Republican presidential hopefuls, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, continue to make a misleading case against the Common Core repeating the claim suggesting that these academic standards are managed by federal bureaucrats and are being forced on states against their will. These claims have been repeatedly fact-checked and debunked over and over again, yet they are repeated in candidates’ stump speeches and sound bites. Simply put, the Common Core is a set of math and English standards that were developed by states led by a bipartisan group of Governors, which states voluntarily adopted and then developed their own curricula.
The next president will have no ability to force states to repeal Common Core and the recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act repeated an already existing provision prohibiting the federal government from mandating any set of academic standards including the Common Core.
Here are seven facts and a helpful video from Funny or Die to keep in mind when this issue comes up again:
FACT #1: The President cannot repeal the Common Core. It started and continues to remain a voluntary state-based initiative. [Think Progress, 3/16/2015]
FACT #2: The Common Core is not and never has been a federal mandate. [Politifact, 7/25/14]
FACT #3: States and school districts also make their own curriculum decisions. In addition, Congress recently passed the Every Student Succeeds Act, which makes certain the federal government cannot interfere with the academic standards states decide to choose. [Washington Post, 1/28/16]
FACT #4: “State leaders developed the Common Core standards and local school officials set the curriculum.” [FactCheck.Org, 4/13/15]
FACT #5: “Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz maintained their positions on Common Core in the Republican presidential primary debate Thursday, even after moderator Jake Tapper presented evidence their positions are built on falsehoods.” [The Daily Caller, 3/10/16]
FACT #6: Common Core Standards embody conservative principles that date back to Ronald Reagan. [Brookings Institute, September 2015]
FACT #7: “The president couldn’t even strip funding from states that chose not to undo the Common Core, as current funding isn’t conditional on adopting the standards.” [Slate, 2/22/16]