Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (photo credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)

GOP Candidates Move Away from Common Core


Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (photo credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (photo credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)

National Review has a useful summary of the GOP candidates’ move away from the Common Core. It begins by noting that as recently as January 2012, Scott Walker chaired a Wisconsin reading task force that endorsed the Common Core:

Two years later, on July 17, 2014, Walker released a statement: “Today, I call on the members of the State Legislature to pass a bill in early January to repeal Common Core and replace it with standards set by people in Wisconsin.”

Walker is, of course, not the only high-profile Republican to backtrack on his support for Common Core…


Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, initially a Common Core supporter, has become perhaps its most outspoken opponent, even filing suit against the Department of Education for tying federal money to the adoption of Common Core, which, Jindal argues, violates Congress’s intent and the Tenth amendment.

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee supported the standards, too — but now says Common Core “has morphed into a Frankenstandard that nobody, including me, can support.”

And after declaring in 2013 that “we’re doing Common Core in New Jersey, and we’re going to continue,” New Jersey governor Chris Christie said earlier this month that he has “grave concerns” about the program, “especially the way the Obama administration has tried to implement it through tying federal funding to these things.” New Jersey’s Study Commission on the Use of Student Assessments is now reconsidering the standards.

Meanwhile, former Texas governor Rick Perry and Texas senator Ted Cruz have opposed Common Core from the beginning, as have Florida senator Marco Rubio and Kentucky senator Rand Paul. Jeb Bush, former Florida governor, has been an unyielding supporter.

Score one for the grassroots.  Meanwhile, Rand Paul has set the standard for GOP candidates by proposing not only to defund Common Core, but to abolish the Department of Education, reviving a lost leg of the Reagan agenda.

Maggie Gallagher is the editor of

Maggie Gallagher

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project.

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