- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina said Wednesday that Common Core K-12 education standards are being overly influenced by testing and textbook companies and that the federal government is presenting states with a tough choice by tying grant funding to the system.

“Common Core may have started out as a set of standards, but what it’s turned into is a program that, honestly, is being overly influenced by companies that have something to gain - testing companies and textbook companies,” said Ms. Fiorina, a 2016 GOP presidential candidate. “And it’s becoming a set of standards not on what a kid has to learn, but instead on how a teacher has to teach and how a student should learn, and that kind of standardization is always going to drive achievement down, not up.”

Ms. Fiorina was speaking at an education summit in New Hampshire hosted by The Seventy Four, an education news site, and sponsored by the American Federation for Children.

She was preceded by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and followed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich, two Republican presidential contenders who support the standards, which many conservatives oppose.

“The states adopted it on their own and they were incentivized to do so because money flowed with it - I mean, that’s a heck of a choice,” Ms. Fiorina said. “‘Look, you do it our way, you get the money that you desperately need. You don’t do it our way, you don’t get the money you desperately need.’ Sounds like a bit of a racket to me, honestly.”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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