Update: Matt Bevin explains the investment.
Original: Matt Bevin, the Republican candidate running for Governor in Kentucky, has vowed to repeal Common Core in the state of Kentucky. That is awesome. Unfortunately he has a conflict of interest that runs counter to that promise and it is something he’ll need to explain.
The Courier-Journal reports that he is invested in a company that supports the Common Core.
Bevin owns part of an educational software company called Academic Merit, of Maine, that says on its website it differs from its competitors in how closely its products are aligned with Common Core.
“Academic Merit’s suite is different; we really mean what we claim,” the company’s website says. “Our tools are not retro-fitted versions of older material, but rather truly innovative solutions that have been built specifically for the Common Core era — embracing the new standards in both spirit and substance, while opening the door to new and better practices.”
In his successful campaign for the Republican nomination for governor, Bevin stressed his opposition to Common Core. His campaign platform says, “Kentucky must withdraw from the national Common Core Standards. … Local school boards, principals and teachers need the power to set standards and implement curricula that will best serve the needs of their students.”
Bevin campaign spokesman Ben Hartman said, “Academic Merit’s position on issues related to how they provide software as a product to customers and how it interacts with what is the reality of the situation doesn’t affect Matt’s position on Common Core. … If Matt’s elected governor, he’ll get them out of Kentucky’s public education.”
The Associated Press reported last week that Bevin did not disclose his position with Academic Merit and a second company (Bevin Bros. Manufacturing of Connecticut) in a disclosure form he filed as a candidate for governor this year with the Kentucky Executive Ethics Commission.
Obviously talk is cheap. If Bevin wins he will be under a lot of scrutiny to make sure he actually does what he promised lead Kentucky through a real Common Core repeal.