Ohio Gov. John Kasich believes opposition to the Common Core State Standards Initiative is “hysteria,” and does not expect his state's legislature to attempt to a repeal in this legislative session.
“I don’t expect anything like that,” Kasich told TheBlaze. “When you study the issue, you separate the hysteria from the reality.”
Last month, the Ohio Department of Education clarified that state law doesn’t require students to take the Common Core exam – the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers – allowing parents to opt out. But asserted opting out has consequences.
Students that don’t take state graduation tests cannot get a high school diploma, while third-graders that don’t take the reading exam could be retained. Because of this, the number of parents opting their children out the exam has reportedly been negligible.
Kasich, a Republican who has been mentioned as a potential 2016 presidential contender, said his state would proceed in further implementing the standards.
“We have carried it out. We have higher standards. We want our kids to perform better and do better,” Kasich said. “The standards are determined by our local school boards. There is total local control. I think there has been a hysteria about this that is not well founded.”
The Common Core K-12 math and English standards were developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Though not a federal program, the U.S. Department of Education has tied its “Race to the Top” school grants to states that have adopted the standards. Last year, three states – Indiana, South Carolina and Oklahoma – dropped the standards altogether, while others are either reviewing them or making changes.
Kasich insists the standards are local.
“The standards were established by governors and were established by education professionals at the state level,” he continued. “In our state, in order to get higher standards, which we all want in America, it’s up to the local school board to design the curriculum to meet the higher standards. We don’t know what would be wrong with that.”