Power Program — school. KIPP is a national network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools.

Education, he said, is the key to employment, which is one of Jacob’s highest priorities.

“We don’t do a good job of matching education to the job market,” he said. As a result, many students graduate from college “with a mountain of debt and then find out they don’t have the job skills they need.”

He seems to advocate the “education to develop workers” philosophy that is behind much of the education reform measures promoted by corporate America (like the hyper-focus on STEM).  Personally I believe the purpose of education is to develop thinkers.  Job skills are secondary.

The second red flag for me is that he is the founder of Reaching Higher Iowa which advocates Iowa to “adopt rigorous academic expectations.”  That sounds like code for the Common Core to me, but I don’t know for certain.  I’ve requested an interview via Caffeinated Thoughts which was declined until he makes a decision on running.

So we’ll have to wait until he’s officially running to know whether he supports the Common Core or not.

About Shane Vander Hart

Shane Vander Hart founded Iowans for Local Control in 2012 which later merged with Iowa RestorEd. Shane also is the founder and editor-in-chief of Caffeinated Thoughts and the founder and president of 4:15 Communications, LLC, a social media & communications consulting/management firm.  You can connect with Shane on Facebook or follow him on Twitter and Google +.

Leave a Reply