Nikki Haley Against Common Core? South Carolina ‘New’ Standards 90% Aligned With Common Core

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley speaks to the crowd at the Kemp Forum, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, in Columbia, S.C.
AP Photo/Sean Rayford

Republican State of the Union first responder Gov. Nikki Haley criticized 2016 contender Jeb Bush for supporting the Common Core standards, even as – in her own state of South Carolina – the “new” state standards are 90 percent aligned with Common Core.

On Wednesday’s On the Record with Greta Van Susteren on the Fox News Channel, Haley differentiated herself from the GOP 2016 contenders on several issues:

I talked about Marco Rubio. You know, I’m against his Gang of Eight bill. He is not for amnesty, but I was against his Gang of Eight bill. Governor Bush, he supported Common Core, certainly didn’t pass it, but supported it. All those things you bring up because you’re never going to agree with everyone. And you’re not going to agree on all things. But what we want to do is say, look, let’s talk about the issues that matter, and at the end who’s that right person that can step up on most of the issues that we can all agree on?

Haley actually stands with other establishment GOP governors who – faced with the ire of grassroots activist parents who fought against the federally funded Common Core reform – signed “repeal and replace” bills, but then stood by as designated pro-Common Core state “committees” simply “rebranded” most of Common Core with a local-flavor name.

As Breitbart News reported last March, despite media reports that Common Core was “dead” in South Carolina, grassroots groups announced the state’s new “replacement” standards are essentially a rebrand of Common Core.

“By the state Education Oversight Committee’s (EOC) own admission, the ‘new’ replacement standards are 90 percent aligned with Common Core,” Sheri Few, president of South Carolina Parents Involved in Education (SCPIE), told Breitbart News. “There is a huge disconnect between parents and taxpayers and the educators of our state. This is the saddest part of all of this – parents have no say in their children’s education.”

“Haley has been MIA on this issue from the beginning,” Few said a month later to Breitbart News. “Many think Haley is actively opposed to Common Core, but that is absolutely not true. She has not lifted a finger to help us in our fight against it.”

In response to a question from Breitbart News regarding the fact that the “new” South Carolina standards are 90 percent aligned with Common Core, Chaney Adams, Haley’s press secretary, had emailed the following statement:

Throughout this entire debate, Governor Haley has said that the most important thing is that the state retain its ability to set its own standards and be in control of how students are educated. In 2014, the governor signed a bill that abandoned a nationalized standard and retuned that control back to the people of South Carolina, and she is proud of that. The responsibility for setting new standards and a path forward for our students now is in the hands of the State Board of Education and the Education Oversight Committee.

Few said Haley’s “Read to Succeed” pet project – modeled after Bush’s widely discredited Florida Read! Program – “has grown government by millions of dollars, added a new level of bureaucracy in the State Department of Education, established ‘reading czars’ at the state level, and will retain 3rd graders who are not reading on grade-level based on standardized test scores.”

“Gov. Haley, like many of our state and national legislators, is very ignorant when it comes to education policy,” Few continued. “They have fallen, and continue to fall for every federal gimmick that comes down the pike. Our state may vote like a red state when it comes to electing our representatives, but our representatives vote like a blue state when it comes to education policy.”


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