Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Remember These 2 Words? Trump Hasn’t Said Them Yet in 2017


A staple in his campaign speeches in 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump frequently promised to get rid of Common Core:

I always say, ‘thumbs up for the Second Amendment. Thumbs down for Common Core.’ We’re gonna bring education back to the states and back to the people and the parents. – Donald Trump, Tulsa, Okla., January 2016

But since the start of the year, and specifically, since picking Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who was previously pro-Common Core, President Trump has stopped talking about Common Core altogether.


In The Weekly Standard, Fred Barnes asked that question:

What happened to Common Core—that is, abolishing it? President Trump’s promise to get rid of the controversial program of standards for elementary and secondary schools is gone from his speeches.

He didn’t mention it Tuesday night in his hour-long speech to a joint session of Congress. He didn’t repeat his promise to end it in his inaugural address a month ago. And he neglected to cite it in his rousing talk at the Conservative Political Action Conference last week…

Trump’s omission of Common Core from his speeches has raised the question of whether abolishing it remains part of his agenda. Nor is it clear how Education Secretary Betsy DeVos intends to handle the issue.

And in Breitbart, Frank Cannon, president of American Principles Project (and contributor to The National Pulse), explained why emphasizing school choice while ignoring Common Core makes no sense:

I’m a firm believer in choice, but you need to have choice in content as well as in the place that you go to school. If the content is controlled by the federal government through Common Core, then you’re not going to get the diversity in schools that produce the range of results that allow you to go ahead and pick the best schools. So, I think the two concepts have to go hand in hand for there to be any genuine choice.

Cannon continued:

There are a number of people who support Common Core, or who have been proponents of Common Core, including the Vice President, who are central to education policy it seems in the Trump administration, and I think it’s important for Trump to personally drive to completion on this promise, as he has on so many other promises.

“What we can’t have is the components of Common Core and have it be rebranded as something else. We can’t have the testing, we can’t have the lowering of standards that is part of Common Core, we can’t have the one-size-fits-all and pretend because the words Common Core have been removed from the education lexicon, that we removed the content and substance of that. And that’s what worries me about the sense that people can argue when Common Core became Indiana Core under now-Vice President Pence – that was not a change in the elements of Common Core that were objectionable. And, so, I’d hate to see the Trump promise be really an obfuscation with the elimination of the words ‘Common Core’ without a true delegation to states and local government for the control of content.

Cannon further articulated this point here at The National Pulse on Wednesday.

The Trump Administration would be wise to recommit to ending the Common Core and returning control over education to the local level. We will continue to look for President Trump to address this issue in the weeks to come.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Jon Schweppe

Jon Schweppe is the Director of Government Affairs for American Principles Project. Follow him on Twitter @JonSchweppe

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