What Conservatives Are Really Saying

  • “If we’re going to be the best country, and not just talk about it, we need to actually do the work to make it happen.  Higher standards is a key element of that, and these standards, the Common Core State Standards, are clear and straightforward, they will allow for more innovation in the classroom, less regulation, they’ll equip students to compete against their peers across the globe.”
    - Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush
  • “Like many of you, I’ve heard the argument these standards ‘threaten local control’ of what’s being taught in Oklahoma classrooms. Speaking from one conservative to another, let me assure you this simply is not true.  States and local school districts will determine how they want to teach kids, what curriculum to use, and which textbooks to use.”
    - Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee
  • "We want to make sure that our schools have high standards. The standards we have should be ones driven by Wisconsin parents, Wisconsin families, Wisconsin employers and educators out there.”
    - Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
  • “It can't be the case that we are so under-educating our children that large numbers of them cannot – maybe 75 percent – are not capable of serving in our military. What are we doing? And what are you going to do about it? I would like to hear the Common Core endorsed and the governors continuing to work on it.”
    - Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
  • “The Common Core State Standards are a building block in our state’s education system meant to ensure that teachers and districts can innovate within a framework of high expectations and accountability. They are based on the fundamental belief that every child in every classroom deserves an education that will properly equip them with the skills they need for college and a career. Our aggressive implementation of these standards in partnership with districts will ensure that our children have an education that will serve them well in the next stages of their lives.”
    - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
  • “Just like in business, measurement should be focused on results – and the new Common Core Standards we are implementing will do just that. Getting this transition right is critical and is the best mechanism we have to ensure our kids are well prepared for college and careers.”
    - Florida Governor Rick Scott
  • "I tend to think they’re pretty good. It’s all of course in how they’re applied, how they’re implemented, and this is something states are free to do or not. They can opt in or out.”
    – Former Reagan Administration Education Secretary Bill Bennett
  • “While a lot of hard work remains at the state level, this voluntary effort led by 48 states and the District of Columbia to provide high quality, common academic standards is a great step forward.”
    - Arthur J. Rothkopf, senior vice president and counselor to the president of the National Chamber of Commerce
  • “The CCSS do not indoctrinate children. They do not establish a national curriculum, and they do not threaten student privacy in any way. The CCSS do not require that teachers use any specific materials, books, or even teaching methods. In short, the CCSS are not part of a vast left-wing conspiracy to curtail parental rights and brainwash our children.”
    - Carlos Curbelo, Republican Miami-Dade School Board Member
  • “Helping prepare our children to succeed in an increasingly fierce global marketplace is a goal we should all embrace. As America’s business leaders, we stand united in our support for the successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards, and we urge the Republican Party to join us.”
    - Former Michigan Governor John Engler
  • “Now more than ever, we must focus intently on competing for private sector jobs, preparing our students to graduate from high school and join the workforce or succeed in college, and ensuring that our kids can read so that they can succeed in life."
    - New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez
  • “We must make sure Iowa students can compete with young people in countries with the highest-performing schools… The future well-being of our great state depends on Iowans’ willingness to dramatically improve our schools. The State Board of Education’s decision to add the new, voluntary Common Core State Standards in math and literacy strengthens the Iowa Core.”
    - Iowa Governor Terry Branstad
  • “The federal government did not mandate it, they did not control it, they did not dictate its content. I think there is also a misunderstanding between the Common Core standards, which simply says these are the things that a student needs to know or be able to do at certain grade levels in their school progress, as opposed to a Common Core curriculum, whereby you dictate what is taught.”
    - Georgia Governor Nathan Deal