- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Wednesday he and fellow Republicans made a “mistake” in the 1990s when they tried to eliminate the federal Department of Education, saying independent voters heard that and concluded Republicans were anti-education.

Mr. Kasich, one of the large field of candidates for the GOP presidential nomination, also defended his state’s involvement in the controversial Common Core education standards, saying they helped raise standards and improve the curriculum in his state, which had suffered from a low bar.

“When we used the rhetoric that we’re going to kill the Department of Education, you know what independents heard? Oh, so the Republicans want to kill education. We’ve got to be careful with the way in which we use our rhetoric,” the former chairman of the House Budget Committee said.

Instead, he said the federal government — and the next president in particular — have a duty to foster a conversation about best practices among the states.

Mr. Kasich was one of a number of candidates from the GOP field, chiefly governors, appearing at an education forum hosted by the American Federation for Children and the Seventy Four, another education advocacy group.

Mr. Kasich, in his second term as governor, also said he would combine dozens of federal education programs into a single grant back to states, make sure they’re using the money for education rather than using it “to pave roads,” but let the states make the key decisions.

“Fundamentally, we need to begin to transfer money and influence and power out of that town,” he said.

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