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Texas Gov. Rick Perry: The Anti-Obama on K-12?

By Alyson Klein — August 09, 2011 1 min read
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So I’m sure you political junkies have heard by now that it looks as though Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is planning to run for president. He could announce as soon as Saturday.

A Perry run has all sorts of edu-implications, since Perry is pretty much the anti-Obama when it comes to K-12 policy. His state was one of just four that sat out both rounds of the Race to the Top education reform competition. (The other three were Alaska, North Dakota, and Vermont for all you RTTT trivia buffs.)

And Texas is one of two states that never ever even considered signing onto the Common Core State Standards Initiative. (More background here.) In fact, the more the administration pushes Common Core (possibly through waivers from parts of the No Child Left Behind Act), the more they may potentially be giving Possible Eventual Nominee Perry ammunition to attack Obama for trying to start a national curriculum. (Can’t you just see the campaign ads?)

Plus, Perry’s recent prayer vigil is already fueling debates about the separation of church of state, which could run right into a number of K-12 issues.

Another interesting fact about Perry: He’s a Republican from Texas, but rumor has it he isn’t very well-liked among former Bush administration officials. Many of these Bushies now advise GOP candidates on policy and would seem to be likely candidates to serve in another Republican administration.

For a much more definitive look at Perry’s track record on K-12 and how it stacks up against Obama’s, check out my colleague Sean Cavanagh’s excellent State EdWatch post from back in May. And this week, Sean is in San Antonio covering the National Conference of State Legislatures’ annual meeting, where Perry is scheduled to speak tomorrow. Be sure to check State EdWatch for details.

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