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Dem Candidate For Governor: Freeze Part Of Third Grade Reading Test

Ohio’s Democratic Candidate for Governor is calling on Republican Governor John Kasich to halt the third grade guarantee. He also wants more money for public education.

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald told members of the state’s largest teachers union that there are things state leaders need to do to help public education be successful in Ohio.

FitzGerald called for "A higher degree of state funding, a move away from failing charter schools and more accountability of charter schools, less of an emphasis on this high stakes testing which is not going well," adding, "the writing is on the wall that it is going to be problematic."

In fact, FitzGerald thinks it will be so problematic that he’s calling on Governor Kasich to put a moratorium on the 3rd grade reading guarantee, which would hold students back if they fail. He told the teachers’ union that idea is coming from its members.

"They don’t want to oppose the concept that third graders should read at grade level.  Everyone agrees with that.  It’s how do you roll it out?" the candidate said.  "If you roll it out without the resources and the planning, then you basically are going to fall into this trap of high stake testing without the providing the resources for people to actually succeed.  What the Governor is doing is he is underfunding education and the substitute for that is just arbitrarily declaring unfunded mandates and policies that we are going to have good schools because we said so.  It’s not going to work."

Chris Schrimpf, with the Ohio Republican Party,  said Governor Kasich is investing in public education. Schrimpf called it "shocking the Ed FitzGerald does not want to insure that every third grader knows how to read before advancing to the fourth grade."

Accoding to Schrimpf, "Under Gov Kasich, education funding has increased by 1.3 billion dollars and that’s an increase in funding that the Democrats opposed."

Schrimpf says FitzGerald talks a big game on education but has proven that he’s all talk.

What you don’t hear from Ed FitzGerald is any sort of concrete plan of how he’d improve public education and that’s probably because he doesn’t have one.

FitzGerald has the endorsement of the Ohio Education Association.