Gubernatorial Candidates on Education

The biggest issue facing education in the United States right now is the Common Core State Standards initiative.  Public schools in participating states must agree to implement the common core standards, evaluate students with one of the two common core aligned assessments, evaluate teachers based, in part, on student performance data, and must gather and transmit numerous “data points” to the US Dept of Education and any other third parties as directed by the US Dept of Ed.

Virginia is not a full participant in the CCSS initiative, yet.  The only thing preventing us from becoming a full participant is Governor McDonnell, whose term is in its final days.

If Virginia becomes a full participant in the CCSS initiative, what our children are taught, how they’re taught it, how their achievement is evaluated, and what information about them is shared with the federal and state government and unnamed third parties, will fundamentally change.  Any promised reforms of testing or standards will be nullified as the rules and guidelines established by the CCSS initiative and the US Dept of Ed will be the rules we have to follow.

In lieu of the potential impact on public education in Virginia if Virginia were to become a full participant in the CCSS initiative, you’d think the gubernatorial candidates would have something to say about them in their campaign platforms, but they don’t.  The candidates’ opinions on the CCSS aren’t anywhere on their campaign web sites and they haven’t been asked about it in any of the debates.

So I asked them.

I spoke with and emailed representatives of each of the candidates.  I asked them all the same question and received confirmation that the responses I’d recorded accurately represented their candidate’s opinion.

Here’s what I asked them:

“The Common Core State Standards establish a shared set of academic content standards and assessments for Math and Language Arts that have been adopted by 45 states.  The Virginia Department of Education has aligned our state Standard of Learning for Math and Language Arts with the CCSS, but we are not a fully participating CCSS member state.  Virginia becoming a full participant in the CCSS initiative would require a number of things above and beyond shared academic content standards. Those things include, but are not limited to, adopting the CCSS as our state academic content standards, purchasing and implementing CCSS aligned instructional materials in public school classrooms, utilizing one of the CCSS aligned assessments to gauge student learning on the schedule and in the manner proscribed by the consortia developing those assessments, and gathering and reporting any data required to the US Department of Education.

Do you believe Virginia should fully participate in the Common Core State Standards initiative?”

Here are their responses:

Robert Sarvis
Sarvis has innovative ideas for reforming public schools, but he wants the focus of his policy to be greater choice and freedom in educating children, fostering open and competitive markets in educational services, freeing teachers from administrative hurdles and standardized tests, rewarding good teachers and the value they create, and prioritizing actual learning over technology, fads, and seniority. He is against further funding or oversight by the federal government and against further alignment with centralized planning by govt or NGOs. Instead, he believes choice and competition are the key to improving educational outcomes at lower cost.

Terry McAuliffe
Forty-five states have adopted the CCSS.  There appears to be value and benefits associated with fully participating in the CCSS initiative.  Terry has not made a decision either way on Virginia’s participation in the CCSS initiative.  Once elected, Terry, his team, and his education task force will carefully evaluate all of the information about the CCSS before they make a decision.

Ken Cuccinelli
Virginia has a long history of establishing its own standards, which are often higher than the national standards.  Ken is calling for a revision of our SOLs.  The states that have adopted Common Core Standards have come across significant difficulty in the implementation.  We do not intend to adopt the Common Core Standards in place of our SOLs.

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15 Responses to “Gubernatorial Candidates on Education”

  1. Ken Reynolds Says:

    I think Terry’s approach is the correct one. LOOK at all the variables……….DO NOT decide in advance that Virginia’s loner approach is better and refuse to join the national effort!!

  2. Jane Doe Says:

    I think the CCSS are horrible. 11 of the 45 states that were bull whipped into adopting them are considering withdrawing and parents and teachers across the nation are complaining about them.

    I think Ken’s got the right idea.

    As for Terry – how could he not have an opinion on something this important? He’s promising all sorts of reforms, but won’t be able to deliver any of them if he forces Virginia to go all out for the CCSS. He’s either stupid or hoping no one will notice the political game he’s playing, neither of which are characteristics I look for in a Governor.

    Ken’s got it right.

    • Ken Reynolds Says:

      THIS Ken likes Terry’s approach………..when he is Governor, he will formalize a policy……….not jump on an ideological driven platform developed by and for ideologues like the OTHER Ken wants to do

      • Jane Doe Says:

        Seems to me like carpetbagger Terry’s policy is the one that’s ideologically driven and is disingenuous. Terry knows enough about the CCSS to think they have merit and value, but not enough to know if Virginia should adopt them? Terry promises to reform the SOLs and testing and teacher evaluations, but none of the reforms he promises will materialize if Virginia adopts the CCSS. Talk about false promises!

        Terry is lying to Virginians and hoping no one will call him on it. He’s playing ignorant, but his supporters and the out of staters bankrolling his campaign all stand to profit from the CCSS. If he’s elected the reforms he implements will be mandating the CCSS throughout Virginia.

      • Ken Reynolds Says:

        I understand Terry is from Syracuse but has lived in Virginia for 20 years. I’m from Buffalo and have lived here for 40 years……..so i guess i must be a carpetbagger…………maybe the fresh air from upstate ny makes us think a little more clearly. Cooch of course is from NJ…and very clouded in his thinking and actions. November will tell!!!

      • Jane Doe Says:

        Really? But has Cuccinelli considered running for Governor of NJ? Terry considered running in Florida, New York, or Virginia. He’s raised more money from out of state donors than in state. His car company that was supposed to be built in Virginia moved to Mississippi and then to Mongolia.

        How many federal investigations is Terry under right now for this company?

        Let’s see – we’ve got the Dept of Homeland Security investigation into selling Visas to Chinese nationals. That’s one.

        And we’ve got the SEC investigation into McAuliffe and his pals for illegally soliciting funds from foreign investors, namely Chinese investors, for his Green car company. That’s two.

        How many federal investigations are there of Ken? That would be zero.

        As for his habitual lying, well look at Franklin Pellets (google where is Franklin Pellets). To hear Terry talk, the company has been a huge success! I’m not sure how he defines success as the company hasn’t broken ground, hasn’t hired a single person, and hasn’t produced a single pellet, despite working for over two years on the project. Even the US government, which considers giving money to companies with going concern audits a wise decision, has halted payments to Franklin Pellets.

      • Ken Reynolds Says:

        You folks are digging very, very deep into existing or alleged investigations (Homeland Security??? I hadnt heard of that one – did someone make that up because of the legally provided VISA program?) I too share concerns with Cooch about abortions…..but that and weather and federal health care legislation seem to occupy Cooch’es mind…I like Terry…..business, political and world-wide, he has much more depth in my humble opinion!!!

      • Kari C Says:

        Please, Ken. Terry knows full well what he’s doing. Terry supports the CCSS and will make Virginia a full participant. He’s politically savvy enough not to say this because it will become an issue, so he’s playing dumb and hoping the citizens of the state won’t notice. He’s a master manipulator and a liar. Plain and simple. Virginia will become Maryland under him.

      • Ken Reynolds Says:

        Sorry Kari……….calling him a LIAR says much about YOU. And saying Terry will make Virginia into a Maryland………simpleton comment!!!

  3. Blog Comment Tracker Says:

    Another hard-core leftist – Ken Reynolds – trying to act like a “moderate” and hoping no one will be able to tell the difference. Just like McAuliffee, he can’t disclose what his true opinions are left everyone discover what a raving moonbat he is.

    • Jane Doe Says:

      I think Terry already knows what he thinks about the CCSS and Virginia. I think Terry believes Virginia should fully participate in the CCSS but can’t admit that because that would piss off too many Virginian’s. So he’s playing us.

      How could he not have an opinion on the CCSS? As important as they are and as big an impact as they will have on public education in Virginia, how could he not have an opinion? I don’t think he’s a stupid man – I think he’s a political scheister trying to pull the wool over Virginian’s eyes.

  4. Ken Reynolds Says:

    Blog Comment Tracker………this is an awesome day for me: hard-core leftist, moderate, raving moonbat!!! Come up with substance not name calling! I am a MODERATE!!! amen…………and i am NOT a RAVING MOONBAT~~~

  5. JD Says:

    I think it’s rich for a man like Terry, who sends his kids to private school, to think he has a clue about public education. Ever notice how all these stupid Democrat liberals talk a great talk about public education, but put their kids in private school? Can you say hypocrite?

    • Ken Reynolds Says:

      No, it sounds like Terry is a responsible parent…..he and his wife have children, live in a suburban community and pick out the best school, consistent with his financial resources, that is best for each of his children. Now isnt that what most of us do? One bastardizes the term hypocrite………i mean like some may also be called idiots!!!!


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