Rick Santorum Discusses Common Core

Former U.S. Senator and prospective 2016 candidate Rick Santorum met with a group of state legislators in Iowa and discussed education, his opposition to Common Core, and how those standards will not fix failing schools.

You can watch the video of his remarks here or below:

Transcription:

This also goes with the issue of Common Core which I know is a big issue in Iowa and a big issue for me.  I wrote a book called Blue Collar Conservatives where I talk about the importance of education.  Just in two books published that I talk about all of the time – one is from a guy from the far left named Robert Putnam, who wrote a book called Our Kids, he is a Harvard sociologist and is a liberal.    The other was written a few years ago by a guy named Charles Murray who is a libertarian from the American Enterprise Institute.  Those two books come to the same conclusion – that the principle problem of the hollowing out of America, the principle problem of children not achieving, the principle problem of us not being able to rise in the end and have the opportunity to pass centers around, primarily, the breakdown of the family.

And these are things that I was talking about, as you know, talking about the American family is the basic small business.  It is the first economic unit, and it is fractured.  And as a result what we are seeing is the left and the right coming together saying ‘we don’t know what to do about it’ and both basically concede that, but they realize that – and this Putnam saying this – if you come from a two parent family, from a neighborhood of two parent families and you go to schools in that community where most two-parent family kids go the chances of you succeeding are incredibly high in America and it doesn’t matter your race, color or creed.  They’re the same.  Let me repeat that they’re the same.  There is no racial differentiation if you come from that neighborhood.

Conversely if you come from a single parent family in a neighborhood of single parent families – that is important – you can be in a single parent family in a neighborhood where there is a mix, but if you come from a single parent family in a neighborhood of single parent families and the school is single parent families the chance, according to Putnam, the chance that you will rise to the top 20% of income earners, which is not the top 1%, the top 20% is 3%.  Now I don’t know about you, but that is something, if I’m a Republican, if I’m a conservative, if I’m an American that’s not good enough.  That’s just not good enough.

We need to do something about that.  It means stepping on some egg shells and saying, ‘you know what let’s start talking about the family, we need to start talking about what government is doing to hurt the family, what it is doing to help the family, what we can do as a community at large to try and help to reinvigorate this vitally important thing for our children.

Finally on education, I said that we don’t need Common Core.  I don’t know of any teacher in America who thinks that the reason we have drop out rates of 50% in our worst schools is because of education standards.  Education standards is not the problem in the schools that are failing.  The problem is that we do not have parents who are engaged with the education enterprise in their home and in schools.

I am as tough on public education as anybody, but I am sick and tired of the scapegoating of teachers and administrators as if it is their problem, and they’re the only reason schools are failing.  That is not true.  We all have to take and shoulder that responsibility.  We need to have an honest discussion about a revolution in education and the last thing that we need is elites in our culture telling us what should be taught in our schools.  What we need are parents to be fully engaged in that area, in every aspect, and begin to not just engage them, but talk about the importance of them for their children’s future and America’s future.