New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's decision to change his mind and go against Common Core is being hit with criticism by some GOP donors who want education addressed in the 2016 election.
According to The Wall Street Journal,
several of the donors are in the finance industry and live in the northeast. Christie is joined by other Republican governors in the presidential race — Scott Walker (Wisconsin) and Bobby Jindal (Louisiana) — who once supported the Common Core State Standards Initiative but now are against it.
Notably, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush support the set of controversial guidelines that put in place national standards for English language arts and math for K-12 students. Critics of Common Core argue that the government should not enact federal guidelines for what should be a state-controlled system.
Forty-six states and the District of Columbia originally adopted the Common Core standards when they were released in 2010, but several states have since signed laws repealing them.
Some wealthy Republican donors, reports the Journal, have education at or near the top of their wish list of issues for next year's presidential election.
"The fact that he's stood there firmly while Walker, Jindal and Christie have walked back, matters more," former Goldman Sachs bond trader Mike Lilley told the Journal regarding Bush. "You should like people who stand up for their principles."
Chester Finn, who served as assistant secretary of education under President Ronald Reagan, told the Journal it comes down to business leaders having higher standards.
"Business leaders have always been for higher standards and comparable standards," Finn said. "If those are the same people that Republican candidates are turning to for campaign funding, there is going to be an issue."
In May, Christie said during a speech on education that Common Core is "not working"
in New Jersey and that the state will work on putting together a set of new guidelines to follow.
"It's now been five years since Common Core was adopted, and the truth is that it's simply not working," Christie said. "It has brought only confusion and frustration to our parents, and has brought distance between our teachers and the communities where they work.
"Instead of solving problems in our classrooms, it is creating new ones. And when we aren’t getting the job done for our children, we need to do something different."
of Common Core, however, may be softening. Earlier this month, Bush said the federal government should not be setting educational guidelines.
"States ought to create standards," he said.
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