Is Parenthood the Reason Bobby Jindal Abandoned Common Core?


As a once passionate supporter of the Common Core, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal surprised many with his 180-degree reversal earlier this year. Much of the commentary that followed viewed this flip-flop as politically motivated, and an indication that Gov. Jindal was planning to run for president.

As Reason's Robby Soave noted in June:

Common Core is especially unpopular among the conservative grassroots, given that the federal government is vigorously pushing it and has incentivized states to adopt it in exchange for grant money. The controversy has made Common Core an important political issue heading into the 2014 and 2016 election cycles, and it's going to be very difficult for Core-supportive candidates to survive in the more competitive Republican primaries.

Given that, Jindal's shifting perspective on Common Core is probably an indicator that he is going to run.

However, in a speech given to the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday, Gov. Jindal provided another possibility–that his sudden opposition may have been motivated, at least in part, by his experience as a parent. Gov. Jindal told a story about his son's frustration with the way math is taught under the Common Core. Despite providing the correct answers, the governor's son had to deal with explaining the reasons for why his answers were correct (see Jindal's speech in the video below).

It's impossible to know whether Jindal's own experience with the Common Core played a part in his change of position, or whether it was merely a useful anecdote. But it raises the question of what America would be like if politicians had to directly experience the effects of the legislation they vote on.