ODE Hires Tea Party reactionary to oversee charters

Last week it was announced that the Ohio Department of Education had hired David J. Hansen, former President of the Buckeye Institute, a Tea Party front group, that pushes extreme right wing ideological policies. Mr. Hansen will be the states Executive Director for the Office of Quality School Choice and Funding.

It should come as little surprise then, that Mr. Hansen holds ideas that are out of the mainstream and not supported by facts. In an op-ed in the Hillsboro Times Gazette, he wrote

"Parental choice in education offers the promise of improving public school systems by holding them accountable to market forces."

"Market accountability ensures that schools are run for the sake of educating children."

"Parental choice strategies are still needed to simply save as many children as possible from our failing public schools."

"Unfortunately for the children left behind in public school systems, teacher union contracts are the greatest impediment to the meaningful reform promised by parental choice."

As you can see, Mr. Hansen is a big supporter of corporate education,and SB5 like policies that Ohioans rejected by a massive margin. If teacher's union contracts are such a problem, how does Mr. Hansen explain away the simple fact that unionized schools in Ohio significantly outperform non-unionized charter schools? As we previously wrote

If charter schools can;
  • Compensate their teachers based on any criteria they choose since they are unencumbered by a union contract (ie merit pay)

  • Employ teachers without offering a continuing contract (ie tenure)
  • Fire or lay off teachers for any performance based criteria without need to follow a union contract (ie no seniority)
  • Avoid class size limits created by a union contract
  • Be free to impose any legal work place restrictions or rules they wish
  • Be unencumbered by any union contract provision and be free from a whole host of regulations

Why is it that their performance is so darn terrible

Let's hope that Mr. Hansen spends more time wondering why for-profit charter schools in Ohio are so terrible, than pursuing his ideological agenda against teachers. We should also note that Mr. Hansen is the husband of the Governor's Chief of Staff. The Governor's spokesperson denied nepotism was involved in the hiring.