Donald Trump said Thursday night that education has been “taken over by bureaucrats in Washington.”
CNN debate moderator Jake Tapper attempted to get more details on Trump’s position that the Common Core standards initiative is “a disaster.”
“What are your specific objections to Common Core?” Tapper asked.
Trump responded that Common Core is “education through Washington, D.C.”
“I don’t want that,” he continued. “I want local education. I want the parents, and I want all of the teachers, and I want everybody to get together around a school and to make education great.”
Tapper then pressed Trump for further details – which Trump has never given – but used pro-Common Core talking points to do so:
But just to clarify, the Common Core standards were developed by the states, states and localities voluntarily adopt them, and they come up with their own curricula to meet those standards. So when you say “education by Washington, D.C.,” what do you mean?
“You’re right, Jake,” Trump responded. “But it has been taken over by the federal government. It was originally supposed to be that way. And certainly sounds better that way. But it has all been taken over now by the bureaucrats in Washington, and they are not interested in what’s happening in Miami or in Florida, in many cases.”
The Common Core standards were developed by political and education elites with support from special interests, especially the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Common Core is a federally promoted education initiative introduced in the Obama administration’s 2009 stimulus bill through a competitive grant program called Race to the Top (RTTT). States could apply and compete for federal grant money as long as they adopted a set of uniform standards and aligned testing, a massive student data collection system, and teacher evaluations based on student performance on assessments aligned with the standards.
Trump added he will be turning to former rival Ben Carson – who is endorsing him for president – for his knowledge about education and, specifically, charter schools.
He said about his discussion with Carson:
We spoke for over an hour on education. And he has such a great handle on it. He wants competitive schools. He wants a lot of different things that are terrific, including charter schools, by the way, that the unions are fighting like crazy. But charter schools work and they work very well. So there are a lot of things. But I’m going to have Ben very involved with education, something that’s an expertise of his.
When it comes to charter schools, some are effective in achieving student success, but others have been examples of cronyism and corruption as a result of arrangements between politicians and private businesses. Former GOP contender Jeb Bush was a major supporter of charter schools.