Chris Christie is the first of the potential GOP presidential candidates who first embraced Common Core to distance himself from it.  According to New

Navigating New Jersey interests and a likely presidential campaign, Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday proposed dropping national Common Core education standards he once supported but have since become a lightening rod issue for Republican voters.

The governor, speaking at Burlington County College in Pemberton, declared Common Core is “simply not working.” Christie wants to assemble a team to develop a state-based group to develop “new standards right here in New Jersey, not 200 miles away on the banks of the Potomac River.”

That Common Core doesn’t work—can’t work—is no surprise to those of us who oppose it, but it is interesting to see that Christie has changed his tune as he struggles to rebuild his reputation with conservatives.   When he was pushing Common Core in New Jersey, Christie lashed out at its opponents:

“We are doing Common Core in New Jersey and we’re going to continue,” Christie said in 2013. “And this is one of those areas where I have agreed more with the president than not. I think part of the Republican opposition you see in some corners in Congress is a reaction, that knee-jerk reaction that is happening in Washington right now, that if the president likes something the Republicans in Congress don’t. If the Republicans in Congress like something, the president doesn’t.”

While he wasn’t as insulting as Jeb Bush has been about Common Core’s opponents, he was dismissive and unwilling to hear the case against Common Core.  Examples such as children failing Common Core math problems because their numbers weren’t “friendly” enough, the arguments against Common Core’s “dumbing down of standards,” and theoretical arguments concerning problems with Common Core’s “compartmental learning” fell on deaf ears.

Watch as Christie explains his rationale for turning on Common Core:

Of course, only two years ago, he was singing Common Core’s praises:

At CPAC earlier this year, he did signal some regrets:

It’s interesting to hear him talk about the “heavy foot of the federal government” in the same breath that he talks about the problems of implementing federal standards on a state and local level.  He’s not opposed to that heavy foot, remember he’s at CPAC, and he’s clear that it’s the specifics of this particular set of federal standards that he’s reconsidering.  He’s still the same big government guy, but at least he may see that Common Core is a bad idea.

While I’m somewhat skeptical of this change of heart, it is entirely possible that Christie is sincere.  After all, after five years of Common Core’s failures, he can surely see what all of us saw before it was even implemented.

It will be interesting to see if Jeb Bush follows suit or if he digs in his heels about Common Core as he has about amnesty.


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