Education and the Presidential Candidates: John Kasich

Presidential Primaries are in full swing around the country.  The news and debates have reported some general education ideas and plans from candidates, but it’s all been very piecemeal.  For the next few weeks, we’re digging into what some of the candidates are saying about education and school choice.  We’ll talk about prominent candidates from both parties and give unbiased information and facts from reputable sources.

Segment 2: Republican Candidate, Governor John Kasich.

Governor John Kasich was born and raised just outside of Pittsburgh, PA.  He earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science from The Ohio State University in 1974, and immediately went on to seek out a career in politics.  His first big political break came several years later, when at 26, Kasich became the youngest person to be elected to the Ohio State Senate.  Kasich completed his four-year term before running for U.S. Congress in Ohio’s 12th congressional district.  He won and was re-elected eight times.  During his career as a congressman, he was a member of the House Armed Services Committee and ranking member of the House Budget Committee.  The Governor’s most notable act as congressman was balancing the federal budge in 1997; it was the first time since 1969 that it had been done.

Although a detailed plan is not given, Governor Kasich’s website has outlined his experience and ideas for improving education in America.  “Kasich’s principles on education stem from his belief in empowering parents, teachers, administrators and students in local communities - not education bureaucrats in Washington” (On The Issues, 5/27/99). He has supported key education reform and believes the system is in need of vast improvements.  He believes learning standards, a controversial Kasich topic over the past few years, should be kept at the state and local level as well.  While Governor of Ohio, Kasich strengthened the Third Grade Reading Guarantee to help intervene in the education and lives of at-risk students.

Governor Kasich is a strong advocate of school choice and competition in education.  “The reason America can boast the finest system of higher education in the world is because colleges and universities compete for the right to teach our children, and yet it's this very competition that's missing from our primary and secondary school system. The little red schoolhouses that sprang up in the eighteenth century are in desperate need of refurbishing, but there's no incentive to rebuild because the public school establishment has a kind of monopoly. There are private schools where the spirit of competition is alive and well, and more and more we're seeing families of means opt out of public schools, but many parents can't afford to make that kind of choice for their children. Why shouldn't every parent have the right to choose where their children go to school? Why shouldn't teachers have to compete for the right to educate students?” Kasich, J. (2006). Stand for Something.  “[We cannot] fix the public school system without opening it up to competition and parental choice. Our bureaucratic one-size-fits-all public school system has lost its ability to encourage and nurture the uniqueness of each child. [We should give] parents the power to send their child to the best possible school -- it is a civil rights issue. This will bring huge change to our public schools, but I do not fear this change. The only thing I fear in public education is the status quo,” Columbus (OH) Urban League Speech, May, 1999.

Again, Governor Kasich has not publicized an in-depth education plan, but solid information was found on his campaign website:

The Ohio eSchool Coalition is not affiliated with a specific political party, nor are we endorsing a particular candidate.  Please stay tuned for updates on other major Presidential Candidates.