U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, officially committed to end the controversial Common Core State Standards if elected president, signing a pledge with Florida Parents Against Common Core on Friday. The pledge says he will oppose any federal efforts to mandate, impose or influence standards, assessments or curriculum across the country.
Disgruntled by the lack of response from Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Department of Education over repealing Common Core, FPACC was ready to make its voice heard in one of the most important states for 2016, and members opted to start at the top of the political chain to eradicate Common Core irrevocably.
FPACC asked all Republican presidential primary candidates at the Republican Party of Florida’s Sunshine Summit in Orlando to sign the pledge saying they would support ending Common Core.
Cruz was the first to put his name down (see below).
The education standards, which most states agreed to adopt in 2010, have become the center of intense controversy in recent years, especially within the Republican Party. With the exception of Jeb Bush, every GOP presidential candidate has voiced concern over the standards, which each claims represent a federal intrusion on American students.
That controversy has been especially profound in Florida, where the education standards were fully implemented last year.
“As the Republican Party of Florida begins its Sunshine Summit, Senator Cruz’s pledge provides needed leadership on the critical issue of education that so impacts the many residents and students of the State of Florida,” Luz Gonzalez, FPACC state coordinator, said in a written statement.
Gonzalez said Florida was one of the states most heavily impacted by the implementation of Common Core because it was home to so many large school districts.
“Florida is ground zero for the continued implementation of Common Core State Standards,” he said. “Five of the largest 12 school districts in the United States reside in the state of Florida: Miami Dade County Public Schools, Broward County Public Schools, Hillsborough County Public Schools, Orange County Public Schools and Palm Beach County Public Schools.”
Cruz’s support for ending Common Core comes as no surprise. It follows a lengthy vendetta against the standards.The Texas Republican has campaigned on a platform of promising to eradicate Common Core, slamming the standards as Washington-bred.
“We should repeal every word of Common Core,” Cruz said at an event in Florida earlier this year. “We should get the federal government out of the business of curriculum.”
Cruz has also said the problem with the standards wouldn’t be fixed by Washington politicians, indicating the real solution may come from the grassroots movement.
He was the only presidential candidate at the Sunshine Summit to officially put his name on FPACC’s pledge.
The Florida primary is four months away, on Tuesday, March 15.
Reach Allison Nielsen at firstname.lastname@example.org.