President Donald Trump’s counselor Kellyanne Conway last week claimed in an interview with CNN that the president plans to move ahead with his campaign promise to repeal the Common Core State Standards. But that’s a problematic assertion.
States adopt content standards like the common core; the federal government doesn’t get to choose for them. Washington also didn’t write the common core. There was intense debate during President Barack Obama’s administration about whether Washington improperly induced states to adopt the common core through programs like Race to the Top grants. Regardless of that debate, the president by himself doesn’t have the authority to scrap the standards.
What’s more, the 1-year-old Every Student Succeeds Act explicitly bars the U.S. secretary of education from influencing states’ decisions about standards.
A version of this article appeared in the February 15, 2017 edition of Education Week as Adviser Asserts President Will Repeal Common Core