Yesterday won’t go down as my favorite day in politics. I was not allowed entrance to a Kasich campaign event…because they say I wasn’t on the list, but I say was because I wanted answers on Common Core.
For the past five years I have been a very vocal opponent of the expansion of government and fiscal irresponsibility. During the past year, my fellow small government activists and I have taken great issue with the adoption of the Common Core State Standards in our state. At many of Governor Kasich’s stops on the campaign trail, we have protested against Common Core.
Monday night at a Kasich rally to get out the vote in West Chester, Governor Kasich and the Butler County Republican Party chose to threaten me, rather than risk being asked about Common Core. I intended to ask the Governor a simple question: “Do you support aCommon Core? If so, why?”
I was invited to the event. I had RSVPed to the event. When I came to the door, I was turned away with a lie, being told I didn’t RSVP. I was told that if I didn’t leave the premises, the Voice of America Park in West Chester (my voting location), I would be arrested. I was not loud. I was not out of line. I was just a person who wanted answers.
I have learned today that the Kasich campaign said that we were removed for being disruptive. That is very far from the truth. We were peaceful and simply wanted to enter the event we were invited to attend. The Cincinnati Enquirer did a nice piece about how I was turned away from the rally.
Common Core is a very hot issue. Most of us have been affected by it. If you are a parent or grandparent and see the ‘base 10’ math homework come home in your children’s backpacks and can’t help them with it you are frustrated. If you are a taxpayer and hear that your school needs a levy because they need more money for technology in order to give the new tests, you are expected to pay for them. You hear things about Common Core’s data collection, about the involvement with Bill Gates and other influences from outside of Ohio.
Common Core is a set of standards that teachers use to instruct our children. It began in 2006 as an idea proposed by the National Governors Association (NGA), at the time headed by Janet Napolitano. With the help of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and several organizations funded by the Gates Foundation, the NGA created and pushed through the standards. Money from the Department of Education was promised and received if states adopted these “high-quality standards.” Common Core is currently being used in 45 of the 50 states, including Ohio.
One of the main problems with Common Core is Constitutional. Under the terms of the Constitution, the control of education is left to the states. The state of Ohio has complete control over the education of our children. The Ohio House is considering House Bill 597, which would repeal Common Core and replace it with a higher-quality set of standards. Our Governor and the Ohio Senate have not stepped to the plate either to consider repeal or to defend their decision to keep Common Core. Ohio has a chance to become a leader of education in the nation if our politicians have the courage to move forward.
There are many educational problems with Common Core. They are not considered by experts to be high quality standards. The writers of the standards did not do a good job integrating educational research into the expectations for Common Core. They are not rigorous, internationally benchmarked (as the creators claim they are) or research-based.
The National Republican Party, the Hamilton, Warren and Clermont County Republican Parties have all passed resolutions condemning Common Core. In previous interviews, Governor Kasich has repeatedly dodged the question about his position on Common Core. He states that he is for higher standards, but will not say if he thinks Common Core fills that bill. Yet the evidence remains: Our children in Ohio are being taught according to the Common Core State Standards.
We protest with signs and letters. We make phone calls. When we show up at public events to ask the Governor to express his views on Common Core, we are told to leave or risk arrest. We are simply looking for answers.