Incumbent Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) told WABI TV5 that he is fearful what has happened in Massachusetts–slipping from the nation’s top education spot to seventh place–as a result of the Common Core standards, will also happen in Maine.
“First of all, there is always a better way,” LePage said. “And I no longer support Common Core, and I say that because we have been in Common Core for several years here in Maine.”
“But after seeing what has happened to Massachusetts–they were the number one education system in America prior to adopting Common Core,” he continued. “That tells me that we need to take a hard look, maybe it would be better going back to what they had before.”
LePage said he is continuing to evaluate the Common Core but would like for his state to have the highest-ranked education system in the country.
“We already have a great work ethic, why not improve on it,” he explained. “And so, I see the more we challenge our children here in Maine, the tougher standards that we have, the better they will perform.”
Independent candidate Eliot Cutler wholeheartedly supports the Common Core standards. Taking the position that time and effort have already been expended on the new standards, Cutler said, “I think the Common Core is a good way of doing that. Let’s just pay attention, do it, evaluate it in five, six, eight years, see how we are doing. But let’s not try to reinvent the wheel all over again.”
“This is not some kind of communist plot to take over America’s schools,” Cutler continued. “This is really a professionally developed effort to make sure our kids get educated.”
Democrat gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud took the middle road, asserting that accountability was needed in education.
“I think that we need to have some standards, but we got to allow the flexibility at the municipal level.”
As Breitbart News reported in July, during the summer meetings of the National Governors Association–one of the owners of the copyright to the Common Core standards–many governors preferred not to speak about the controversial education initiative, referring to it, instead, as politically “radioactive,” “divisive,” and “toxic.”