A politician flip-flopping on an issue for political reasons? Hardly a surprise. But it’s still disappointing, especially when it’s a policy like instituting higher academic standards, which has the potential to do great things for kids.
Governor Chris Christie, New Jersey
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie once said that Republican opposition to Common Core was nothing more than a "knee-jerk reaction," citing political differences as the reason for opposition. Just this week, however, Christie has begun to voice "grave concerns" about the standards (in Iowa, of all politically-subtle places...) Welcome to the flip-flop list, Christie! We have some grave concerns of our own with you here—especially since you seem to see yourself as someone in charge of warning others about the danger of flip-flopping.
Mike Huckabee, Arkansas
Former Arkansas Governor, and current pop culture aficionado, Mike Huckabee has turned his opinion on Common Core around faster than you can sing "All the Single Ladies". This time last year, Huckabee urged policymakers to stay the course with Common Core, saying "rebrand it, refocus it, but don't retreat." Now that he's hawking a new book, and courting a 2016 nomination, Huckabee says "instead of Common Core, we need to apply some common sense." Here's some common sense for you: Common Core sets higher standards for students.
Governor Bobby Jindal, Louisiana
In 2012, Jindal said that the standards will “raise expectations for every child.” This August, Gov. Jindal filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education over the Common Core, arguing that the federal government was over-reaching by providing incentives to adopt the standards. As we’ve previously established, the federal government never required adoption of the Common Core.
Senator David Vitter, Louisiana
Sen. Vitter said as recently as August he supported “strong standards like the Common Core standards Louisiana has adopted.” Last month, Sen. Vitter reversed his support and announced his intent to introduce an amendment that would “prohibit the federal government from discriminating against states who don't adopt the Common Core academic standards.” Fortunately for students (but unfortunately for Vitter), the amendment failed.
When the Mississippi Senate Conservative Coalition fought to end the Common Core State Standards, it was Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves who tried to keep them. But this year (an election year) Reeves changed his tune, instead calling for a repeal of the Common Core.
In December 2013, Gov. Mary Fallin issued an executive order confirming adoption of the Common Core through the Oklahoma Academic Standards. The executive order made it clear, she argued, that this was a state-based initiative and not one that came through a federal program. In June, Gov. Fallin signed a bill repealing the Common Core, citing “federal overreach.”
Originally posted on January 23, 2015. Updated to add Mike Huckabee on February 9th, 2015. Updated to add Chris Christie on February 13th, 2015. Updated to add Chris Christie's "warning" on March 23, 2015.
Valentina Payne joined Bellwether Education Partners in 2021 as chief of staff to Andy Rotherham on the External Relations team. Prior to Bellwether, she spent seven years at brightbeam, where she most recently served as its chief growth officer, overseeing operations, finance, fundraising, and strategic growth of the organization.