Contact Us
Make My Homepage

Huckabee: ‘Stop the fight’ over Common Core school standards

WASHINGTON (AP) — Conservatives should “stop the fight” over Common Core and instead consider the benefits that the academic standards offer students in struggling schools, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said Friday. The position puts him at odds with a significant bloc of Republicans.

Huckabee, who unsuccessfully sought the GOP presidential nomination in 2008 and is considering a 2016 run, acknowledged the standards have become politically unpopular. Tea party-styled conservatives brand the standards as big-government intrusion, while teacher unions oppose having their members graded on how well students learn the more rigorous skills.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee as he speaks during The Family Leadership Summit, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

“Common Core has become toxic, I think it’s radioactive,” Huckabee said. “It has become an incredibly controversial topic on both the left and the right.”

Huckabee said, regardless of political leanings, “We want our students to achieve to the highest level they’re capable.”

“They can’t do that if we dumb down the schools,” Huckabee said. “I don’t know of any conservative who wants to dumb down America’s schools. I don’t know of any student who would benefit.”

Huckabee, a former pastor, made his comments while attending a National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference meeting in Washington. That group, which includes more than 40,000 churches and 16 million evangelical Hispanics, plans to have pastors pitch higher standards during their sermons on Sept. 7.

Huckabee did not use the appearance to outline a specific education agenda. But he has been consistent in his support for higher academic standards.

Huckabee’s comments closely resemble those from another former governor considering a 2016 presidential bid, Jeb Bush of Florida. But that pair splits dramatically from anti-Common Core crusaders such as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

Powerful outside players, including the tea party-rallying FreedomWorks and conservative personality Glenn Beck, also have stoked anti-Common Core sentiments among their supporters.

Common Core State Standards essentially exchanged state-by-state benchmarks for one uniform guide about what math and language arts skills a student should have at each grade level. For instance, all third-graders should know how to find the perimeter of a shape. How an educator at the front of a classroom teaches that is up to each school.

Critics of the program say Common Core is a federal curriculum that forces one-size-fits-all teaching onto students. The program is neither federal nor a curriculum, and it allows teachers to determine how to teach the prescribed skills to students. Supporters say the higher standards will help students be better prepared to attend college or find a first job.

Huckabee seemed to have little patience for the criticism.

“Stop the fight. Let’s not make this something that we’re going to shed blood for no particular value to the students. Put the students first. The programs are less important,” he said.

Huckabee said such political posturing only hurts students.

“I don’t want to fight over the program. I want to fight for students. The fight is not about the program or what it’s called,” Huckabee said.

Follow Philip Elliott on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/philip-elliott

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Best of the Web


Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://nj1015.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on New Jersey 101.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on New Jersey 101.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!