Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander says he can’t understand why Common Core education standards are still an issue in the Republican presidential contest. As recently as last week, Texas Senator Ted Cruz was still talking about repeal. Alexander says that basically happened late last year.
“Maybe they were busy with their campaign and haven’t kept up with the law,” Alexander says. “The fact of the matter is the federal law, the federal mandate for Common Core is gone. There’s no requirement for Tennessee or for any other state to have Common Core. Academic standards are completely up to a state.”
Alexander sponsored the bill that
effectively ended a policy incentivizing states to use the Common Core standards, though many states still go by the academic benchmarks for math and English.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam
has listed Donald Trump’s promise to dismantle Common Core as one of the reasons he has trouble supporting the billionaire businessman.
The only candidate still in the hunt for the GOP nomination who has consistently defended Common Core is Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, who said the standards raised the bar for students in a state that has not always had high standards.
Lauren Frederick contributed to this story.