The kickoff to the Ohioans Against Common Core effort has laid to rest the claim from Columbus bureaucrats that “the Common Core train has left the station”. From the sold-out event in Cincinnati to the overflow area in Columbus to the final stop in Cleveland, 1000+ Ohioans sent a message loud and clear; we will NOT accept this federal takeover of our children’s education.
Adding to Friday night’s momentum, was nothing short of providence; the Republicans committed an act of principle. Shortly before the Cincinnati forum, the RNC announced the passage of its Resolution categorically rejecting the Common Core Standards! Adding sharp contrast to the RNC position was the morning release of StateImpact Ohio’s article by Molly Bloom quoting Governor Kasich’s former education policy advisor and recently appointed State Superintendent, Richard Ross as saying “Ohio is not budging on Common Core”. Mind you, this was within a storyline detailing the quickly growing opposition to Common Core in Ohio. As our demands for fiscal responsibility and limited government continue to be ignored, Governor Kasich and his minions appear to be unmoved. Maybe such a response signals we can look forward to a change in party affiliation thus saving the expense of an incumbent gubernatorial primary challenge.
Saturday’s first forum began in Columbus where the debate-style format is believed to be the first ever Common Core public debate. The opponent panel had to be sized down in order for the supporters not to be outnumbered. As a result, Emmett McGroarty of the American Principles Project and Jamie Gass of the Pioneer Institute split the seat between presentation and rebuttal. Supporter panelist, C. Todd Jones, a Kasich appointment to the State Board of Education, showed his elitist hand early with his comment “the problem with Republicans is they don’t know when they’ve had a success”. And continuing in overt, condescending fashion proceeded to double down on what he perceived to be the ineptness of the audience for failing to see the wonders and benevolence of federal intrusion into education. Fellow CCS supporter Emmy Partin of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute was challenged by Jamie Gass as to whether the two million dollars they received from the Gates Foundation had influenced their review and support of the Common Core Standards and noted that after a twenty year involvement in Ohio education policy, Fordham has no notable reform success. State Rep. Andrew Brenner came out of the gate announcing his recent vote against Medicaid expansion, seemingly missing its obvious parallel to Common Core – upfront, debt financed federal dollars used to implant a federal program on the back of Ohio citizens. We desperately need some critical thinkers to infiltrate Columbus.
The three-city, two-day tour wrapped up in west Cleveland where the Q&A ran over by more than an hour as anxious parents, grandparents, teachers and administrators lined up to ask the most pressing questions. The audience included not only those from the area but also many others who drove 2-3 hours to hear from our panelists; one Columbus attendee driving more than five hours in order to participate. OACC distributed the immediate Action Item detailing how to pull the PARCC assessment language from the Governor’s budget along with documentation proving the role of the Feds and U.S. Dept of Education in directing and funding the Common Core Standards.
What we witnessed through these forums is proof that the American spirit is very much alive and when pushed far enough we will stand and defend our authority to govern ourselves and our children. We must continue to fight to preserve the most basic pillar of liberty, the right to raise and educate our children according to our values and principles. It is the essence of who we are and its preservation will determine who our children will become.