Former Arkansas Governor wrote in 2013 that Common Core state standards are “near and dear to my heart,” Gotnews.com has learned.
The pro-Common Core stance of the former governor is of new interest now that Huckabee is contemplating a run for the presidency in 2016.
Here’s an article from the Tulsa World from June in 2013.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee urged Oklahoma lawmakers to resist throwing out new educational standards the Legislature approved back in 2010.
In a letter to Oklahoma lawmakers this week, he said the Common Core state standards have been “near and dear to my heart” since he served as governor in Arkansas.
“And it’s disturbing to me there have been criticisms of these standards directed by other conservatives, including the RNC (Republican National Committee). The truth of the matter is, these criticisms are short-sighted.”
Apparently, Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, caught Huckabee’s attention when he led a protest movement against the standards by voting down a common education bill the evening before the legislative session was set to adjourn.
Because the bill passed in the Senate but not the House, spending decisions now will be left up to State Superintendent Janet Barresi and the state Board of Education. Barresi has informed lawmakers she would allocate funds as if the funding limitation bill had passed.
The Common Core education standards are set to take effect in 2014.
Shannon said he changed his mind on Common Core education standards because the more he learns about it, the more “it appears to be another vehicle for federal control of our public education system.”
Common Core is a states led effort to provide educational curriculum standards that are consistent throughout the country, beginning with English and math. The aim is to ensure all students are subject to the same benchmarks and that children get a deeper and more rigorous education.
Oklahoma is among 45 states and three U.S. territories that have adopted the standards.
The Republican National Committee passed a resolution opposing the standards in April, despite the support of high-profile Republicans such as Jeb Bush, who helped craft the standards.
“Like many of you, I’ve heard the argument that these standards ‘threaten local control’ of what’s being taught in Oklahoma classrooms,” Huckabee wrote. “Speaking from one conservative to another, let me assure you this simply is not true.”