GOP Candidates: Education Records and Rhetoric

I previously posted and highlighted statements on education (school choice and the role of parents) of GOP presidential candidates. Today, I want to look at the record of the candidates choices for themselves and their children and compare that to their rhetoric.

Jeb Bush: is a proponent for school choice and his Foundation For Excellence In Education has been an influential advocate for school choice and education reform. Bush attended Andover Academy, an elite private prep school that his dad and brother also attended. However, he opted to spend his undergrad years at the University of Texas rather than an Ivy-League school. Jeb’s oldest son attended an elite private school before going to Rice University for his undergrad. Jeb Jr. on the other hand, attended University of Texas like his father. For the Bush family, school choice means making use of both public schools / non-elite higher education institutions and the best of the elite private schools. In terms of voting record though, there is no doubt that Jeb walks the talk. Here’s an article detailing his voting record and education reform initiatives.

Ben Carson: is a proponent for school choice. [source] He graduated from Southwestern High School, a public high school in Michigan. His personal story regarding parental engagement in education and the role of his mother is powerful: if you’re not familiar with, you can read it here. He attended Yale for his undergrad. Ben Carson’s son Murray attended one of Baltimore’s elitist college prep schools, McDonogh, before attending Yal. [source]. Ben Carson has no voting record to speak of. However, he did create the Carson Young Scholars nonprofit organization which has a program devoted to increasing reading and awards college scholarship funding.

Chris Christie: is a proponent for school choice and has often struggled to push voucher legislation through the Democrat-controlled legislature. [source] He graduated from Livingston High School (public) and did his undergrad BA at University of Delaware. Christie’s oldest son attended an elite school Delbarton and is now studying at Princeton [source]. Christie has a track record of pushing for school choice such as approving charter schools and pushing for tax credits and voucher programs.

Ted Cruz: is a proponent of school choice, calling it a civil rights issue. [source] He graduated from Second Baptist High School and then did his undergrad at Princeton. Cruz has only recently (as in, this year) gotten into the school choice movement, including sponsoring school-choice friendly legislation. [source]

Carly Fiorina: is a verbal proponent of school choice. She graduated Charles E. Jordan High School (public) after spending time in schools in London and Ghana. She earned her BA from Stanford University.

Jim Gilmore: is a somewhat unenthusiastic proponent of school choice. He graduated from  John Randolph Tucker High School (a magnet school) before doing his undergrad at University of Virginia.

Lindsey Graham: is a proponent of school choice. He graduated D. W. Daniel High School (public) and was the first person in his family to attend college, he did his undergrad at University of South Carolina. Graham has supported school choice legislation like this as early as the 1990s. [source]

Mike Huckabee: is a proponent of school choice. He graduated from Hope High School (public) and attended Ouachita Baptist University for his undergrad. Huckabee has been inconsistent in regards to school choice [source], and appears to be less committed to it in practice.

Bobby Jindal: is a strong proponent of school choice. He attended Baton Rouge Magnet High School before doing his undergrad at Brown. Jindal has supported and fought for voucher programs in Louisiana. [source]

John Kasich: is a proponent of school choice. He attended various public schools and did his undergrad at Ohio State. As governor of Ohio Kasich has pushed through several school choice reforms including vouchers and funding for charter schools [source].

Rand Paul: is a proponent of school choice. He attended Brazoswood High School (public) and spent three years studying at Baylor University (he left before earning a BA.)

George Pataki: is a strong proponent of school choice. He attended Peekskill High School (public school) before doing his undergrad at Yale. His daughter Allison (a published novelist) attended high school at The Hackley School (an Ivy-feed school for Yale) before her doing her undergrad at Yale.

Marco Rubio: is a strong proponent of school choice [source]. The son of immigrants who never graduated from high school, he attended South Miami, a public Sr. High School  and did undergrad work at Tarkio College and Santa Fe Community College before getting his M.A. from the University of Florida and his J.D. from the University of Miami.

Rick Santorum: is a proponent of school choice. [source] He attended various private and public schools before graduating from Carmel High School, a private parochial school. He completed his undergraduate degree at Penn State. Santorum’s children have made use of homeschooling as well as charter schools. Given his rhetoric regarding not having government involved in education as well as thoughts on public funding, some saw him as duplicitous for enrolling his own children in a state-paid-for PA charter school even while his resided primarily in Virginia. [source]

Donald Trump: is a vocal proponent of school choice. He attended The Kew-Forest School and New York Military Academy. He did his undergrad years at University of Pennsylvania. His children have attended various prep schools including Choate Rosemary Hall and The Hill School and have done their undergrad studies at Georgetown and University of Penn.


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