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Three-Quarters Of Teachers Have Hungry Students

It probably doesn't help students learn, let alone take the all important raft of high stakes standardized tests, when they are hungry. And according to a new report, plenty of them are.

Three-quarters of America’s teachers have students who routinely show up to school hungry and half say hunger is a serious problem in their classrooms, according to No Kid Hungry’s annual educator survey.

Here's the report from Share Our Strength

NKH_TeachersReport_2013

Investing in education is Key to Ohio's Future

Investing in education is the key to Ohio's long term economic and social prosperity. That's the message from a new study performed by think tank Policy Matters.

Over the last 30 years, median wages have fallen in Ohio as growth in our education levels has not kept up with other states. This paper finds a clear and strong correlation between the educational attainment of a state’s workforce and median wages in the state, providing more evidence that Ohio should invest in education.

Analysis shows no relationship between tax rates and strong state economy
States that invest in a well-educated workforce will see returns in higher-wage jobs and a more productive economy, according to a paper released today by the Economic Analysis and Research Network.

The report, “Education Investment is Key to State Prosperity,” found a strong link between educational attainment in a state and both productivity and median wages. Expanding access to high-quality education will create more economic opportunity for residents and do more to strengthen a state’s economy than anything else a state can do, study authors found.

“States have fewer tools to build a strong economy than the federal government does, but states do play a major role in education – one area that turns out to be crucial for building a high-wage economy,” said Noah Berger, report co-author and president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. At the same time, the paper found no clear relationship between a state’s tax rates and its wages. Ohio has cut taxes repeatedly over the past dozen years with little positive effect on the economy, but continues to underfund education.

“This study provides more evidence that Ohio should invest in education,” said Amy Hanauer, executive director of Policy Matters Ohio, EARN’s Ohio partner. “Over the last 30 years, median wages have fallen here as growth in our education levels has not kept up with other states.”
The report has some key findings
  • Overwhelmingly, high-wage states have a well-educated workforce.
  • Cutting taxes undermines states’ ability to invest in education.
  • Education has suffered as state economic development wars have escalated.
  • Median wages in Ohio have fallen over the last 30 years, while the state lags most others in growth in educational attainment.
These findings are in contrast to the policies currently being pursued by the Governor and his legislative allies. Even the Dispatch, a long time supporter of the Governor has began to notice that his policies are not working
Ohio has lost government jobs at a steeper rate than most of the United States since January 2009, and the cratering public sector is having a negative impact on the state’s overall economic recovery.

During the past 4 1/2 years, a period that includes the end of a national recession, Ohio has shed 47,900 federal, state and local government jobs for a 6 percent drop, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Only California, New York and Florida have lost more government jobs, and Ohio’s drop percentage is more than triple the national median rate.

Most of Ohio’s public-sector pain has been felt at the local level — think police forces, firehouses, road crews and schools — where 45,100 jobs have been lost, an 8 percent decline.

Ohio has added 10,100 net jobs in that time, counting all nonfarming employment.
We clearly need a new direction, one that prioritizes what works over what doesn't. One that fully funds an education for all of Ohio's students, so we can secure our future.

Failing charter schools are growing in Ohio

Innovation Ohio has produced an analysis showing that while the latest budget continues to starve traditional public schools of funding, it is giving ever increasing aid to Ohio's failing charter schools.
The new two-year budget also raised the level of funding for Ohio’s existing charter schools by $30 million, from $824 million in 2012-2013 to $854 million in 2013-2014.
Year Charter Deducation
2012-13 $824,421,026
HB 59 forecast $854,482,608
New eSchools $10,683,200
New Charters $82,909,478
2013-14 total (proj.) $948,075,286
When all these effects are combined — more base funding, lifting the eSchool moratorium and 49 new brick and mortar charter schools, the amount of funding deducted for charter schools in Ohio could increase by as much as $124 million this year, bringing the total that is redirected from traditional public schools to $948 million. (“as much as” because this analysis assumes that new eSchools and charters are pulling kids from traditional public districts and not other charters)
A billion dollar boondoggle.

ALEC Owns the Ohio Legislature

Much has been written about ALEC's anti-public education agenda. This extreme right wing organization backed by education reform corporations, ideologues, and their political allies has pushed for policies that include such greatest hits as:
  • Promoting voucher programs that drain public schools of resources by using taxpayer dollars to subsidize private school profits, and specifying that those schools must remain unregulated.
  • Offering private school vouchers with "universal eligibility" (using taxpayer dollars to subsidize private schools for the rich and others); "means-tested eligibility," (using poverty as the first domino in an effort to privatize public schools); and "universal eligibility with means-tested scholarship." (Here, "scholarship" means using taxpayer dollars to pay private school tuition and/or profits.)
  • Giving tax credits to parents who send their kids to private schools, and to corporations that donate to scholarships for private schools.
  • Creating a scheme to deem public schools "educationally bankrupt" to rationalize giving taxpayer dollars to almost completely unregulated private schools, and for-profit charter operator.
  • Easing charter school authorization laws .
  • Certifying individuals with no education background as teachers, a move that weakens the quality of education, fails to recognize there is more to teaching than knowledge of a subject, and that would undermine the role and competitiveness of professional teachers .
  • Eliminating tenure for teachers in favor of "performance," allowing districts to fire older teachers in favor of lower-cost young teachers.
  • Undermining teacher's unions with bills like SB5 and So-called right-to-work efforts.
What might shock some, as it did us, was just how long the list of Ohio's legislators allied to ALEC is

House of Representatives

Rep. John P. Adams (R-78), State Chairman and Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Member
Rep. Ron Amstutz (R-3), Communications and Technology Task Force Alternate
Rep. Marlene Anielski (R-17), ALEC Education Task Force Member
Speaker William G. Batchelder (R-69), ALEC member
Rep. Peter A. Beck (R-67), ALEC Communications and Technology Task Force Member
Rep. Terry R. Boose (R-58), ALEC Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Member
Rep. George J. Buchy (R-77)
Rep. James Butler (R-37), ALEC Health and Human Services Task Force Member and Communications and Technology Task Force Alternate
Rep. Timothy Derickson (R-53)
Rep. Anne Gonzales (R-19), ALEC Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force Member
Rep. Cheryl L. Grossman (R-23), ALEC Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force Alternate
Rep. Brian Hill (R-94), ALEC Member
Rep. Matt Huffman (R-4), ALEC Civil Justice Task Force Member
Rep. Ronald Maag (R-35), ALEC Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Member
Rep. Kristina D. Roegner (R-42), ALEC Education Task Force Member
Rep. Cliff Rosenberger (R-86), ALEC Communications and Technology Task Force Member
Rep. Barbara Sears (R-46), ALEC Health and Human Services Task Force Member
Rep. Gerald L. Stebelton (R-5), ALEC Education Task Force Member
Rep. Michael Stinziano (D-25), ALEC Communications and Technology Task Force Member
Rep. Louis Terhar (R-30), ALEC Member
Rep. Andrew M. Thompson (R-93), ALEC Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force Member
Rep. Lynn Wachtmann (R-75), ALEC Health and Human Services Task Force Member
Rep. Ron Young (R-63), ALEC Member

Senate

Sen. David Burke (R-26), ALEC Health and Human Services Task Force Member
Sen. William P. Coley, II (R-4), ALEC Civil Justice Task Force Member
Sen. John Eklund (R-18)
Sen. Randy Gardner (R-6)
Sen. Kris Jordan (R-19), ALEC Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force Member
Sen. Frank LaRose (R-27), ALEC Public Safety and Elections Task Force Member
Sen. Bob Peterson (R-17), ALEC Member
Sen. William “Bill” Seitz (R-8), ALEC Civil Justice Task Force Co-Chair, spoke on “Saving Dollars and Protecting Communities: State Successes in Corrections Policy” at the 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting
Sen. Joseph W. Uecker (R-14), ALEC Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force Member

Former Representatives

Rep. Louis Blessing (R-29)(replaced by his son, Louis W. Blessing, III, representative-elect)
Rep. Danny Bubp (R-88)
Rep. John A. Carey, Jr. (R-87), ALEC Education Task Force Alternate
Speaker Jo Ann Davidson
Rep. Dale Van Dyke
Rep. Bruce Goodwin (R-74), ALEC Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force Member
Rep. Casey Kozlowski (R-99), ALEC Public Safety and Elections Task Force Member
Rep. Jarrod B. Martin (R-70), ALEC Public Safety and Elections Task Force Member
Former Rep. Robert Mecklenborg (R-30), ALEC Member
Rep. Craig Newbold (R-1), ALEC Member
Rep. Pat Tiberi
Rep. Todd Snitchler (Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio as of 2011)
Rep. Ronald Suster (D) currently Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge.
Rep. Tim Greenwood (R) currently outside counsel OH AG.

Former Senators

Sen. Robert. C. Cupp (R) currently sits on OH Supreme Court.
Sen. Grace L. Drake(R)
Sen. Michael A. Fox. (R) was director Butler County Children’s services, currently serving prison term for corruption.
Sen. Tom Niehaus (R-14), ALEC Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force Member
Sen. Lynn Wachtmann

It's quite obvious then, why we've seen so many corporate education reform policies pushed in Ohio.

Poll: Majority reject high stakes testing

American policy makers are forging ahead with education initiatives, but they may be leaving Americans behind and out of the loop.

Since 1969 Gallup and Phi Delta Kappa International (PDK), a global association of education professionals, has conducted the annual Poll of the Public’s Attitude Toward the Public Schools. This years poll continues to show the public is rejecting the corproate education reform agenda

The poll notes that
Results of the poll come in a time of unsettledness in the American education franchise. Recent major reform efforts — No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, and the Common Core State Standards — face uncertain futures even as the poll lays bare a significant rift between policy makers and ordinary citizens and parents. For example:
• Fewer than 25% of Americans believe increased testing has helped the performance of local public schools.
• A majority of Americans reject using student scores from standardized tests to evaluate teachers.

Q: Some states require that teacher evaluations include how well a teacher’s students perform on standardized tests. Do you favor or oppose this requirement?

2013 2012
Favor 41 52
Oppose 58 47
Don't Know/refused 1 1
As you can see from the table above, the oppostion is growing larger. There is also large opposition to newspapers publishing teachers value-added scores, something the Plain Dealer and NPR did in Ohio this year, and which JTF condemned.

Q: Some newspapers are releasing information about how the students of individual teachers perform on standard- ized tests. Do you favor or oppose the release of this informa- tion to the public?
2013 2011
Favor 37 51
Oppose 63 48
Don't Know/refused 0 1

The poll also finds that

  • More than 70% of Americans have “trust and confidence” in public school educators.
  • A majority give public schools in their community an ‘A’ or “B’ – the highest rating every recorded by the poll.
  • Seventy percent of Americans oppose private school vouchers —another high mark for the Gallup survey.
  • Overwhelmingly, Americans do not worry about their child’s safety while attending school. Asked about ways to promote school safety, respondents preferred greater access to mental health services over the hiring more security guards.
  • Americans chose critical thinking skills as the most important 21st Century skill, followed closely by communications skills.

You can read the entire poll here

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