Oh Common Core. Love it or hate it, it’s definitely a talking point among parents, educators, and – now that it’s election season – Presidential Candidates.
In case you’ve missed it – or your child hasn’t taken home a math problem that has the most complicated rules to solving it (because old school adding and subtracting just isn’t the thing anymore) – Common Core is essentially the way the Federal government is standardizing education across the country. To be clear, Common Core has not set a curriculum, which is still set on a state and local level, but rather has set out guidelines for what each child must know and by what age/grade they must be able to accomplish certain standards.
As with many initiatives spearheaded by the government, Common Core has both its opponents and its champions. There are many individuals who feel that Common Core is making education harder – new teaching methods and standards that districts must meet have teachers “teaching to the test,” rather than teaching students to each of their individual abilities. On the flip side, there are many people who feel that Common Core works to provide every student with a solid educational foundation, one that will allow them to build on the basics and that will provide them with a standard set of tools that will transfer well across districts and states lines. The thing about Common Core is that its opponents and champions are fierce – this isn’t an issue that people seem to feel content to let lie, and see it play out. And, of course, our Presidential Candidates are weighing in.
Here’s a breakdown of where some of the Presidential Candidates (those who have taken a position) stand on Common Core:
Donald Trump – Republican
Mr. Trump, in the past, has seemed very firmly against Common Core, saying things like “I’d end Common Core. Common Core is a disaster” on June 16, 2015. However, on February 13, 2016 – after the debate – he flipped on the issue, in three minutes. He started by telling the room that “Common Core is a total disaster,” and three minutes later said “We are going to do something special. Okay, are you ready? Common Core we are going to keep.” So … I guess we’ll just keep an eye out on this one.
Bernie Sanders – Democrat
Interestingly, Mr. Sanders hasn’t come out explicitly for or against Common Core, although in 2015 he voted against an anti-Common Core measure. Those double negatives could be taken to mean that he would vote for Common Core – and it’s not just us saying that, his official website agrees.
John Kasich – Republican
With other nominees dominating the headlines, you might have missed John Kasich, who took second place for the Republicans during the New Hampshire primaries. However Mr. Kasich has made his thoughts on Common Core clear – he’s all for it. On January 24, 2015 he criticized fellow GOP members who have attacked Common Core, and he said,
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. 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. I’ve asked the Republican governors who have complained about this to tell me where I’m wrong, and guess what, silence.
Hillary Clinton – Democrat
Ms. Clinton is firmly on the pro-Common Core team. At her very first campaign stop in Iowa she praised Common Core and said it’s “unfortunate” that many parents decry it. She also pointed out that Common Core began as an entirely non-partisan issue – both sides of the aisle came together to determine what the standards should be, all for the betterment of the children – there wasn’t anything political about it. That’s something interesting to take into consideration as Common Core and education are huge political buzzwords this election season.
To find out where the rest of the candidates stand on Common Core – and where they all stand on other important issues, check out OnTheIssues.org.