How Not To Engage In School Reform

This topic has been addressed in many forms, but it’s relevant in more than one way. With the public school system having a myriad of issues to tackle going forward, alternatives are a good thing. At least most of the time. Those engaging in reform would do well to not replicate the mistakes that have been made already. However, Channel 9 reported this local charter school goes much farther and bolder than anyone could imagine. (Thanks to Tricia for the heads up).

It’s sad to think that this is commonplace in our society, yet there will always be another. For every sex scandal, there is embezzlement or violence hiding right around the corner. The private sector is no different from the public sector, except for in one important way. People can always choose not to engage in business with the private company. However, government provides no such alternative other than to move out of your city, state, or in the act of desperation, country. Let’s hope this group is unable to move forward with these types of “reforms” with taxpayer dollars. Perhaps the Q and A provided by Channel 9 explains some of those questionable behaviors for some readers, but there seems to be more questions than answers at this point.

After the State Superintendent scandal, the test scores scandal and these local scandals, what will it take for our citizens to realize there is major trouble in education (or our gov’t in general)?

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3 comments on “How Not To Engage In School Reform

  1. Quite a coincidence to your article while I was viewing what the State of Ohio is working on – http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2012/11/28/house-tweaking-schools-legislation.html

    Apparently there are groups upset by the above mentioned by the following Dayton Daily – http://www.daytondailynews.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/ohiopolitics/entries/2012/11/12/ohio_public_school_advocates_j.html/

    The question is why is there a coalition forming to object to reform as mentioned in the Dayton Daily News ? Something does not smell right. It is time to put the facts on the table and pull all players together to determine best practices and ideas. Thoughts ?

    • I’ve been sick the last week, so I’ve been trying to catch up on my articles. You beat me to it, as did someone else on the FB page. I still plan on writing something about it, but just not until next week.

      It’s not unlike interest groups to stake their claim before the budget fight that is bound to happen. Granted there are many good reasons to question these reforms, especially when there is no money to pay for new spending. However, these groups are not typically worried about where the money comes from, as long as the money keeps flowing (see levies or inside millage). They are all worried about this past budget and the cuts that finally made their way through Strickland’s (saved by the stimulus money), and the tax reform enacted by Kasich. After that double whammy and the SB5 debacle, these groups are pooling their resources and lobbying power. I wonder whether Columbus has the fortitude for another showdown, but I guess we’ll find out.

      These fights are not limited to these groups, as the districts themselves are not happy about who gets more from the state. As I had mentioned earlier in the comments, if WC received the $4900 per student that Princeton receives instead of less than $3400 (don’t quote me on that figure), there would be no need for a levy and a decent chance of busing returning as well. That’s not going to happen. If anything, I would expect to see Princeton coming down towards the WC level.

      Ohio was listed by Forbes as a “Death Spiral” state, which is not good company to keep with California and Illinois. The dispatch article discusses how the pub ed system here will be a failure if these reforms are enacted. This has been discussed here in the past. Ohio has low standards compared to the nation, and doing so will expose residents to this fact.

      Not sure if this means that education will all be privatized, but I sure hope it helps clean up the mess we have now. There is enough blame to go around, from unions to parents to gov’t. They each have a different priority, so we’ll see what shakes out in the next year or so.

  2. I recommend “Taxpayers Don’t Stand a Chance: Why Battleground Ohio Loses No Matter Who Wins (and What to Do About It)” by Matt A Mayer. All Ohioans should read this book. It puts in perspective Ohio’s past as an economic leader and how we have gotten to this point. With the results of the last election, we are steps away from becoming Illinois. We have to educate ourselves to the point of understanding the reason why we are here and take steps to get ourselves out from the ‘death spiral’. This book is a great start!

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