Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina Bashes Common Core: 'Overly Influenced By Companies That Have Something to Gain'

Education standards exacerbate crony capitalism


Carly Fiorina Twitter

Carly Fiorina made several excellent criticisms of the Common Core national education standards during her remarks at the New Hampshire Education Summit on Wednesday:

Common Core may have started out as a set of standards, but what it's turned into is a program that honestly is being overly influenced by companies that have something to gain, testing companies and textbook companies, and it's becoming a set of standards, not on what a kid has to learn but instead on how a teacher has to teach and how a student should learn, and that kind of standardization is always going to drive achievement down, not up.

Of all the knocks against Common Core, the charge that it is a crony capitalist cash-grab for education companies may be the most justifiably enduring. As I've explained previously, powerful companies that stood to profit from widespread adoption of Common Core have won arguably non-competitive bids to supply Core-aligned materials to schools. Insulated from market competition, these actors have failed to deliver a workable product for students.

While raising schools' standards is an aspirational goal, the transition has proved to be a massive disruption for many students. Consider the Los Angeles Unified School District, which spent millions of dollars on a disastrous iPad initiative but wasn't able to procure Core-aligned math textbooks for sixth and seventh graders. Since the new standards make substantial changes to what kids are supposed to learn at each grade level, having the wrong set of textbooks is a nightmare. Indeed, students all over the country are experiencing the joy of having a textbook that teaches one thing, a standardized test that measures something else entirely, and a hopelessly confused teacher caught in the middle. Common Core is exacerbating the very problems it was intended to fix.

Several other Republican candidates spoke at the Education Summit; unlike Fiorina, not all of them oppose Common Core. Jeb Bush, for instance, is an ardent backer, though he has muted his enthusiasm to match dwindling Republican support for the standards. Education Next's 2015 poll, which I wrote about yesterday, showed that just 49 percent of the public like Common Core. That's down 15 percent since two years ago. Teachers are even more against Common Core than the general public, although much of that opposition is directed toward mandatory standardized testing rather than the standards themselves.

Related: "The Populist Uprising Against Common Core Is Libertarian and It's Winning."

NEXT: Jeb Bush Wants to Compromise on Mass Surveillance—By Giving the NSA More Spying Power

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  1. Funny, back when I learned math, it was just….math. And English – English was just….English.

    Oh, they still are – but now you have to teach it THIS way.

    Yeah – that’ll be super useful and helpful and….

    1. Here’s your math lesson for the day.

      Women pro basketball players make less than men pro basketball players. Do you think that’s fair? Write a 1000 thousand word essay in which you must use the words sexism, gender neutral, and unfair at least 10x each.

      See, 1000 words and 10x. There’s your math lesson. Now get to it!

      1. I have people who do math for me now….


      2. Isn’t a 1000 thousand words 1,000,000? That’s a damn long math essay.

        1. No, 1000 words. There are just 4 words that you have to use at least 10x each. So there’s 40 mandatory words and you still have 960 words left.

          There’s the 2nd math lesson of the day.

          1. You . . . you didn’t do well in your English classes, did you ?

            1. Wut? I no get it….

              1. “Hyperion|8.19.15 @ 5:31PM|#

                Here’s your math lesson for the day.

                Women pro basketball players make less than men pro basketball players. Do you think that’s fair? Write a 1000 thousand word essay in which you must use the words sexism, gender neutral, and unfair at least 10x each.

  2. So, Carly, are you speaking out against cronyism here? And if so, how do you intend to educate the unwashed masses about it? I mean, I think most of them think that free market capitalism and cronyism are the same thing.

    What do you think about the war on drugs, the NSA, and bombing Iran?

    These are things I need to know if you expect my consideration for a vote.

    Anyone see answers to any of that here:

    Carly for Prez

    Oh, and yes, I hear you have a vagina. I don’t care about that. And I don’t care if you like that I said that either. So now you know where we stand.

    1. *notes Hyperion as a “maybe” for Fiorina*

      1. Her site is just so much fluff. It looks sort of like a resume and cover letter. Where is the link where she writes about the issues?

  3. Common Core sucks. A teacher at my kid’s school not only teaches to the test, but teaches the actual test the day before the test is to be administered. But, hey, test scores are up so whatevs.

  4. I actually agree with her about something.

  5. Zombie food…..ish-brain/

  6. She sucks considerably less than when she ran for Senate.

  7. Or maybe everyone else just sucks more. I don’t know.

  8. When teachers teach differently than the parents were taught, then it makes it difficult for parents to help their kids with the work. Which of course is the point, since is strengthens the bond between the kids and the agents of the state, while weakening the bond between parent and child.

    1. Insightful point. And we know that student achievement correlates with parental involvement more than ANY other factor.

  9. I like her style. She’s in a target-rich environment, and is pretty much “weapons-free”. She’s got “VP” tattooed on her, erm, forehead.

    I like her take on Common Core. Rather than going the tired old route (whatever its validity) of a proggy fedgov takeover of education, she’s bashing the crony capitalist angle. Well played, sister.

    Not really sure where she is on the issues that I care about. Hard to believe she’s worse than the other major party candidates (excepting St. Rand, of course).

    1. I don’t think she’ll be worse than the other candidates, except for Rand and maybe Cruz. Just expect her to totally suck on foreign policy, the war on drugs, and some other things in typical GOP fashion.

  10. How does testing at year end do anything to help the kids who just sat through a year’s worth of schooling and failed the test? As most course work builds on knowledge presented in, say, the previous week, wouldn’t it make more sense to test continually (weekly maybe) to see if students are getting the concepts? Then if the kids aren’t, the teacher can go back and review and reteach the weak areas. So maybe the kids only get through lesson plan seven of ten for that year, but that’s better than finding out many kids have been lost since lesson one.

  11. Abolish public schools and make them all private. Problem solved!

  12. that honestly is being overly influenced

    I honestly hate when a person begins a statement by saying “honestly.” I would prefer, “Lyingly, you are a handsome man, Mr. Juggler.”

    Otherwise, the answers she gives are a breath of fresh air.

  13. Fiorina seems more and more like the most appealing candidate in the entire field.

    And i say that as someone who normally wages a perpetual, scorched-earth War on Women. She’s alright for a broad!

    1. So, one bag or two?

    2. You’re just saying that cause you want to nab her as your VP candidate before Almanian does.

      1. I do not seek the trappings of power.

        I simply seek to operate my Orphan Slave-Labor Outsourcing Firm, my Blood-Diamond-&-Coltan-Mining-Consortium, my Mercenary-For-Hire Training-Company, and my High-Speed-Derivatives-Trading-Operations in peace, like any other good, monocle-wearing citizen.

        1. You did not seek it Gilmore, but it is being thrust upon you! Take up the mantle and assume your birthright. Become the Libertarian Mexican Ass Sex Pot Jesus you were born to be!


          no trappings of power, but already a list of acronymable agencies.

          Fuck off, slaver.

  14. Fiorina also came out for ‘MJ federalism’ and I heard she wants to abolish the federal minimum wage. She’s looking better.

    1. Suggested Shaun King memoir titles (collected from Twitter during the Rachel Dolezal brouhaha)

      Yes I Tan

      Trading Races

      As I Lay Dyeing

      The Unbearable Whiteness of Being

      A Pigment of My Imagination

      A Raisin in the Tanning Bed

      The Color Purple-ish

      The Pursuit of Nappyness

      1. Yes I Tan.

        Making fun of people with speech impediments. Real classy.

        1. Lighten up, Francis.

          Or I will taunt you a second time!

    2. “The suspect fired on police”

      Lemme guess: that’s the po-po account of it and GWP is reporting that as fact like good little boot-lickers.

      1. Some sources say “fired,” some say “pointed”:

        Chief Sam Dotson says two young armed male suspects ran out of the back of a home near the intersection of Page and Walton in north St. Louis on Wednesday. Two police officers executing a search warrant chased the suspects running from the home.

        Officers told the suspects to drop their weapons. Police say one of the suspects raised his gun and pointed it at officers. One of the officers then shot at the suspects. The other officer then fired three more shots. The injured man in his 20’s continued running until he collapsed. Police say the other suspect got away.

        A stolen gun from Rolla, MO was recovered near the suspect’s body.

  15. I thought we were supposed to celebrate diversity. Nothing could be more conducive to this diversity celebration than a uniform program of indoctrination in government schools.

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