Where Do the GOP Candidates (REALLY) Stand On Common Core? Macey GRADES Them!

PolitiChicks.comAs the presidential election of 2016 draws ever closer, yet not nearly fast enough it seems, I have been studying the Republican candidates.

Following is my list of candidates whom I’ve been keeping an eye on and their “grades” pertaining to their stance on Common Core. This list is by no mean exhaustive and is only focusing on the Common Core and education reform.

Jeb Bush:  F

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Jeb Bush is making a lot of money off of the Common Core. He started a foundation called Foundation for Excellence in Education and has been the biggest cheerleader for Common Core since before we even know what it was.

Jeb Bush quote on Common Core:  “I’m not going to change my position because there’s four people in the front row yelling at me.”

John Kasich:  F

Mr. Kasich is a proponent of the Common Core. As recently as January of this year he had this to say:

The Common Core was written by state education superintendents and local principals. In my state of Ohio, we want higher standards for our children, and those standards are set and the curriculum is set by local school boards,” Kasich said on “Fox News Sunday.” “Barack Obama doesn’t set it, the state of Ohio doesn’t set it. It is local school boards driving better education, higher standards, created by local school boards.”

He claims that he asks people who speak out against the standards for reasoning and they have none. I think he’s asking the wrong folks. Kasich also likes to bash Bobby Jindal for his position, as it has changed from pro to against. He did recently pull Ohio from the PARCC consortia, which is good.

Bobby Jindal:  C

Bobby Jindal is a conundrum to me. He supported vouchers for Louisiana as that state’s governor, but vouchers are squishy for me. They mean government control over whatever entity takes that voucher, including private schools.

He also supported the Common Core until he saw the Obama administration make a game out of states adopting the standards and sees it as a way for the feds to take greater control of public education. He is currently behind a lawsuit against the federal government for the Common Core.

Scott Walker:  D-

Governor Walker, according to many conservative WI constituents, is the king of public/private partnerships. Common Core is a huge public/private venture. People in his own state are frustrated with his support for the controversial education reform. As with many other candidates, his position is shifting. He now says he would repeal it.

Mike Huckabee:  D-

Mr. Huckabee’s support for the Common Core has surprised many of his ardent fans who thought he was more conservative than he is on this issue. He took a lot of public posturing against his stand for many months.

He finally came out saying that the Common Core needs to die. And by die he meant “rebrand, rename” and carry on.

Chris Christie: C

A telling couple of quotes. In 2013 he said:

“We’re doing Common Core in New Jersey, and we are going to continue. This is one of those areas where I have agreed more with the president than not and with [Education] Secretary [Arne] Duncan,” he said. But last Thursday (June 2015) he changed his tune. “We must reject federal control of our education and return it to parents and teachers,” Christie said. “We need to take it out of the cubicles of Washington, D.C. where it was placed by the Obama administration and return it to the neighborhoods of New Jersey.”

Rick Perry:  C

Rick Perry says he is against Common Core. His state, Texas, doesn’t have anything in it named Common Core. However, it is following the 21st Century Skills drum that is another name for it.

Now, again, this is not an exhaustive resource and I would advise anyone to do their own research on these candidates’ views on education and any other topic before voting.

Dr. Ben Carson:  B-

Mr. Carson says he wants to overturn Common Core. He is a big fan of school choice. And on the surface, someone who wants to overturn Common Core and supports school choice might seem great.

However, school choice can be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I believe Ben Carson is a very intelligent man, probably smarter than any of the other people running, and he hopefully would be open to taking advice on education from many places and he would see the possible danger of school choice. Don’t get me wrong, it can be done right, but it would take a tremendous amount of dedication.

Donald Trump:  B

Donald Trump has said that Common Core has got to go. And he’s right. But I don’t think he knows why he’s right. Which means he needs a major crash course on education before he does anything. There’s a lot of money to be made on education and he’s a big business guy…which gives me a very slight pause.

Marco Rubio:  B-

Rubio has come out swinging against Jeb Bush (his former governor) and his position on Common Core. However, he speaks a lot about better-trained employees for the future. Which makes most CC Warriors cringe. Even if a state repeals CC it will most likely still have the standards that prepare kids for the 21st Century Skills the powers that be want. Common Core under a different name, still smells janky.

Carly Fiorina:  B

Ms. Fiorina has said education is important but we need to get the federal government out of the business of setting education curriculum, standards, etc. Technically, the feds don’t control curriculum. The candidates need to become better acquainted with this issue so they know exactly what role the feds are playing and why they need to stop.

Ted Cruz:  B+

Ted Cruz has said he will repeal every word of Common Core. Problem with that? There is no bill to repeal. And even if there was, you’d still end up with states like Oregon who go ahead and stick to what the feds suggest no matter what. Mr. Cruz needs a little more education on Common Core and then hopefully, being a proponent of states’ rights, he would do the right thing.

Rand Paul:  A

Rand Paul has been the only voice against Common Core from the very beginning. At this point, Mr. Paul would probably abolish the United States Department of Education altogether.  Which, contrary to the progressives’ chant that this would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater, some of us would see as a refreshing change.

Now, again, this is not an exhaustive resource and I would advise anyone to do their own research on these candidates’ views on education and any other topic before voting.

Macey France

Oregon PolitiChick Macey France is co-founder of the Stop Common Core in Oregon and is working with parents across the state to educate and help them to learn how to advocate for their children's education. Macey has spoken at many Common Core informational meetings across the state of Oregon. Macey's articles on Common Core have been picked up by various news outlets and she has been a guest on many radio shows across the nation. Macey's article about The Bluest Eye was featured on a panel on Al Jazeera America and was nominated for a CPAC Blogger Award for Best Sunlight Post of 2013. Macey is a strong conservative with libertarian leanings, making her more of a "conservatarian." Preserving the constitutional and moral values of that this great nation was founded on for her children is her priority. She is a stay at home mom of two boys who are now in elementary school. As a mom who has always been interested in politics, religion and all of the taboo subjects, she has always had a lot to say about the state of the nation. When she realized the Common Core Standards were not only bad news for children but a government coup over education, she decided to fight back and is now considered one of the nation's leading experts on all-things-Common Core. When she's not having uncomfortable arguments with strangers on Facebook she can be found spending time with her husband of 15 years and two sons. Find Macey France on Facebook and Twitter: @MaceyFrancePC

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