Ken Marsh, Democrat candidate for Sarasota County School Board – District 1, has spent 30 years working as a government employee in Manatee and Sarasota Counties. According to Marsh’s biography for the last twenty-years he has worked for the Sarasota County School District. Specifically the positions Marsh held were: Director of Long Range Planning (11 years), Supervisor of the Office of Research, Evaluation and Assessment (5 years), Acting Director of Quality Assurance and Student Assignment (2 years), Project Manager (1 year) and Supervisor of Student Services (1 year). Marsh has never been in the private sector, run a company or signed a paycheck. All his paychecks were courtesy of Florida taxpayers.
During the last three years of his career he was a key member of the District staff that implemented Common Core State Standards in Sarasota County. If anyone knows Common Core it is Ken Marsh. Susan Nilon did an interview with Marsh about his candidacy and his position on Common Core. Marsh tries to avoid the question but then, at Nilon’s prodding, states:
“I don’t hold to some of the conspiracy theories out there that it [Common Core] is a federal government takeover, I don’t believe in that at all. The [Common Core] standards are there, the curriculum is being developed, teachers are being trained, it [Common Core] is being implemented and for their sake, we need to continue doing that for the time being.”
Here is the audio clip of Marsh’s Common Core comments:
What is interesting is that Marsh states on his campaign website:
In just the past few years, state governments across the country have loosened the regulations that have bound some state agencies. In contrast, the Florida Legislature and the Executive Branch have added more and more regulations on public school districts, and they have constricted the ability of local school boards to expend their limited revenues wisely. Typically, such regulations do not improve education and, in some cases, actually result in hiring additional staff just to comply. We must work with our local delegation, with legislative leaders, and with the Governor’s Office to allow high performing districts – if not all districts – to be released from onerous and unnecessary regulations. [Emphasis mine]
Does Marsh think Common Core is a state take over of education? Apparently so, for it was the National Governors Association that pushed Common Core, at the behest of and with funding from the U.S. Department of Education Race To The Top (RTTT) funds. But March knows that, doesn’t he? If Marsh is correct then Common Core is the ultimate “onerous” over reach into local control by school boards by the state. It is the “unnecessary regulations” and testing that hampers the ability of teachers to teach, parents to have control of what their children learn and how school boards govern. But Marsh knows that, doesn’t he?
During the Nolan interview Marsh states, “I’ve been thinking about it [running] for about a year or so, as I got closer to retirement.” Is this not the ultimate government worker double-dipping?
Marsh is the only candidate who fully supports Common Core, unlike his opponents. Support it, heck he implemented it to a tee. The School Board can opt out of Common Core under the provisions of SB 864. SB 864 states, “The bill provides that a district school board has the constitutional duty to select and provide adequate instructional materials, and is responsible for the content of all instructional materials used in a classroom.”
Do Sarasota County voters really want a life long bureaucrat who supports Common Core on the School Board? We shall see on August 26, 2014.
EDITORS NOTE: To read all of the columns written by our contributors on Common Core click here.