Six GOP presidential candidates visited Londonderry High School Wednesday for a forum on K-12 education. The Republicans largely agreed that federal bureaucracy is behind many of the problems in public education and that more school choice is the solution.
But when it comes to Common Core, the differences begin to show. While most in the GOP field opposes the education standards, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush defended them, saying it is a matter of higher expectations.
“In my mind the debate needs to be broader," Bush said. "It needs to be about real accountability, school choice, high standards. If people don’t like Common Core, fine. Just make sure your standards are much higher than the ones you had before.”
Ohio Governor John Kasich joined other candidates in criticizing teachers unions, at one point joking that he would abolish teacher’s lounges. But he also made a softer appeal to Republican voters:
“I believe the lord watches what we do with our children," said Kasich. "And the more we dedicate ourselves to having those children rise and to use their great brains, to help heal this world and bring justice, the happier he is.”
Also speaking at the event were Carly Fiorina, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, and Chris Christie.
Outside the event, teacher’s union protesters described the summit as 'anti-education.'