(Last part)

Governor Strickland lays out the case as to why he’s the first real education Governor in Ohio:

And even as we acknowledge the sincere shared sacrifice we have endured in recent years, we shouldn?t lose sight of the fact that we have accomplished some things that no other state has been able to do.

We have followed a plan and defied our circumstances to protect our investment in the future.

California recently announced a 32 percent tuition increase at its state universities.  Ohio has held tuition to the lowest increase in the nation over the last three years.

That?s one important reason we now have 65,591 more Ohioans enrolled in our public colleges and universities than we had in 2006.

Next door in Indiana they are in the process of slashing 300 million dollars in state funds from their primary and secondary schools. In Georgia, school funding was cut by 440 million dollars. And at least twenty other states are inflicting serious cuts on their school systems.

But in Ohio, in Ohio, we are not going backward on our schools.  Using a combination of state and federal resources, we increased school funding by 5.5  percent in the last budget.

I believe in Ohio because we recognize that a superior education starting from the earliest age is the only path to sustained prosperity.

So we passed a historic education reform plan last year that gives our students and our taxpayers a system that is constitutional, accountable, and incomparable.

Using an evidence-based approach, we have defined the resources our students need inside and outside the classroom. We have redefined our expectations and our practices with one core purpose in mind ? to prepare our students to become critical and creative thinkers who will thrive in the workplace and in life.

This month Education Week issued its annual report card on the nation?s schools.  The study looks at more than 150 indicators of school quality.

And Ohio?s schools now rank 1st in the Midwest and 5th in the nation. The report notes that Ohio?s standards for mathematics and science have been cited as a model by other states and that our assessment and accountability practices are among the best in the nation.

Our Closing the Achievement Gap initiative has raised expectations and achievements of African American students. Over the first two years of this effort, participating school districts achieved a more than 18 percent increase in the overall ninth and tenth grade promotion rate.

The highly respected Education Commission of the States studies schools and school systems across the country.  And they present an award for innovation to the state that has best improved education and put in place what they call ?bold, courageous and nonpartisan new policies.? Just today the commission announced that their award for the most innovative education system in the country goes to?Ohio in recognition of the comprehensive education reform we created last year.

John Kasich’s education plan is no different from Ken Blackwell’s.  Again this is an issue that Kasich is not going to get much traction on.

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