The Common Core Report Card: Ben Carson Gets a B-

In our Common Core report card, we graded Ben Carson and all of the GOP candidates based on the three following criteria: fighting the Common Core, protecting state and local decision-making on education, and defending child and family privacy. Then we averaged the three grades together for one final grade.

What does each grade mean?

A … Champions the issue, e.g., offers legislation, makes it a centerpiece issue.
… Professes support, but has not provided leadership or otherwise championed it.
C … Has neither helped nor hurt the cause.
D … Has an overall negative record on the issue.
F … Robustly and consistently works against the issue.

So how did Ben Carson do?

Ending the Common Core System: B-
Protecting State and Local Decision Making: B
Protecting Child and Family Privacy: C

Dr. Ben Carson (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)
Dr. Ben Carson (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Overall Grade: B-

Ben Carson has published his views on education on his campaign’s website. The section reads:

For primary and secondary education, the bedrock concept that has always guided us has been ‘local control.’ Communities fund and manage public schools for the benefit of families and children in their neighborhoods.

More than most, I’m acutely aware of education being the ladder that can lead one out of poverty and into realizing the American Dream.

In recent years, there has been a troubling trend of the U.S. Department of Education increasingly trying to dictate how children are educated in our primary and secondary schools. This must stop and Common Core must be overturned.

Our education system must be run by involved parents and engaged teachers and principals. Any attempt by faceless federal bureaucrats to take over our local schools must be defeated.

As a non-office-holder, Carson is pretty much limited to speaking on the issues. He says the right things but has given no indication of a deep understanding of Common Core or the attendant problems. We would like to hear more from him.

Emmett McGroarty is the executive director of APIA Education.