At the Iowa Freedom Summit, Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) let Republican voters know that the Common Core standards are a huge electoral issue for the 2016 presidential election – and that he is anxious they will remember his support for the controversial education reform initiative.
“Folks, what Common Core may have originally been was a governor-controlled states initiative to keep the fickle federal fingers of fate off of education,” Huckabee said. “It has morphed into a frankenstandard that nobody, including me, can support.”
“[A]nybody who tells you that I support Common Core is either incredibly less informed than he or she pretends to be, or is just being plain dishonest because they really want to help somebody else, and not me, and that’s okay” he added.
Huckabee may have said several times that he no longer supports what the Common Core standards have become, but he is also known for his address in late 2013 to the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) – one of the owners of the Common Core – in which he told state education officials nervous about opposition to the standards, “Rebrand it, refocus it, but don’t retreat.”
Then, as Breitbart News reported in December of 2013, Huckabee opened one of his Fox News shows by telling his audience that people have been posting on his Facebook page that they would never watch his show again because he supports the Common Core standards.
“I don’t support what Common Core has become in many states or school districts,” Huckabee said. “Look, I’m dead set against the federal government creating a uniform curriculum for any subject. I oppose the collection of personal data on students that would identify them and then track them, and certainly any effort to give that personal information to the federal government.”
A number of states have simply “rebranded” or renamed the Common Core standards with a new title with local flavor in order to calm opponents of the initiative.
Nevertheless, rebranding the Common Core, as Huckabee urged, has been met with fierce criticism, as governors, state lawmakers, and state education officials – who have attempted to assuage the fury of anti-Common Core activists across the country, have discovered.