If The Plain Dealer’s Thomas Suddes writes that Ohio Democrat’s criticism of Governor Kasich’s education plan is silly and overreaching, than that’s pretty much all you need to know about it. Suddes is probably the PD’s most left-leaning columnist. He had this to say over the weekend:
First, hundreds of school administrators — people on the K-12 front lines — applauded Kasich on Thursday after he outlined the concepts underpinning his school funding plan.
Second, Ohio Democrats demonstrated an intellectual miracle. They denounced Kasich for fashioning his school plan in secret. Yet they also claimed to know so much about the plan that they could condemn it. So they did.
Indeed, Chris Redfern and Jerid Kurtz, you can’t have it both ways. When even Suddes says you look silly, that should be a clue to you.
Not to mention, the “crafted in secret” meme is also ridiculous. It’s not as if the plan is set in stone and ready to be implemented. It’s a piece of legislation. It will be debated thoroughly in the legislature for weeks. In public. By Democrats and Republicans.
Suddes recognizes this also, and then he gets to the real core of the issue. Democrats basically expected the Kasich administration to let the teachers’ unions write the plan, and eliminate all school choice provisions in it.
School choice — vouchers and charter schools — is only part (and a relatively small part) of Kasich’s plan. But school choice will draw more attention and fire from Democrats than much else Kasich aims to do. One of the marvels of American politics is how politicians that insist on a (prospective) parent’s right of choice in reproduction (which is, indeed, the law of the land) also imply that, if a woman decides to have a child, she shouldn’t have any choices about that child’s schooling. That’s hypocrisy of a very high order.
The “issue” isn’t church and state (with vouchers) or performance (with charters). The “issue” is that unions that donate to Ohio campaigns represent employees of state-monopoly schools. Children don’t have unions.
Governor Kasich crafted a plan that focuses on schools and students. Democrats think that he should have written it to focus on the demands of unions first. So they are squealing loudly, as the union bosses who fund them expect them to. Let them squeal. The applause from administrators who actually run Ohio’s schools is drowning them out.
Props to Suddes for calling out the Democrats’ hypocrisy and silliness over the new plan, which has received positive reaction from almost every school superintendent who has reviewed it.