President Donald Trump is looking to make good on his campaign promise to do away with the controversial Common Core federal standards implemented in all but a handful states in America’s public schools – stressing at his CEO Business Town Hall that local governments will soon reclaim their role of setting education policy.
The president made this declaration on Tuesday from the White House, where he insisted that federal officials should not hold a commanding grasp on public education.
“Common Core, I mean, we have to bring education more local,” Trump announced from the nation’s capital, according to Breitbart. “We can’t be managing education from Washington.”
He maintained that his sentiment over the Common Core is shared by public education officials from coast to coast.
“When I go out to Iowa – when I go out to the different states and I talk – they want to run their school programs locally, and they’ll do a much better job,” Trump stated. “And I like the fact of getting rid of Common Core. You know, Common Core – to me – we have to end it. We have to bring education local. To me. I’ve always said it – I’ve been saying it during the campaign – and we’re doing it.”
Trump’s newly appointed Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos shared this view on state’s dominion over education within their borders during an announcement just over a week ago.
“I believe in kids; I trust parents; I trust teachers; and I want to empower state and local leaders to do what's right for the children they served,” DeVos proclaimed in a press release at the end of March, reciting a message she orated to the National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA). “I believe any student can grow and thrive if given the chance to receive a quality education. For me, this is just common sense.”
She indicated that it is impossible for the federal government to know the specific needs of each state.
“My views have been shaped by my work in Michigan and in states across the country – just as each of yours have been formed through the lens of your own state,” DeVos continued. “You deal with the challenges facing your state every day. You know the unique needs of your economy and your citizens. That's what makes you – state leaders – so well equipped to solve these problems.”
During his town hall, Trump said DeVos is “doing a terrific job” meeting the high demands of public education.
“Highly respected, tremendous track record, but she’s got one of the toughest jobs of any of our secretaries, to me – she’s got one of the toughest jobs,” the commander-in-chief expressed.
Some conservatives expressed concern that Trump was giving more attention to pushing school choice after the election than to ending the Common Core, but after the president’s words on Tuesday, American Principles Project Senior Fellow Emmett McGroarty was pleased to hear his renewed pledge to return the control over education to the states.
“More than any other President – or even presidential candidate – ever, Donald Trump has empathized with our citizens – particularly parents – who have seen firsthand the damage done by federal efforts to shape and dictate education policy,” McGroarty said in a statement, Breitbart reports. “Today’s comments show that President Trump has not forgotten his promise to end Common Core and return to local control of education,” he added. “He is taking seriously the assurance he made in his Inaugural Address, ‘Today… we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American people.’”
It is believed that the effects of federalized education standards has had a detrimental effect on society – and on the economy, in particular.
According to, research divulged by Nichoas Eberstady in his book Men without Work, almost one out of eight able-bodied men in America is either unemployed – or altogether gave up looking for a job.
DeVos recently emphasized how – since the formation of the United States – states were intended to have more control over children’s education than the federal government.
“Federalism isn't an antiquated idea – our nation's founders reserved most powers, including education, for the states to exercise because they knew all too well that a distant central government cannot adequately address the needs of its people,” she announced to NLGA members, as stated in her press release.
“I share the founders' belief that those closest to problems usually know best how to solve them,” DeVos added. “We want to empower the states, the ‘labs of democracy,’ to innovate and solve the tough challenges they confront. That's precisely the idea behind the Every Student Succeeds Act, and it's why I'm a strong proponent of this bipartisan law.”
She then alluded to doing away with the highly problematic and widely disliked Common Core.
“As you've likely heard, this week we reiterated that the Department of Education will implement ESSA as Congress intended – by doing what's best for children,” DeVos recounted late last month. “We're rolling back the intrusive involvement of the federal government while restoring the freedom and flexibility state and local leaders deserve. No two states are identical. You know this better than anyone. The problems facing Rhode Island are different than those of South Dakota or California. We shouldn't insist the same solution will work everywhere, every time.”
The head of America’s education impressed that fact that the individuality of states – like the individuality of people – will be respected in the nation’s new education policy.
“Each of your states will submit state ESSA plans, and I expect each of them to be quite different,” DeVos noted. “And they should be. The plans should reflect the diversity of the states you serve and the unique challenges and opportunities they face.”
Should gov’t have any hand in education?
Florida Parents RISE Spokesperson Debbie Higginbotham attempted to set the record straight regarding DeVos’ interpretation of who should be making the decisions about education in America.
“Secretary Devos’s equating ESSA with ‘federalism’ as it relates to education is the central problem we all face,” Higginbotham told Breitbart. “There is zero provision in the Constitution – deliberately so by the founders – for the federal government to have any purview over education. It was – and is – an issue of local control and sovereignty.”
DeVos’s insistence that she is is a federalist at heart is not consistent with ESSA law, insists Higginbotham.
“It’s disturbing for the reason that if she holds a true belief in federalism, then she would urge Congress to write a bill that would truly allow the states to: take care of their students with proven, challenging educational standards; eliminate high stakes testing; invite local control of education policy at the school board level; and issue no penalty to the states for replacing the Common Core State Standards with a set of standards of their choice,” the conservative spokesperson argued.
Regardless of this contention about DeVos, McGroarty is looking forward to Trump taking the reins to do away with the Common Core.
“Every Swamp creature will unite to fight against the president on this, so his leadership will be critical,” McGroarty pointed out. “We look forward to seeing what steps the Trump Administration will take in the coming months to take power away from Washington D.C. and return it to parents.”
Even though most Republicans and other conservatives are behind dismantling the Common Core and promoting school choice, the Trump administration and politicians in the nation’s capital were petitioned by a recent panel of education policy professionals from the Heritage Foundation to not turn school choice into a federal program.
Currently, 42 states implement the federal education standards of the Common Core, according to the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) – a number the Trump administration is looking to diminish down to zero in the near future.