The education mess in Ohio under Gov. John Kasich

From The Answer Sheet at The Washington Post by  Valerie Strauss

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is campaigning for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination by touting “successes” in his state, including his education record. But a look at that record offers a somewhat different picture than the one he paints. In fact, some see a real education mess created by the Kasich administration since he took office in 2011.

What does that mess look like? Issues confronting public education in Ohio include:

*a scandal-ridden charter school sector
*budget cuts for traditional public schools at the same time as increased funding for  charter schools and school vouchers
*controversial state takeovers of “failing” schools
*a questionable teacher evaluation system that uses as one factor the standardized test scores of students, against the recommendation of assessment experts
*the botched administration of the Common Core test known as PARCC (which the state later dropped).

Kasich’s campaign website highlights his education record, saying in part:

For American students to be prepared for success in an increasingly competitive global economy, they must receive strong education support from parents and educators, including high expectations — especially in math and English. John Kasich has put this priority to work in Ohio. He has also reinforced that education is a local responsibility, not one to be micromanaged by federal bureaucrats. Additionally, he has expanded school choice, worked to prevent students from dropping out and is helping make college more affordable.

Yet he has alienated many teachers. As an expression of how some Ohio educators feel about Kasich, teacher Mary Hufford was quoted recently by theCincinnati Enquirer as saying:

“Since Kasich took office, my teaching world has been falling apart. The joy has been sucked out of the classroom, because everything is driven by the (state) test.”

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