Common Core Report Card Grades: Cruz and Paul ‘A-,’ Bush and Kasich ‘Fail’

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

School is in session for the Republican 2016 primary candidates, and their report card grades on how they live up to the principles of the Constitution when it comes to their views on education policy and the Common Core initiative are ready for review.

The Pulse 2016, a media project of the American Principles in Action, and Cornerstone Policy Research released a comprehensive “Common Core” report card Wednesday, providing “grades” to each of the GOP primary candidates on their records and statements concerning education.

The candidates’ grades are as follows with details of each candidate’s score located at the links:

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

Candidates were graded in the following areas:

  • 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?
  • What efforts has the candidate made to protect student and family privacy interests against the rising demands of industry and central planners for more personal student data?

“The Common Core is a touchstone for Republicans, and they should be making a bigger deal of it,” writes American Principles Project education director Emmett McGroarty. “People are fed up with the Common Core and the terribly expensive and overbearing Common Core tests. They view the federal government’s involvement in education policy as a colossal failure that has harmed, not helped, children.”

Cruz’s and Paul’s support of Sen. Chuck Grassley’s effort to defund the Common Core in 2013 and 2014 helps these candidates earn their A- grade on the report card, as do their votes against the Senate No Child Left Behind Reauthorization bill introduced by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA).

“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 in a press release sent to Breitbart News. “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,” he added.

Still, McGroarty says there is time for the candidates to improve their grades.

“Our hope…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,” he said. “We hope that they all improve their scores.”