John Kasich is wrapping up his second term as Governor of Ohio and likely his career in public service. In a moment of reflection, he recently quipped, “I've tried to change two institutions during my career. One is the Pentagon and the other is the education system. And I've largely failed on both.”
His influence on military reform is best left to someone else to analyze, but let’s dig into his education record. What follows are a few of the most noteworthy K–12 reform efforts—in no particular order—occurring under his watch and a brief assessment of their likely long-term impact.
Instituting A-to-F school grades
Governor Kasich’s first term included establishing a few significant academic accountability measures, most notably A-to-F school grades intended to make school quality data clearer and more useful for parents and the general public.
Implemented in phases over several years, A-to-F school grades have ruffled more than a few feathers. The pushback has been strongest in suburban areas where schools sometimes receive lower grades than popular perception would suggest they deserve. The complexity of some of the graded measures combined with the sheer volume of grades received by each school cuts against the purpose...