Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) strongly defended a set of education standards that have sparked controversy among conservatives across the country.
“In my state of Ohio, we want higher standards for our children and those standards are set and the curriculum is set by local school board,” Kasich said during an appearance on Fox News Sunday, referring to the Common Core education standards. “[W]e have a problem with the education standards and our children’s ability to compete in the world….I don’t know how anybody can disagree with this, unless you’re running for something.”
Funded by grants from the Gates Foundation and other philanthropic organizations, the Common Core are math and language arts standards developed for grades K through 12. Though the idea for national education standards that would prepare all students for the workforce has been around since the mid-1990s, the state standards were a product of two governors — Sonny Perdue, a Republican from Georgia, and Jack Markell, a Democrat from Delaware — who, working through the National Governors’ Association, advocated for their adoption. Major teacher unions and 48 different states sent teams of educators and teachers to take part in writing and debating the goals.
Eventually, 45 states and Washington D.C. adopted the Common Core with the same process used to adopt previous standards, though some have since pulled out of the guidelines, arguing that they constitute a federal takeover of education and impose a “one-size-fits-all education policy that assumes every students learns exactly the same.”
But Kasich explained that Obama “doesn’t set” the standards.”The state of Ohio doesn’t set it. It is local school boards driving better education, higher standards, created by local school boards,” he explained. “I’ve asked the Republican governors that have complained about this to tell me where I’m wrong. And guess what, silence.”
On Saturday, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AK), who is also considering a 2016 bid, backed away from the Common Core standards he once supported. “Folks, what Common Core may have originally been was a governor-controlled states initiative to keep the fickle federal fingers of fate off of education,” Huckabee said during a press conference at Rep. Steven King’s Iowa Freedom Summit. “It has morphed into a frankenstandard that nobody, including me, can support.”