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November 4, 2015 - Heidi Huber Helps Anti-Common Core Matt Bevin Win Kentucky Governor's Race

In a win that is, hopefully, very good news for the people of Kentucky, most especially its parents and children, Matt Bevin won the Kentucky governor's race. Bevin has been an outspoken critic of the Common Core State Standards. In fact, Heidi Huber, founder of Ohioans against Common Core, lent her support to the Bevin campaign in a key ad run during the campaign.

True to form, the mainstream media isn't even bothering to mention Bevin's position on Common Core as a potential factor in his win. Here at Resounding Books, we suspect it may have had a significant impact on the outcome of the election. Kentucky, along with New York, was ahead of most states in implementing the Common Core. But despite growing public sentiment against the standards, the state's leadership has essentially done little more than double down on the initiative and stick to the questionable line that Kentuckians overwhelmingly support the intiative. Seems entirely possible to us that Kentuckians were tired of having state leadership speak for them and took matters into their own hands at the ballot box yesterday.

Which brings us back to Heidi Huber...

Huber has been a dynamo in the fight against false education reform, both in her own state and nationally. In a movement that has plenty of reasons to have grown extremely cautious about the words of candidates and politicians, it says something powerful that Huber--a woman one might call a super-activist in education matters--supported Bevin in such a public way. Education, she notes in the ad, is an inside game. She's right. That she sees Bevin as someone outside of the game and committed to changing it is encouraging. Now that Bevin has won his race, he'll have an opportunity to prove to the good people of Kentucky and interested folks watching across the nation whether Huber's perceptions of him in relationship to education are correct. We hope to be able to applaud his efforts.

A concern: Bevin reportedly has an interest in establishing a voucher program and advancing charter school initiatives. Should he read this post, we would simply warn him that when money starts following the child, so do regulations. Though vouchers ostensibly seem like a good idea to many, they turn out, on close inspection, to be a back door to further corruption and state control. We would thus warn Bevin away from that angle.

More considerations for newly elected Governor Bevin: In many states, corporate charters turn out to be just another avenue for the delivery of false education reforms and are too easily controlled by the state. The only difference between deliving Common Core through a public school versus through a corporate-run charter school tends to be that a private corporation running a charter school is able to siphon off the money that would otherwise have gone to a public school or district. Moreover, charters are often governed in a way that further reduces the input of parents. 

Finally, in many states, so-called accountability laws have been set up to function as tools via which to drive all educational channels--public, charter, voucher, and home schools--under the same umbrella of control. As such, they will lead, in the end, to complete homogenization under a centralized, standardized system.

So, Bevin will need to be careful about how he defines school choice and any avenues that he attempts to create to achieve it. While we certainly want to see local control enhanced, educational options increased, and parental rights restored, there are a number of routes that appear on the surface to achieve those things that will, ultimately, only result in the status quo...or worse.

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