Republican Presidential Candidate, Mitt Romney, gave remarks and took questions at the Education Nation Summit in New York City today. During his speech he criticized the Obama Administration’s role in pushing the Common Core State Standards on to the states through incentives like Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind Waivers. He said he opposes national curriculums and believes states and communities should decide.
“I don’t subscribe to the idea of the federal government trying to push the Common Core onto various states, Romney said. “To financially reward states based on accepting the federal government’s idea of a curriculum is a mistake.” Romney said this was so because “there may be a time when the federal government has an agenda it wants to promote.”
“I’m not looking for more federal spending,” Romney said. “It is the nature of politics for someone in my position to offer more free stuff – I really care about education. I care about our kids so much that I don’t want to saddle them with trillions in new debt when they come out of school.”
Romney also said that states who have chosen to adopt the Common Core States Standards would be on their own to implement it. “If you have chosen it, congratulations. Work on it and do it within the resources of your own state.”
American Principles in Action (APIA), a leading opponent of the Common Core State Standards, praised Romney’s stated opposition.
“We applaud Governor Romney’s bold support for states and local communities to decide what’s best for their children, restoring power over education from the hands of the federal government to where it belongs,” said APIA’s Emmett McGroarty, the . “He is right to warn that the national authorities may have an agenda and should be prevented from pushing it on the states. Unfortunately, just as with Medicare reform, the federal government has resorted to coercing now more than 40 states into adopting the Common Core.”
“Congress intended the 2009 Stimulus Bill as a life-line for the states, but President Obama turned it into a weapon through his Race to the Top program. In order to compete for Race to the Top money, states had to quickly sign onto the Common Core and related assessments without having a chance to meaningfully review the Standards and before the assessments were even developed,” McGroarty noted. “States competed in Race to the Top by demonstrating their commitment to President Obama’s education policy, in effect surrendering to an education monopoly. Their citizens were cut out of the process. President Obama has continued to coerce the states by requiring them to sign onto his education policies in order to get relief from No Child Left Behind. We urge both candidates to commit themselves to ending the federal government’s political coercion of the states and their citizens, and to ending the Race to the Top program.”