It was President George W. Bush who began the federal intervention of education when he implemented the legislation known as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) in 2002. The aim of NCLB was to standardize testing in all 50 states. It required 100% student competency targets. By threatening funding to the 50 states, the NCLB began the intervention of the federal government in education in a major way.
President Barack Obama continued and increased even more the intervention of federal government in education in the 50 states. After all, the president had to include educational institutions in his plan to fundamentally transform our nation. Obama implemented the Race-to-the-Top (RTTT) in 2009. This was a multi-billion dollar program that put pressure or bribed or blackmailed the states to adopt policies that included test-based teacher evaluation and a nationwide standards and curriculum. The new national curriculum and standards is called the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
In Florida, Governor Charlie Crist, without any discussion, agreed to the CCSS, even before the standards were written. In order to develop the CCSS and create incentives or bribes for the states to adopt it, $4.35 billion dollars from the Stimulus package were used for this purpose. No Child Left Behind waivers were granted to states for agreeing to adopt the CCSS. Multimillion grants were awarded by the Obama administration to states for the implementation of the CCSS. Upon the suggestion of former Governor Jeb Bush, Governor Rick Scott hired Tony Bennett as Florida´s Commissioner of Education. Tony Bennett had lost his job as Indiana´s Education Superintendent due to his strong support of Common Core. Grass roots activists and conservative organizations opposed the Common Core and denounced Bennett and he lost his reelection. Tony Bennett was forced to resign his job in Florida due to an scandal regarding his intervention in the change of the letter grade received by a charter school in Indiana owned by a Republican major donor.