GOP presidential contender Carly Fiorina tells a reporter in a video that surfaced Tuesday that Americans shouldn't fear competition with China because its people lack creativity.
Fiorina, while speaking out against Common Core education standards with the Iowa politics blogger Caffeinated Thoughts in January, said the policy isn't the answer to concerns that American students are lagging behind China's.
“I’ve been doing business in China for decades, and I will tell you that yeah, the Chinese can take a test, but what they can’t do is innovate,” said Fiorina, a former Hewlett-Packard CEO. “They’re not terribly imaginative. They’re not entrepreneurial. They don’t innovate. That’s why they’re stealing our intellectual property.”
The video was mostly unnoticed until Tuesday, when Buzzfeed shared it, along with an excerpt from Fiorina's 2015 book, Rising to the Challenge: My Leadership Journey, in which she makes similar comments about the Chinese.
Proponents of Common Core argue that we must compete with the Chinese in subjects like math and science. I agree that we must compete, but we will not win by becoming more centralized and standardized in our education methods. Although the Chinese are a gifted people, innovation and entrepreneurship are not their strong suits. Their society, as well as their educational system, is too homogenized and controlled to encourage imagination and risk taking. Americans excel at such things , and we must continue to encourage them. A centralized bureaucracy in Washington shouldn’t be telling teachers how to teach or students how to learn. Our states have been described as “laboratories of democracy.” They are also laboratories of innovation.