Education Highlights from the Republican Presidential Candidate Debate

On August 6, 2015, ten of the Republican Presidential candidates participated in the first formal debate. As predicted by many political analysts education was one of the key topics. Below are the highlights from the evening via the Washington Post transcript.

  • Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee regarding the size of the federal government and the role of the Department of Education: “Every person on this stage who has been a governor will tell that you the biggest fight they had was not the other party. Wasn't even the legislature. It was the federal government, who continually put mandates on the states that we had to suck up and pay for. And the fact is there are a lot of things happening at the federal level that are absolutely beyond the jurisdiction of the Constitution. This is power that should be shifted back to the states, whether it's the EPA, there is no role at the federal level for the Department of Education.”
  • Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush on Common Core and the role of the federal government in education: “I don't believe the federal government should be involved in the creation of standards directly or indirectly, the creation of curriculum or content. It is clearly a state responsibility. I'm for higher standards... measured in an intellectually honest way, with abundant school choice, ending social promotion.”
  • Florida Senator Mark Rubio on the Common Core: “Well, first off, I too believe in curriculum reform. It is critically important in the 21st Century. We do need curriculum reform. And it should happen at the state and local level. That is where educational policy belongs, because if a parent is unhappy with what their child is being taught in school, they can go to that local school board or their state legislature, or their governor and get it changed. Here's the problem with Common Core. The Department of Education, like every federal agency, will never be satisfied. They will not stop with it being a suggestion. They will turn it into a mandate.”
  • Wisconsin Governor Walker  on his overall platform and the role of education: “I think most of us in America understand that people, not the government creates jobs. And one of the best things we can do is get the government out of the way, repeal Obamacare, put in -- reign in all the out of control regulations, put in place and all of the above energy policy, give people the education, the skills that the need to succeed, and lower the tax rate and reform the tax code. That's what I'll do as president, just like I did in Wisconsin.”

The Fall Policy Exchange (September 29 in Washington, DC) from the AAP PreK-12 Learning Group will include updates from education policy experts on ESEA and state education legislation.

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