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WASHINGTON, D.C., August 20, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Two Republican presidential hopefuls get an “F” on education policy because of their continued support for the controversial Common Core educational curriculum, according to a scorecard released by a conservative watchdog group.

Presidential hopefuls Jeb Bush and John Kasich were the only candidates to earn a failing grade among the field of 17 Republican presidential contenders in a new report released by American Principles in Action (APIA).

“Gov. Bush is perhaps the most outspoken supporter of the Common Core standards in the 2016 field,” the report states according to The Hill.

Kasich didn’t fare much better.

“Like Bush, Kasich is an unapologetic cheerleader for the Common Core,” the report states. “His only response to the large and active anti-Common Core grassroots operation in Ohio is to make fun of them.”

Common Core is a touchstone for Republicans, and they should be making a bigger deal of it,” the APIA paper states. “People are fed up with the Common Core and the terribly expensive and overbearing Common Core tests. They view the federal government’s involvement in education policy as a colossal failure that has harmed, not helped, children.”

Sponsored and heavily promoted by pro-abortion and population control billionaire Bill Gates, Common Core is considered controversial for many reasons, including questionable standard levels, ideological bias, as well as federal assumption of local educational power and statistical tracking of students beyond their academic results.

Introduced five years ago, Common Core slid in under the radar in 46 states with little public knowledge. As awareness of specifics grew, conservatives began to push back, more vehemently over time, and some states have repealed the standards.

Even though Common Core came about after Bush left the Florida governor’s office, he has promoted it through a foundation he established, as well as Jeb's role as director of Michael Bloomberg's philanthropy, which also funded Planned Parenthood.

Bush continues to defend his education record, deflecting concerns over his support for Common Core by saying the federal government should not interfere with local standards – something critics say is a contradiction.

Jeb has “propagated the false narrative that the Common Core standards are merely learning goals and are of high quality,” APIA says. “He has turned a blind eye to the reasons underlying opposition to Common Core and instead used straw-man arguments to dismiss opponents as relying on ‘Alice-in-Wonderland logic.’”

The report also states that Bush has maligned Common Core opponents as being motivated by politics, and as recently as last year he was clearly urging state lawmakers to support Common Core. Bush accused those opposed to Common Core of “resting on myths of federal involvement.”

“Despite some claims that Bush has begun to back away from his support of the Common Core,” the APIA paper states, “his recent statements make it clear that he has no intention of backing down.”

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has also disparaged those who resist Common Core, APIA says, stating he “has likened the grassroots opposition to the Common Core to a hysteria.”

“Kasich’s record in Ohio shows that as governor he has done more to violate the privacy of students than protect it,” the APIA report says.

The candidates’ grades were an average of three criteria: Ending the Common Core System; Protecting state and local decision making; and Protecting child and family privacy.

Runners-up for poorest scores on Common Core in the report on Republican candidates are Governors Scott Walker of Wisconsin and New Jersey’s Chris Christie, both with a D+.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Texas Senator Ted Cruz topped the field, both garnering an A-.

The full report card is below:

Ted Cruz: A-

Rand Paul: A-

Bobby Jindal: B+

Lindsey Graham: B

Rick Perry: B

Rick Santorum: B

Ben Carson: B-

Donald Trump: B-

Carly Fiorina: C+

Mike Huckabee: C

Marco Rubio: C

Chris Christie: D+

Scott Walker: D+

Jeb Bush: F

John Kasich: F

Former governors Jim Gilmore of Virginia and George Pataki of New York were not included.