Correcting the Record: What’s wrong with presidential candidates pledging to “repeal” Common Core?

Some GOP leaders have been outspoken declaring their intentions to “repeal” Common Core.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has spoken strongly against Common Core State Standards. “We should repeal every word of Common Core,” Sen. Cruz said earlier this year. “We should get the federal government out of the business of curriculum…There is no remedy when they are dictating what’s being taught to your kids.”

This weekend, Donald Trump also made similar comments, pledging to immediately get rid of the standards when he becomes president, calling them a “disaster.”

Sen. Cruz and Mr. Trump (and other GOP leaders) are wrong on a number of counts.

Common Core State Standards began as and remain a voluntary state-based initiative. They cannot be repealed by this president, or the next president, as Sen. Cruz  and Mr. Trump suggest, because states get to choose their academic standards, not the federal government.

Congress recently made sure states maintain this autonomy by passing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which makes doubly sure that the federal government cannot interfere with the academic standards states choose to use.

If Sen. Cruz and Mr. Trump want to have a say in whether a state uses Common Core State Standards, they are better off running for a position as an elected state official.

Fortunately, states have weighed the evidence and are overwhelmingly continuing to implement the Common Core. This year, no states passed legislation to get rid of the standards; many of the most conservative-leaning states in the nation have voted down efforts to replace the standards; and most states and continuing to refine and build on the framework laid out by the Common Core.