The Common Core Report Card: John Kasich Gets an F

In our Common Core report card, we graded John Kasich and all of the GOP candidates based on the three following criteria: fighting the Common Core, protecting state and local decision-making on education, and defending child and family privacy. Then we averaged the three grades together for one final grade.

What does each grade mean?

A … Champions the issue, e.g., offers legislation, makes it a centerpiece issue.
… Professes support, but has not provided leadership or otherwise championed it.
C … Has neither helped nor hurt the cause.
D … Has an overall negative record on the issue.
F … Robustly and consistently works against the issue.

So how did John Kasich do?

Ending the Common Core System: F
Protecting State and Local Decision Making: D-
Protecting Child and Family Privacy: F

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (photo credit: Michael Vadon via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)
Ohio Gov. John Kasich (photo credit: Michael Vadon via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Overall Grade: F

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

In May of last year, Governor Kasich said on a Cleveland radio program that the Common Core Standards were “written by local school districts.” Governor Kasich continues to be an ardent proponent of the Common Core standards — one who hook, line, and sinker accepts the false talking points of the Common Core developers, owners, and funders. Regarding Common Core, on June 4, 2015, Kasich said:

That is not something that Barack Obama is putting together. …It’s local school boards developing local curriculum to meet higher standards. I cannot figure out what’s wrong with that… To a large degree, it’s a runaway Internet campaign, as far as I’m concerned in Ohio.

During his remarks at the National Review Institute’s Ideas Summit, Kasich once again perpetuated the falsehood 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.” Kasich has shown no sign of backing away from his vocal and misguided support of the Standards. Additionally, Kasich 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. Kasich’s 2014-2015 biennial budget created a $250 million fund to provide grants to various educational groups for the development of innovative educational programs. Unfortunately, the 350 school districts currently participating in the program are required to share extensive amounts of personally identifiable data on the students and their parents without their knowledge or consent.

The types of educational records to be shared can be “any information recorded in any way, including but not limited to; handwriting, print, computer media, video or audio tape, microfilm and microfiche.” The Data Sharing Agreement offers no safeguards to protecting the privacy of the participants stating, “[the] School District may disclose Personally Identifiable Information from an Education Record of a student or parent without consent if the disclosure is to organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational agencies or institutions to improve instruction.”

The data shared with the authorized third parties are not anonymous or disaggregated in any way. According to the Data Sharing Agreement, researchers can have access to a student’s “social security number, biometric identifier, or student number.”

On the issue of student data privacy, Kasich has exploited, not protected, the students and families in Ohio.

Emmett McGroarty is the executive director of APIA Education.