The Daily Rundown
updated 6/11/2013 2:19:19 PM ET 2013-06-11T18:19:19

Republicans clash over an upcoming change in education policy. Emmett McGroarty from The American Principles Project says that the Common Core State Standards is a federal overreach.

Republicans are sparring over the role of the federal government in education.

Common Core State Standards, a set of math and English standards for grades K – 12 to be used in common across all states, are at the heart of their disagreement. At least 45 states have agreed to the standards which are set to begin next year. This initiative, developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, has also been endorsed by the Obama administration.

The Republican National Committee has called the plan an “inappropriate overreach to standardize and control the education of our children.”

But a number of Republican governors, including Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, Michigan’s Rick Snyder and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush are openly supportive of the standards.

“These standards, the common core standards, are clear and straightforward. They will allow for more innovation in the classroom, less regulation, equip students to compete with peers across the globe,” Bush said at a policy conference in Michigan last month.

Emmett McGroarty of the conservative group The American Principles Project said on Tuesday’s The Daily Rundown that his group disagreed with the standards.

“It is not the proper role for the federal government. What children are taught and how it’s taught is something that their parents should have a say in, something their teachers should have a say in. It’s a matter of local jurisdiction; it’s a state matter at most,” said McGroarty.

McGroarty criticized the quality of the standards and the process with which they were established. But his primary objection lied in what he sees as an overreach of the federal government.

“I am against the federal government having a role,” he said. “The federal role in education should really be limited to civil rights. That is making sure that civil rights of Americans are not infringed upon.”

On Wednesday’s The Daily Rundown, Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels will discuss his support for the program.

Video: Conservatives place focus on education

  1. Closed captioning of: Conservatives place focus on education

    >>> well, in today's "deep dive," reading, writing and republicans. conservatives are honing in on education. as the battleground for the latest fight with the federal government and turning in to an interparty squabble. the issue is long been a political hot potato fen most part the obama white house won bipartisan praise for handling the federal government 's role in education. that is at least until now. the argument right now is over something called common core divisional standards formulated by school officers and state governors. they cover english language , arts and math with plans in the works to create standards for other subjects, as well. the idea's to create a set of standards for kids from kindergarten to 12th grade for graduates for college or the workforce. the obama administration promoted the standards tying them to federal grants so to date 45 states voluntarily adopted the standards over the past three years and these standards have become a rallying cry for some members of the tea party movement driven by what they describe as government influence in the schools, conservatives have forced at least two gop governors in pennsylvania and indiana to put the program on hold. michigan legislators have been asked to whoeld funding and the rnc is calling the standards an inappropriate overreachment not all republicans on the same page. in fact, several are pushing back against the conservative criticism.

    >> too often people are looking to fight with someone for the sake of fighting so in some ways it's viewed as the federal government with a mandate on us and people don't realize the common core actually came from the governors.

    >> these standards, the common core state standards, are clear and straightforward. they will allow for more innovation in the classroom, less regulation, equip students to compete with the peers across the globe. do not pull back. please do not pull back from high, lofty standards.

    >> well, emmitt mcgorty is with the american principles fight and led the standard against the common core standards and joins me now. i look at the common core standards. looks like a basic, just a baseline. looks to me not imposing the will on states and local school boards of saying how you teach the programs or specifically teach but a baseline. is that not the proper role for the federal government ?

    >> no. it is not the proper role for the federal government . what children are taught and how it's taught is something that their parents should have a say in. it's something their teachers should have a say in. be part of the conversation. it's a matter of local jurisdiction, state , it's a state matter at most. it is not a federal matter. it is not a matter for private or special interest .

    >> what is your concern, though, about the states adopting sort of a basically the same core group of saying, okay, this is -- we're going to meet these minimum standards coming to teaching children on these basic parts of skill sets?

    >> well, there's a couple of concerns. one is the quality of the common core . so the common core is a value -- has been evaluated by a professor of stanford as putting american standards about two years behind the international competitors by eighth grade. likewise, the english language standards have been evaluated by professor dotski not preparing students. the quality of the standards are poor and then the process --

    >> what if the quality were better and you could sign off on it, you are making an argument then that you think there should be some sort of standard, are you not?

    >> well, i think the two things go hand in hand . the reason why the quality is bad is because the parents and their legislators, their state legislators were cut out of the process and when you cut the judge out of the process, you have to expect bad standards. they go hand in hand . we have talked to legislators across the state . none of them knew about the common core really until this issue started to arise. they didn't know about it. pushed in to the states without their consent. they weren't briefed on it. the states had very little time to evaluate the standards.

    >> is the issue less with the specifics of what the government is pushing and more with the idea that they have an idea at all?

    >> ultimately, it's about empowering parents and i think what we're finding in this country -- this is a mom-led movement, really, in state after state . what we're finding is that you dig down deep enough, there's a bed rrock of principles almost all americans agree on and includes the idea that parents should have a say in what their children learn and moms rise up against it and that's what the republican party 's struggling with now.

    >> so you think the federal government , no role at all? should it be zero role or what should the federal government 's role be in primary education ?

    >> h

    >> here's the problem. bush administration was big on accountable and never answered the question, accountability to whom? if you have accountability running the federal government , you don't have accountability running to parents and local officials. and that's what's happening. you can't have accountability running to the federal government and takes away the --

    >> sounds like you're not fully against the idea of the federal government having a role here.

    >> i'm against the federal government having a role. takes away authority --

    >> any role at all?

    >> any role at all.

    >> even minimum floors?

    >> the federal role in education should really be limited to civil rights . that's making sure that the civil rights of americans is not -- are not violated.

    >> access to school and education, period?

    >> yes.

    >> all right. 'em mitt, i appreciate you coming on. following your campaign.

    >> thank you very much.


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