Kasich Isn’t for Local Control in Education

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)
Ohio Gov. John Kasich (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

While in New Hampshire, Ohio Governor John Kasich told “Fox News Sunday” that he is “for total local control” when it comes to education.

CNSNews.com reports:

“I propose taking 104 federal education programs, putting them into four buckets and sending them to the states. I have been clear from the very beginning that I support high standards and local control. That’s exactly what we do in Ohio. Our state school board approves the standards, and the local school boards are the ones that create the curriculum,” Kasich said, adding, “I am for total local control.”

That sounds great, but his record doesn’t indicate he would actually do that, as he has supported top-down initiatives for his state like the Common Core State Standards and PARCC.

Ohio has since stopped using PARCC, but let’s be clear — that was a state legislature-initiated move. Ohio still has a Common Core-aligned assessment.

Here is what we do know from Kasich’s record — he is one of two presidential candidates to receive an ‘F’ on our Common Core report card.

Emmett McGroarty wrote specifically about Kasich’s record:

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….

….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.

This doesn’t sound like someone who is for “total local control” — unless it’s total local control of your student’s data.

Shane Vander Hart is the online communications manager for American Principles Project, a frequent contributor to TruthInAmericanEducation.com, and the editor of Iowa-based CaffeinatedThoughts.com.