Supporters of Common Core, an educational standard sweeping across all but a handful of states at this point, see it as a way to improve curriculum across the country. Opponents of the new standard fear it will take control away from local and state governing bodies, and give the federal government a greater role in defining the content and methods schools can use to educate children. The 2016 Republican field is demonstrating this division and the topic has now spilled into the campaign.

Report from USAToday:

Less than 24 hours after Bush announced he will “actively explore” a presidential bid, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul — also a potential candidate — shot back with a one-line online ad from RandPAC, his political action committee: “We need leaders who will stand against Common Core,” the ad said.

The quick response shows how controversy over educational standards that have their roots in the education policy of President George W. Bush could affect a campaign by his younger brother.

The GOP’s bumper crop of potential presidential candidates is split on the Common Core, a set of academic guidelines introduced in 2010 by the National Governors Association and adopted by 46 states. Since leaving the Florida governorship in 2007, Bush has spent much of his time advocating for education reform, including Common Core and school choice. He created the Foundation for Excellence in Education as a vehicle for the cause.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie supports the standards, as do mainstream Republican-leaning groups including the Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which see educational improvement as a necessity for American competitiveness.

But the Common Core standards have become a target of opposition among conservatives, who see them as unwarranted federal intrusion into state and local control of education. Opponents have dubbed the standards “Obamacore.”

To the conservative wing of the GOP, Common Core is anathema. Paul, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio all oppose the standards. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker called for repeal of the standards during his re-election campaign this year. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed legislation opting out of the standards in in March. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, also considering a presidential campaign, has sued the Obama administration for allegedly coercing states into adopting the standards.

In Iowa, where the first presidential primary contest is held, GOP activists “see it as a complete loss of control,” says Bob Vander Plaats, an influential Iowa conservative. “They believe it is a complete government takeover of the education system.”

This issue tends to cut along lines of “establishment” candidates, like Chris Christie and Jeb Bush, versus the “Tea Party candidates,” such as Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, among others. Make no mistake, whether it gets play in the general election, this will be a hotly debated topic during the Republican primary battle. Obviously a topic which involves children is going to evoke strong reactions from both sides of the issue.

On the Democratic side, support for enacting and expanding Common Core curriculum standards is nearly unanimous across the board.


  1. This seems like a weird “issue” to me. It’s important to remember that Common Core only covers Language Arts and Math–hardly controversial topics. And it’s almost universally adopted, anyway. Why is Jeb making it an issue? It’s like announcing that you’re in favor of having a navy.

    • Goethe — after many good posts, you had to do it again….

      Reverting to posting an idiotic one that makes no sense.

      Sorry kid…if you don’t get any presents this Christmas…it’s because you’ve been a naughty boy again…:)

      • My point is that it’s already been adopted. If he was against the idea of establishing national standards, that argument should have been made years ago.

    • Goethe — for you:

      “For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Common Core, it is a
      curriculum created in the private sector but pushed onto states by the federal government and endorsed by Bill Gates. The cost of implementing the program runs from millions to billions depending on the state. It is untested and unresearched. It has been criticized for being not as rigorous as proponents claim, clearly biased to a liberal perspective, so much so that many see it as INDOCTRINATION , and it is being forced on the states in spite of the fact that a federal curriculum is unconstitutional violating the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which established the principle that“…the “power” to oversee education belongs to the states. This longstanding principle of local control of education is reiterated throughout our laws and government codes.”

      “Schools should teach HOW to think, but NEVER WHAT to think.” !!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Full article below: “A Monstrous Story for a Monstrous Curriculum: The Ugly Heart of Common Core”

  2. Common Core = Federal Gov brainwashing ALL public school children.

    No wonder the Neocons (the Repub Establishment) and all Dems are for it — since they’ll get to decide how much and in what direction YOUR CHILDREN will be brainwashed…in order to grow up blindly goosestepping according to the Government’s marching tunes!

    Anyone that is FOR *Common Core* “education” is the Enemy of We, The People!

  3. Surfisher…The responsibility for K-12 education rests with each state, the 10th
    amendment and the Constitution make no mention of education or the
    learning process. The federal government does not operate public
    schools. Each states has its own Department of Education that sets
    guidelines for the schools of that state. Public schools receive funding
    from the individual state, and local property taxes. School district
    are governed by a school board elected from the local community. Common
    Core was authored by National Governors Association Center for Best Practices,Council
    of Chief State School Officers. While the standards set grade-specific
    goals, they do not define how the standards should be taught or which
    materials should be used to support students. Federal education program
    “requirements” are not unfunded mandates because the conditions in
    federal law apply only when a state voluntarily chooses to accept
    federal funds. Any state that does not want to abide by a federal
    program’s requirements can simply choose not to accept the federal funds
    associated with that program.

        • which truth — that common core is a pernicious child indoctrination program, or that all those for it are liberal shills?

      • Surf: Why did you say that? When I read Tess’ description of how schools are organized, I thought you’d be insulted because it was like describing a lead pencil–carbon stick encased in wood, with rubber eraser attached with a metal band. Basic description. What, exactly, are you questioning?

          • I was just asking what you meant. Tess wasn’t even defending the program, she was just explaining to you how the schooling system works in the United States. What was your complaint about that??

            • P.S. Surf–your generic condemnations sound as if you never even bother to read what Tess writes. You’d be more credible if you pointed to something she wrote and said why you disagree with that item.

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