Following up on our earlier piece, the AP reports:
Four members of the state’s school board have ties to businesses that have a stake in education funding and regulation, the Akron Beacon Journal reported Monday.
The reasons Ohio's State Board of Education has become so dysfunctional is becoming very apparent.
An eye opening piece from the ABJ detailing how far the State Board of Education has been corrupted since voters approved its creation
If Ohio had an all-elected state board of education as it did about 20 years ago, the current state superintendent probably wouldn’t have his job, and the school board president likely would have gotten the boot.
The reason is, the independent representative school board created by voters 60 years ago this month no longer exists.
In 1995, the legislature added eight more chairs to the 11 elected seats at the table, to be filled by the governor, and for all practical purposes, took the board out of the hands of voters and made Ohio one of only three states to have a hybrid membership.
The reason for the change: The elected 11 had endorsed a lawsuit called Nathan DeRolph vs. State of Ohio, alleging that the legislature and governor were not adequately funding public education. The governor and legislature were unhappy and changed the membership.
Now, the education of 1.8 million children is in the hands of a board that swings as far left or right as the ruling party wants it to go.
That change assured that in February this year, board president Debe Terhar, a tea party activist, held her post when she came under fire for a controversial Facebook post of Adolf Hitler regarding gun regulation. The majority of the elected board members voted to oust her, but the appointed members overruled.
In March, the majority of elected members voted against hiring Gov. John Kasich’s chief education adviser, Richard Ross, as state superintendent. The appointed members put him over the top.
Today, the fact that two of 19 seats are empty — and have been for months — is of little concern because the majority represents the administration and has firm control.
The board looks like this:
Two board members are lobbyists whose clients sometimes compete for education money from the state while another board member’s husband is a lobbyist for private schools.
A fourth board member is president of a private college whose school generates income from public education programs administered by the board, according to the newspaper, which worked with the NewsOutlet journalism program based at Youngstown State University.
Board members said they will abstain from votes when there is a potential conflict, police themselves and file required paperwork with the Ohio Ethics Commission.
The ethics commission says Ohio law prohibits state board members from receiving compensation for services they perform on a matter that is before the board they serve.
Members of the state Legislature cannot lobby while in office, but that rule doesn’t apply to board members, said Paul Nick, executive director of the Ohio Ethic Commission.
Two of Ohio's most prevalnt chartered eschools, ECOT and Ohio Virtual Academy (OVA) are draining resources at a drastic rate from traditional public schools which are performng at much higher levels.
- Eight of nine board committees are chaired by white men, although board gender is 9-8 male.
- Seven of nine committees are chaired by appointees, although appointed members are outnumbered 10-7.
- Of the seven appointees seated today, all are white and one is female.
- The only African-American member, elected from Dayton, intends to resign by the end of the year to take a seat in city government. African-Americans account for 13 percent of Ohio’s population.
- With the resignation of the Dayton representative, there is only one remaining member who lives in an urban district. Her vote represents about 6 percent of the 17 members, while urban districts account for about 25 percent of the Ohio student population.
- 12 Republicans account for 70 percent of the current board’s voting power, compared with 36 percent of the state electorate registered as Republican.
- Almost all appointees are significant Republican donors, organizers or fundraisers.
- About a third of the members attended private schools or sent their kids to private schools. About 10 percent of the state’s students attend private schools.
- Although the majority advocates for charter schools, which account for a little less than 10 percent of state enrollment, not one has a child in a charter school.
- Home schoolers, who strongly oppose government intrusion into their business and represent about 2 percent of the student population, unified last year to elect one member from rural Northeast Ohio. Their representative has never had a relationship with public education and identified her primary mission as assuring that home schooling is left alone.
ECOT drained $88,370,050.21 for just 13,721.54 students in 2013. Their graduation rate is 35.3% in four years and 37.8% in five years according to the state report card.
Between 2004 and 2013, ECOT has recevied $545,863,933.98 from Ohio school districts. As Ohio E & A says, this is more than a half billion dollars for an extremely inadequate educational venture.
Ohio Virtual Academy (OVA), siphoned $72,764,774.45 in 2013 for just 11,822.98 students. Their graduation rate is an anemic 41.6% in four years and 38.6% in five years.
Between 2003 and 2013, OVA has removed $388,613,423.52 from traditional public schools.
How much longer can we allow hundred of millions of dollars of tax payer money to be funneled to failing for-profit e-schools?
The US Department of Education listed 3 new studies into teacher merit pay. All 3 studies looked at the NYC merit pay system and concluded that is has been a disaster for student performance.
Study 1 : “Teacher Incentives and Student Achievement: Evidence from New York City Public Schools”
Here's what they found
Study authors reported that the bonus program had statistically significant negative impacts on middle school achievement in math (author-reported effect size of –0.05) and English language arts (effect size of –0.03). In addition, the authors reported a statistically significant difference of –4.4 percentage points in high school graduation rates, reflecting lower graduation rates among students in intervention schools.
The study found that the teacher performance bonus program had no statistically significant impacts on elementary school achievement or teacher retention.
Study 2:Teacher Incentive Pay and Educational Outcomes: Evidence from the New York City Bonus Program
Here's what they found
The study found that the offer of a schoolwide teacher performance bonus program did not have a statistically significant effect on students’ reading achievement in either 2007–08 or 2008–09 or on mathematics achievement in 2007–08. For 2008–09, study authors reported a very small, but statistically significant, negative effect of the bonus program on mathematics achievement.
Study 3: A Big Apple for Educators: New York City’s Experiment with Schoolwide Performance Bonuses. Final Evaluation Report
Here's what they found
The study found that the New York City Schoolwide Performance Bonus Program had no discernible impact on school Progress Report scores.
Merit pay doesn't work, every study that has looked into the issue has found the same troubling results. Why then do corporate reformers continue to pursue the idea?
This Washington Post article below highlights some of the nationwide assaults on working people by the Tea Party and their billionaire backers,
For all the debate on the effects of the tea party's and the Republican party's march to the far right at the federal level, it’s their impact at the state level that will probably be with us the longest.
Back in 2010, 11 states — Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Wyoming — put Republicans in control of all branches of state government. Other states saw their center of gravity move much farther to the right. And in the years since, those states have pushed an all-out conservative agenda.
Some elements of this this fight are well-covered and understood, particularly on voting rights and abortion. As Norm Ornstein observes, we are seeing “a new era of voter suppression that parallels the pre-1960s era — this time affecting not just African-Americans but also Hispanic-Americans, women, and students, among others.” And, as the Guttmacher Institute notes, “issues related to reproductive health and rights at the state level received unprecedented attention in 2011."
Less well-covered has been the assault on workers' rights as part of a coordinated, strategic, national and ideological program. There’s been excellent coverage of efforts by individual state legislatures, particularly efforts to roll back unionization for public-sector workers in Wisconsin and Michigan. But there hasn’t been a solid overview of how all these efforts hang together and how extensive and coordinated they are.
That has changed with a remarkable paper by the University of Oregon’s Gordon Lafer for the Economic Policy Institute, titled "The Legislative Attack on American Wages and Labor Standards, 2011–2012." Lafer documents how extensive anti-labor efforts have been with the wave of newly conservative state governments, and he paints a picture of the forest that arises out of all these anti-labor trees.
Be under no illusion that these assaults have ceased. In Ohio, Tea Party efforts continue to push so-called "right-to-work" laws so deceptive in a recent Plain Dealer editorial they stated that "Claiming Right to Work is about workplace freedom is like calling a slave owner a job creator.", meanwhile in the statehouse, Tea Party Republicans are pursuing yet more voter suppression laws, as detailed by Plunderbund.
working people simply cannot trust the Tea Party and their radical agenda.
A little off our beaten track, but this statistic stood out starkly. America Has More Prisoners Than High School Teachers