Senator-turned-presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s emerging education platform could be described, in a nutshell, as Not Jeb Bush (aka the only other Republican, who has, so far, made it clear publicly that he’s seriously pursuing the nomination.)
Cruz announced, via twitter, early this morning that he’s planning to make a White House run in 2016, while Bush said earlier this year that he’s forming an exploratory committee.
First and foremost, Cruz is no fan of the Common Core standards initiative. In fact, in speaking at Liberty College in Virginia about his plans this morning, Cruz reaffirmed his stance against the standards. “Imagine repealing every word of Common Core,” he said.
Bush, on the other hand, has vehemently defended Common Core even amidst GOP backlash. (Bush has made it clear, however, that he’s not in favor of the way the Obama administration championed the standards, both through the Race to the Top program and later through waivers from the No Child Left Behind Act.)
And, as a Senate candidate, Cruz said he’d like to eliminate the U.S. Department of Education, although he’d preserve some key functions of the agency, like teacher training, according to this examination of his position by PolitiFact and the Austin American Statesman. That’s several leaps beyond where Bush would go—the former Florida governor has made it clear he’d like to put states in the driver’s seat on accountability.
And while Bush has made education a signature (if not the signature) issue of his political career, Cruz hasn’t introduced any education bills since coming to Congress in 2013. He is, however, a co-sponsor of the “A-plus” Act, which was officially introduced by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and would allow states to opt-out of accountability altogether. Plus, Cruz signed onto a resolution by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. taking aim at the common core standards.