I have no plans to build a baseball field anywhere in Northwest Ohio. However I, along with fellow education advocates in the area, did construct something last week that was like our field of dreams. We set up a screening of the documentary “Rise Above the Mark,” set in Indiana, which chronicles the problems we’re dealing with in public education; over-testing, underfunding and unaccountable charter schools.
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Education is not how much we “put in the bucket” or how much material we cover, but rather, how much we inspire the students to fill the bucket on their own. A dentist does very little to prevent cavities, but their advice is what inspires us to brush and floss in order to avoid them. My high school Spanish teacher taught me very little of the Spanish I currently speak today with my wife and family, but she planted the seed of excitement to want to learn Spanish.
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Okay, so you really should give this a listen. It’s the story of a school district in New York where a motivated majority takes over the school board. They do it in order to destroy the public school system. So? Why should you care? Ohio isn’t New York. Because it’s a working model of how a group of people, duly elected, can go about destroying a public school system with impunity. It’s a model that can be adapted to work anywhere. Continue reading →
American journalist Walter Lippmann once said, “Successful politicians are insecure and intimidated men. They advance politically only as they placate, appease, bribe, seduce, bamboozle or otherwise manage to manipulate elements in their constituencies.” Most people’s viewpoints aren’t quite as cynical as Mr. Lippmann’s, but the simple truth is that some politicians do try to manipulate […] Continue reading →
This time, four years ago, we had no idea what was coming as a result of the November 2010 elections. Unfortunately, we now know the ramifications of that election. We know that it doesn’t matter whether you’re an educator who is Republican, Democrat or Independent. The education mandates of the last four years apply to all of us equally. We know what happens when we elect people who don’t value public education, who are more loyal to charter profiteers than to Ohio’s children. With all that has happened in the last four years, is there any doubt how critical this November’s elections are? Continue reading →
Normally, the first thought about a labor dispute is that it is about salary and benefits. That really isn’t the case in Reynoldsburg. This is about what is the best learning environment for our students and giving our students, our parents, and our community the schools they deserve. Continue reading →
I’m looking over Gallup’s “State of America’s Schools Report.” There’s a lot of interesting stuff in it and you should probably read it. This statement caught my interest: Among employees in 12 different occupational categories Gallup surveyed in 2012, K-12 teachers were the least likely to agree with the statement, “At work, my opinions seem […] Continue reading →
Recently, I received another email from a colleague that all of her school district’s libraries will be manned by paraprofessionals next year. The position of “certified school librarian” is being eliminated entirely. This has become an-all-too common scenario in the state of Ohio. Teachers and service personnel are often shocked to learn that the Ohio […] Continue reading →
It was Tip O’Neil who made popular the phrase “All politics is local.” No adage has been more accurate in describing school board races, in big cities or small, across America, until recently. Education reformers have decided to pump big dollars into school board races in cities across states like California, Colorado, Tennessee, Michigan, and […] Continue reading →
Is it time for Ohio to revisit the part-time faculty, collective bargaining issue in higher education? The Mid-Biennium Review calls for Higher Education funding to be tied to student completion of programs and degrees. Is this fair to our higher institutions, including community colleges? Weigh in with your comments on the OEA blog. Continue reading →