Tag Archives: school choice

The Kasich Files: a scandal-ridden, failing education system

Another installment examining John Kasich’s woeful record as Ohio Governor, in advance of the “reasonable” candidate’s appearance in Colchester on Saturday. 

Previously in this space, I wrote about the disgrace of John Kasich’s push for school choice in Ohio. Last summer, the state official in charge of school choice was forced to resign after submitting fraudulent statistics to the federal government — statistics designed to conceal the fact that charter schools weren’t working. The disgraced official “admitted scrubbing data on failing… charters to improve their standing.”

Bow Down Before Your Benevolent Overlord!

Bow Down Before Your Benevolent Overlord!

(By the way, the wife of that disgraced former official? She used to be Kasich’s chief of staff, and is now a top staffer in his presidential campaign.)

Well, there’s more bad news on Kasich’s sorry education record, courtesy of a Washington Post article entitled

The Education Mess in Ohio Under Gov. John Kasich

The Post ticks off a lengthy list of failures and cover-ups, including:

*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).

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A closer look at the “reasonable” Republican candidate

Ohio Governor John Kasich is offering himself to the good people of New Hampshire as a pragmatic, optimistic, kinda-centrist manager: a guy who can Get Things Done and Work With Others. His campaign schtick even convinced MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who called him “real and reasonable-seeming and relatable-seeming.” And:

If some voters up here are looking for authenticity in their candidate, well, just as a political consumer, a political observer who’s been up to New Hampshire for a lot of primaries and seen a lot of these events, I can see how New Hampshire voters see authenticity in John Kasich.

Yeah, well, not so fast. John Kasich is a veteran politician. He is presenting himself as relatable and reasonable, but his actual record in Ohio tells a very different story. His administration has been nearly as hard-right dogmatic as those of Michigan’s Rick Snyder or Kansas’ Sam Brownback. And just about as successful, too. When you open the attic of Kasich’s Ohio, there’s an awful lot of spiders up there.

“Out-of-state media are oblivious to the disgrace at the Ohio Department of Education.”

Those words are from the keyboard of Toledo Blade columnist Marilou Johanek. She’s writing about Kasich’s scandal-plagued education reform effort, which centers on that favored right-wing nostrum, school choice. His (ahem, former) school choice director, David Hansen,

… engaged in a fraudulent scheme to boost the evaluations of some charters. Mr. Hansen, whose wife worked as the governor’s chief of staff until she left to manage his presidential campaign, admitted scrubbing data on failing online and dropout recovery-charters to improve their standing in the state.

Wonderful. If charter schools aren’t working, then cook the books!

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