Congressman John Kline, Chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, talks NCLB and Common Core

December 1, 2015

This morning, Congressman John Kline, Chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, appeared on Former Secretary of Education Bill Bennett’s radio show Morning In America to discuss the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act and what it means for Common Core.

Rep. John Kline says the bipartisan agreement reached in committee is a “huge win for conservatives.”

“[NCLB was] just a mess,” explains Rep. Kline, but lawmakers “hammered out” a compromise that “fulfills all the principles we were trying to get on this side of the aisle… We have to empower parents with choice, we have to reduce the huge federal footprint in education.”

Regarding people’s concerns about any federal involvement in Common Core Bennett asks: “Does this bill solve that?”

“That is exactly correct,” Rep. Kline answers. “The federal government should not be able to tell states what standards they can or cannot adopt. If states want to use Common Core, it is not the place of the federal government to tell them they cannot do that.”

While Common Core adoption has always been a state-level decision, as Bennett and Rep. Kline make clear, the NCLB reauthorization bill will finally put to rest any and all lingering concerns about federal pressure on states to adopt and keep Common Core State Standards.

Across the country, states have overwhelmingly signaled that Common Core State Standards are the best choice for ensuring students are held to high expectations that fully prepare them for college and careers.

After more than five years and two national elections, only one state, Oklahoma, has replaced its Common Core standards with a set of distinctly different standards. Instead, implementation remains a state-led, voluntary effort, and most states are building on the framework laid by the Common Core. Mike Petrilli, president of the Fordham Institute, explains that is largely because “Common Core, though not perfect, represents a good-faith effort to incorporate the current evidence of what students need to know and do to succeed” in college and careers, and was designed from the outset to be a framework to be built upon and customized by states.

Click here to listen to this interview: