The Common Core Report Card: Donald Trump Gets a B-

In our Common Core report card, we graded Donald Trump 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 Donald Trump do?

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

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)
Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Overall Grade: B-

On several occasions, Trump has criticized Jeb Bush for supporting Common Core. At the Iowa Freedom Summit in January, Trump told the crowd, “[Bush is] totally in favor of Common Core – that’s a disaster – it’s bad. It should be local and all of that.”

At the Iowa Family Leadership Conference, Trump stated: “Common Core has to be ended. It’s a disaster. It’s a way of taking care of the people in Washington that, frankly, I don’t even think they give a damn about education, half of them. And I’m sure some of you maybe do.”

Trump has struck a chord with the Republican base, something many would have thought unlikely a year ago. Citizens view him as having the courage and will to stand and fight, something that many GOP candidates have seemed to lack in years past. As the primary cycle wears on, the base will want to hear more detail from Trump as well as other candidates. The candidate who does this will engender the gratitude of parents and other citizens. Trump would do well to blaze the trail on this.

Emmett McGroarty is the executive director of APIA Education.