Maureen Reedy, a teacher in Ohio for 29 years, was Ohio teacher of the year in 2002. Now she is running for the Ohio House of Representatives.
She deserves the support of every taxpayer, parent, and citizen in Ohio.
She is angry at the waste of taxpayer dollars for bad, deregulated charter schools. Forget what you read in The Economist about the miracle of privately managed charters. As she points out below, half the charter schools in the state are in academic emergency or academic watch, compared with only one in 11 public schools.
She is especially outraged by the rapacious cyber charters. As she points out in this article, two of Ohio’s major charter sponsors have collected nearly a billion dollars of Ohio taxpayer dollars since 1999:
Charter schools are a poor investment of Ohio’s education dollars and have a worse track record than public schools in our state; there are twice as many failing charter schools as successful ones, and one in two charter schools is either in academic emergency or academic watch, compared with only one in 11 traditional public-school buildings. Five of seven of Ohio’s largest electronic-charter-school districts’ graduation rates are lower than the state’s worst public-school system’s graduation rate, and six of seven of the electronic charter schools districts are rated less than effective.
And finally, the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow has failed in every identified state category for eight years, a worse track record than the Cleveland City School system, which is under threat of being shut down by the state. The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow is run by unlicensed administrators. Lager, in addition to his $3 million salary, earned an additional $12 million funneled through his software company, which sells products to his charter-school corporation. Just how much does the average teacher in the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow earn you may ask? Approximately $34,000 per year.
Why do the Governor and the Legislature look the other way? Why are they quadrupling the number of vouchers and reducing oversight of the state’s troubled charter schools?
I am appalled at the direct pipeline funneling vital state dollars for our children’s education directly into the pockets of millionaires like David L. Brennan, chief executive officer of White Hat Management ($6 million yearly salary) and William Lager, CEO of the state’s ninth-largest school district, the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow ($3 million yearly salary).
Let’s follow the money trail of political contributions by these two for-profit charter-school CEOs to high-ranking GOP legislators. In the past decade, Brennan and Lager have donated a combined $5 million to high-ranking GOP legislators, including Gov. John Kasich, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, House Speaker William G. Batchelder and Sen. Kevin Bacon, chairman of the Senate Committee on Insurance, Commerce and Labor.
Why isn’t the U.S. Department of Education blowing the whistle on these scandals?
Is education reform about improving education or about lining the pockets of campaign contributors?
Not a hard question in Ohio.
You can find out more about Maureen Reedy by visiting her website, www.maureenreedy.com.