The Terhar debacle roundup

Fallout from State Board of Education President's offensive and ignorant Facebook post, comparing President Obama to Hilter spread far and wide yesterday.

The latest development has a tepid statement from the Governor's spokesperson saying "the governor has no comment about Terhar’s posting and no plan to remove her as board president". A true profile in courage and leadership.

The Ohio Department of education had its head resign over a serious ethics violation, and the current acting superintendent and his deputy are reportedly applying for district level jobs. Education leadership in Ohio is in disarray. Now the governor expects education professionals to take the State Board of Education President seriously after this disgraceful incident? Certainly her fellow board members don't think so

“I don’t think she can be perceived as being objective,” said Jeffrey Mims, a board member from Dayton. “Whether she wrote the statement or not, the fact that she harbored those statements on her Facebook page, I think you just can’t be associated with that.”

Ann Jacobs, a board member from Lima, said the board is supposed to be nonpartisan but Terhar’s posting is the latest sign of how partisan it’s gotten in recent years.

Here's a sampling of some of the coverage

Her continued presence on the board brings disgrace to the State Board of Education, Ohio's education system and all the professionals who strive everyday to bring excellence to educating Ohio's young people.

Education News for 01-23-2013

State Education News

  • State budget’s unknowns frighten advocates (Columbus Dispatch)
  • Faced with a “poker-faced” Kasich administration that won’t divulge new budget details until Feb. 4, a coalition of critics yesterday took a stab at things…Read more...

  • Democrats want state school-board head out over Facebook post (Columbus Dispatch)
  • The head of the Ohio Democratic Party yesterday called for the resignation of Ohio Board of Education President Debe Terhar for a Facebook posting that appeared to compare…Read more...

  • Columbus school board decides to assist review by mayor’s panel (Columbus Dispatch)
  • The Columbus Board of Education relented last night and decided to allow Mayor Michael B. Coleman’s Education Commission to conduct a management review of district non- academic operations — and without a written agreement…Read more...

Local Education News

  • Referee will intervene in duct-taped students case (Canton Repository)
  • A referee is going to hear the case of a northeast Ohio teacher who may be fired over an allegation that she posted a Facebook photo of her students with their mouths covered with duct tape…Read more...

  • After-school program takes holistic approach Chillicothe Gazette)
  • When the last school bell rings, things are just getting started at the Salvation Army’s after- school program…Read more...

  • Schools sweat out decision to delay start due to cold (Columbus Dispatch)
  • The decision to delay classes at Canal Winchester schools in yesterday’s frigid weather wasn’t an easy one, Superintendent Jim Sotlar said…Read more...

  • Bexley mayor rejects speed traps, student tax ideas (Columbus Dispatch)
  • Bexley’s mayor opposes the use of speed cameras and taxing students to help the city offset projected losses in state funding, both ideas proposed by a citizens group to raise new revenue…Read more...

  • Finalists make pitch to RV public (Marion Star)
  • River Valley Local Schools gave the public a chance Tuesday evening to meet the finalists as it prepares to choose the district’s next superintendent…Read more...

  • TPS won’t place levy renewal on spring ballot; Board cites too little time to mount solid campaign (Toledo Blade)
  • A Toledo Public Schools levy renewal won’t be on the May ballot after all. The Toledo Board of Education was set to vote Tuesday on a board finance committee recommendation…Read more...

  • Youngstown school board discusses money woes (Youngstown Vindicator)
  • Schools Superintendent Connie Hathorn is meeting with his staff to devise recommendations to address a projected $48 million deficit by fiscal year 2017…Read more...


  • Uneasy money (Akron Beacon Journal)
  • Ohio schools will receive $38 million from the first distribution of the state’s tax on casino gambling. Have they hit the jackpot? Hardly. The amount boils down to about $21 per pupil…Read more...

Debe Terhar breaks Godwin's law

The State Board of Education President Debe Terhar, in all her professional glory

State Board of Education President Debe Terhar said she was not comparing President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler when she posted a photograph of the Nazi leader on her Facebook page with a message critical of the administration’s new gun-control efforts.

But she does say we “need to step back and think about it and look at history” to see that tyrants have disarmed their citizens.

Terhar, a Cincinnati Republican elected last week by the 19-member school board to a second term as its president, recently posted the picture with this commentary: “Never forget what this tyrant said: ‘To conquer a nation, first disarm its citizens.’ — Adolf Hitler.”

The photograph apparently originated with the Facebook page of Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children, which features a variety of anti-Obama, pro-gun posts and photos, such as scantily clad women hoisting large guns, a polar bear with the words “Holy f*** I’m glad I’m white,” and another saying “Where’s Lee Harvey Oswalt when you need him?”

When the Sipatch asked her about her Facebook post she said, “I’m not comparing the president to Adolf Hitler, it’s the thought of disarming citizens, and this has happened throughout history. What’s the true intention of the Second Amendment? It was to protect us from a tyrannical government, God forbid.”

Why is the State Board of Education President trolling racist Facebook pages in the first place, let alone making offensive comparisons to a genocidal maniac?

In one simple Post, Debe Terhar shows herself to:

  • Have a serious lack of professionalism
  • Questionable judgment
  • The inability to apologize
  • Lacking in historical understanding
  • A belief that we are stupid enough to believe she wasn't comparing the President to Hitler

Apparently in Terhar's world, only educators are to be held accountable.

Strong Schools - Strong Communities

Another pro-public education organization is joining the fray in Ohio. Strong Schools - Strong Communities. ABC 6 News reports on their announcement

Deb Papesh, a Dublin City Schools parent, had this to say about the groups formation

"I believe Strong Schools, Strong Communities is looking at that to see what they can they borrow from what we did to help on a more global level," she said following the press conference.

Papesh thinks communities across the state can help each other with campaigns that center on funding issues.

Right now those involved with Strong Schools, Strong Communities say their job is to keep an eye on and testify for or against any new legislation that affects public education in Ohio.

They also say they’re prepared to activate their network in the same way the grassroots organization We Are Ohio mobilized in 2011 to push back against a legislative effort to limit collective bargaining rights for public employees.

Teacher Donna O'Connor had this to say

“We believe a child’s ZIP code should not hinder their access to a high-quality public education. We will advocate for a fair and sustainable and equitable funding formula and educate the public as to next year’s budget and policies that come out of our next session.”

We encourage you to follow them on Facebook, here at www.facebook.com/StrongSchoolsOhio. You can also receive a weekly text message update by texting "SSSC" to 51555.

Here's a video fo the press conferecne event

Part one

Part two

Part three

There's a growing resistance in Ohio, to the corporate education movement.

TDS talks RttT

John Stewart of the Daily Show, talked to Melody Barnes, President Obama’s chief of domestic policy about K-12 education reforms and Race to the top (RttT). Fascinating discussion in typical TDS fashion. Check it out.

SB5 Supporters go live with their astroturf campaign

The corporate backers of SB5 have an official organization, with a not-so-originally named website.

Gov. John Kasich, Senate President Tom Niehaus, R-New Richmond, and House Speaker William G. Batchelder, R-Medina, also will be involved with the group, which filed its paperwork with the secretary of state this morning.

The group's website, www.betterohio.org, says, "It's a grassroots coalition of Ohioans who support the effort to reform Ohio and to restore fairness and flexibility to middle class taxpayers, while getting the cost of government under control."

Plunderbund has already dispelled most of the untruths this astorturf organization has published. But let's take a look at their other claim - that of being a grass roots organization in favor of SB5. Let's ask a simple question. Is there any real grassroots support for SB5?

Back in February, the leading Pro-SB5 facebook group had 373 likes, today that same group still only has 1,530 likes. Compared to the leading Anti SB5 facebook group which has grown from 11,008 in February to over 17,075. The Anti-SB5 group is 10 times as large and growing 10 times as fast. And "Bulding a Better Ohio"? - it has a meagre 59 friends on the day of its launch.

Corporate backers might be able to provide the millions of dollars to be spent on attack ads, but they can't buy genuine grassroots citizen support. The kind of support that has over 10,000 on the ground volunteers who have colected over 200,000 signature in just 1 month. If further proof were needed of where the true majority opinion lies on this bill that attacks the middle class, we need look no further than poll after poll