ThePulse2016, American Principles in Action, and Cornerstone Policy Research released a Common Core score card on all of the major Republican candidates minus former New York Governor George Pataki and former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Ohio Governor John Kasich were the only two candidates to receive an F. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also received low marks and were given a D+.
(Disclosure: This writer was a contributor for the report that accompanies the report card, but did not determine the final grades for candidates.)
The leaders among the candidates, according to the scorecard, are U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY) received an A-, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal received a B+.
“We have carefully evaluated the candidates on three separate—but related—issues,” explained Emmett McGroarty, Director of Education at American Principles in Action and contributor to the report card. “Have they spoken out and acted against Common Core? Do they understand and have they made a specific commitment to protect state and local control of education from further federal intrusion? And what efforts have they made to protect student and family privacy interests against the rising demands of industry and central planners for more personal student data?”
“This Common Core Report Card will serve as a helpful resource for voters, candidates, and political reporters as we head into 2016,” McGroarty said.
McGroarty commented on some of the more surprising grades in the report card.
“It’s not a shock to see Senator Rand Paul and Senator Ted Cruz leading the pack, as they have always been very strong on this issue,” McGroarty said. “And anyone who has paid attention knows that Jeb Bush and John Kasich are two of the most unapologetic cheerleaders for Common Core – which is definitely a negative.”
“But the grades for Marco Rubio and Scott Walker might surprise some people,” McGroarty continued. “We went into this with a clean slate and did a careful analysis of each candidates’ positions and statements. Walker sometimes says the right things, but his record in Wisconsin shows that he has not fought the issue with vigor and has thus paved the way for the status quo. Rubio is in a similar situation — while he aggressively criticizes Common Core and has even called for an end to the Department of Education, his record in the Senate has been concerning, especially on issues of student privacy.
“Our hope —with Rubio and Walker specifically, but also for all the candidates —is that they will make a more substantive effort in the months ahead to flesh out their policies and to fully advocate for ending Common Core, limiting the federal government’s role in education, and protecting student privacy. We hope that they all improve their scores.”
Here are the rankings according to the score card:
A- … Ted Cruz
A- … Rand Paul
B+… Bobby Jindal
B … Lindsey Graham
B … Rick Perry
B … Rick Santorum
B- … Ben Carson
B- … Donald Trump
C+… Carly Fiorina
C … Mike Huckabee
C … Marco Rubio
D+… Chris Christie
D+… Scott Walker
F … Jeb Bush
F … John Kasich
Read the full reports that details why the candidates received the grade that they did.