by Emmett McGroarty
At an education summit in New Hampshire on Wednesday, Governor Kasich reaffirmed his decision to stick with the controversial, low-quality Common Core standards. In defense of his decision, he offered the following:
I’m not going to change my position because there’s four people in the front row yelling at me, I’m looking at all the facts and not getting all my information from the Internet.
But a September 2014 Columbus Dispatch poll of 1,185 registered Ohio voters found 43 percent of respondents were opposed to the Common Core standards with 26 percent in favor. The other 31 percent didn’t know enough about the standards to make an opinion.
In other words, out of the 817 people who were familiar with the standards, 62 percent were opposed. Gov. Kasich, that’s not “four people in the front row.”
You have to wonder whether Gov. Kasich really cares at all about what is good and true about education, much less about the views of parents and other citizens. He has been the governor of Ohio since 2011, yet he perpetuates the factually challenged talking points that “governors themselves” wrote the standards and that “[t]he local school boards have adopted the standards, and now the curriculum is being written by local school boards.”
It is inexcusable for a governor to countenance a state’s abdication of its duties in favor of the actions of a private association like the National Governors Association—owners of the Common Core. No governor—and for that matter no state—should do that. If Kasich is incapable, or unwilling, to defend the integrity of citizen government, he should not be governor. And he should not be president.
Likewise, Kasich’s statements regarding curricula betray, at best, a reckless disregard for the facts. Under “No Child Left Behind,” states must implement statewide tests and standards in certain core subjects. This puts a heavy hammer over the heads of school districts to use curricula aligned to those standards and tests.
In his defense, perhaps Kasich is just repeating the talking points of Common Core special interests. But is that a good defense for one who has been a sitting governor since 2011 and who wants to be president?
Emmett McGroarty is the executive director of APIA Education.