Time for Governor Kasich to listen

We became aware of the Governor's office standing up some central Ohio teachers yesterday, for what was supposed to be a meeting to discuss new school funding formulas.

Columbus teachers who were present have a great write up of the incident. More troubling that some meeting mix-up however is the ongoing pattern of trying to avoid real meaningful teacher input

While the anatomy of the new school funding formula has yet to be determined, the governor’s spokesperson has gone on record saying the new model will be contain the “over-arching principal of driving more money into the classroom.” Mattei-Smith scheduled five meetings over a two-week period inviting teachers, superintendents and principals, but failed to include teacher-leaders from the Ohio Education Association or the Ohio Federation of Teachers until much later in the process.

This meeting information was initially only shared with administrative groups and not with the teacher organizations (OEA and OFT). Information about these series of meetings was only received after “prodding” Barbara Mattei-Smith for it.

What is currently passing for education policy and its development is a shambles. There simply cannot be any meaningful progress without serious consultation with teaching professionals. Attempts to craft policy without broad consultation is going to lead to terrible policy being made that is harmful to public education in Ohio, and the students who are served by it.

It's time for the Governor to personally meet with teachers associations and spend some time listening to professionals who are on the front lines of delivering quality public education every day. He then needs to take what he hears seriously.