Ohio Governor John Kasich went on the attack on Sunday against top Republicans who have rejected Common Core, claiming they have switched positions purely for political gain, even when they know the attacks made on the standards are false.
Common Core has been a popular punching bag for many Republicans seen as 2016 presidential contenders. Rand Paul, Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker and Mike Huckabee have all taken their turn bashing it.
The most common line of attack claims that Common Core, which began as a shared initiative between many state governments, has become a means of federal control forced upon states by the Obama administration. Jindal has been a particularly strong proponent of this argument, filing a federal lawsuit against the government claiming that Department of Education incentives such as Race to the Top amounted to an illegal effort to nationalize curriculum.
Kasich, however, said on Fox News Sunday that such attacks are bogus, and accused his fellow governors of not merely being wrong, but also of being dishonest.
“These were governors who helped create Common Core,” he said. That up-close involvement means they know Common Core wasn’t Obama-driven.
“The Common Core was written by state education superintendents and local principals,” Kasich said. “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 boards. Barack Obama doesn’t set it, the state of Ohio doesn’t set it. It is local school boards driving better education, higher standards, created by local school boards.”
Kasich said the narrative of Common Core’s creation is so clear that foes have been unable to genuinely challenge it.
“I’ve asked the Republican governors who have complained about this to tell me where I’m wrong, and guess what, silence,” he said.
Kasich said their skepticism is almost certainly political rather than genuinely ideological in nature.
“Part of the problem is today politicians, are running to try and get votes,” he said.
Kasich himself has been touted as a possible 2016 presidential candidate, and his defense of Common Core wasn’t the only thing he said Sunday that may make him stand out. He also continued to defend his expansion of Medicaid in Ohio under ObamaCare, saying he could not “turn his back” on groups such as the mentally ill and very poor.
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