Pro-Kasich Columbus Dispatch Defends Common Core

The Columbus Dispatch, published by a donor to Republican Governor John Kasich, continues advocating for the Common Core State Standards in both opinion and news coverage.

“Don’t weaken education,” the headline of an August 20 Dispatch editorial warned. “Common Core repeal is driven by fears built on falsehoods,” the column subheading asserted.

“A small group of Ohio lawmakers who are seeking to repeal the state’s new Common Core educational standards are doing so based on falsehoods, and if they are successful, it would be a tremendous setback for Ohio students,” the editors wrote.

Dispatch publisher John Wolfe is one of five members of the paper’s editorial board. Wolfe and his wife Ann have donated $59,000 to Gov. Kasich, a Common Core supporter, since 2010.

Wolfe is also vice chairman of Columbus Partnership and a member of Ohio Business Roundtable, two members of the pro-Common Core “Ohio Standard” coalition bankrolled by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

In the August 20 Dispatch column, the editors quoted leftist “fact-checking” outlet and cited Thomas B. Fordham Institute. The editors failed to note that Fordham is paid by Gates Foundation to promote Common Core.

“Ohio schools need the stronger standards of the Common Core. Ohioans should read the facts and demand an end to this ill-considered repeal effort,” the editorial board concluded after summarizing several Gates Foundation talking points.

In an August 24 news story, Dispatch reporters Catherine Candisky and Jim Siegel repeated most of the points their editors made in the opinion piece days earlier.

As with the paper’s coverage of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, the Dispatch has painted Common Core critics as misinformed and politically-motivated while quoting far more extensively from the program’s supporters.

“Just hours before hearings begin on legislation to repeal Common Core academic standards, supporters gathered at the Statehouse today, urging lawmakers to set aside the political debate and not be misled by the fears and myths,” an August 18 Dispatch news story began.

The latest promotion of Common Core in the Dispatch follows the trend set by an August 1 editorial titled “Common Core should stay,” and continues a month of news coverage emphasizing the challenges of dropping Common Core after schools have prepared for its implementation.