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Mike Huckabee Urges Conservatives to Back Common Core Standards

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination back in 2008, came out swinging on Tuesday in defense of Common Core Standards in education. He sent a letter to lawmakers in Oklahoma, urging them to support Common Core.

Its disturbing to me there have been criticisms of these standards directed by other conservatives including the RNC, Huckabee wrote. The truth of the matter is, these criticisms are short-sighted.

Like many of you, Ive heard the argument these standards threaten local control of whats being taught in Oklahoma classrooms, continued Huckabee. Speaking from one conservative to another, let me assure you this simply is not true. States and local school districts will determine how they want to teach kids, what curriculum to use, and which textbooks to use.

These Common Core State Standards evolved as governors and state leaders were talking about what we could do together to raise standards not a Washington solution, but a voluntary effort on the part of the leaders of the states. In fact, conversations about these standards began long before President Obama occupied the White House, Huckabee insisted. Common Core State Standards are a state-driven solution to address the large number of high school graduates who have to take remedial courses in college. In your state of Oklahoma, six out of every 10 students who go to college need remedial courses. Thats a lot of money being thrown out of the window by families whove worked hard to be able to send their child to college. Imagine finding out your childs ACT test score wasnt high enough to get her into college, or that she, if she did get in, ended up taking two semesters worth of classes that dont count toward her college degree. That means youre paying university prices for what your child was supposed to learn for free in high school.

Huckabee, who is generally regarded as a social conservative instead of an economic one, insisted that Common Core would help gear students toward future jobs.

From an economic and workforce development perspective, these standards are critical. Innovation driving the successful companies in Oklahoma requires them to have the best people, Huckabee wrote. That means having an education system that consistently delivers a quality education so that every child graduates high school prepared for college and career. These standards ensure Oklahoma remains competitive in the race to attract companies with the highest paying jobs for Oklahomans that deserve nothing less. Not only do these standards help the Oklahoma economy, they also help the families serving our country. Children of military families will not fall behind when their parents, whove chosen to defend our freedom, are asked to move from Fort Benning, Ga., to Fort Sill in Lawton or Vance Air Force Base in Enid.

I hope youll join me and other conservatives, including many Oklahoma parents, educators and business leaders, in making it known these standards are valuable for our future, Huckabee wrote in conclusion. Theyre not something to be afraid of; indeed, they are something to embrace.

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