Republican presidential candidate John Kasich suggested Wednesday that Republicans could improve educational outcome by depriving public school teachers of their private lounges. Well, at least if he were America’s absolute monarch.
“If I were, not president, if I were king in America, I would abolish all teachers’ lounges where they sit together and worry about ‘Woe is us,'” Kasich said at a summit on education held Wednesday in Londonderry, N.H. The summit was hosted by the education advocacy site The 74 Million and was moderated by the site’s founder, CNN reporter-turned-activist Campbell Brown. (RELATED: Bush, Kasich Defend Common Core But Won’t Say Its Name)
At least one education leader was decidedly unhappy with Kasich’s suggestion, as American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten savaged him via Twitter.
— Randi Weingarten (@rweingarten) August 19, 2015
Kasich made several more serious policy declarations during his appearance. He defended his continued support for Common Core English and math standards, saying he wouldn’t abandon what he thought were strong standards simply to appease others. (RELATED: Kasich Says Fellow Republicans Are Lying About Common Core)
He also went against the grain by saying that his fellow Republicans are making a “mistake” when they rail against the Department of Education, arguing that they are simply helping Democrats in the process.
“When we used the rhetoric that we’re going to kill the Department of Education, you know what independents heard? ‘Oh, so the Republicans want to kill education,'” Kasich said. “We’ve got to be careful with the way in which we use our rhetoric.”
Pledging to eliminate the Department of Education, which was only created in 1980, is a popular talking point for Republican presidential contenders. Rand Paul has promised to do so, as have Rick Perry and Mike Huckabee.
And then, of course, there’s Kasich himself. Back in the 1990s, when he was head of the House Budget Committee, he introduced a proposal to eliminate over a dozen federal agencies, including the Department of Education. Kasich didn’t hide from that position, though, as he directly cited his experience on the budget committee as the reason he now thought killing the department to be a bad idea.
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