The Dispatch may have published this story on April Fools Day, but it is no joke. Lawmakers aren’t near a school-funding resolution
We have some sympathy for Rep Stableton. The Governor crafted his ill conceived defunding plan in secret, with little or no input from any stakeholders. The Governor then spent over a week trying to bamboozle everyone with his ridiculous claims of what his funding plan would do, only to have those claims fall to pieces once details of the defunding plan emerged.
This is where our sympathy begins to run out. The GOP dominated legislature are struggling to devise an adequate and equitable funding system because they don't want to commit the money necessary to make that possible. Consequently they are left trying to move an inadequate amount of funding around in the hopes that they can find some magical distribution that works.
They are never going to find that solution at the currently proposed funding levels - levels which fall below those seen in 2009. Instead of adequately funding public education, the Republicans have an income tax cut fetish that few others support.
It is troubling that a Republican legislature is once again going to punt on creating a funding formula that works, and instead continue to lock in funding levels that are woefully inadequate.
And if you need any more proof that Michelle Rhee's billionaire funded StudentsFirst organization is nothing more than an anti-tax front group, this should do the trick
We are not aware of any other pro-public education organization that thinks a workable solution can be found at the currently proposed funding levels. And as for Dick Ross, the architect of the currently proposed disaster of a funding plan, the State Board of Education just made him the State Superintendent.
In a previous post we took a look at the difference in performance between Ohio's traditional public schools and their charter school counterparts, and discovered a wide and growing gap. Why does this gap exist?
One of the clear reasons is in the quality of the workforce. Ohio's traditional public schools have invested a lot of time and money developing an experienced, highly qualified teacher workforce, an investment that Ohio's charter schools have resisted or failed to developing.
Steve Dyer at Innovation Ohio took a look at the latest teacher data made available by ODE and discovered that the typical (i.e. the mode) charter school teacher has 0 years of experience, while their traditional school counterpart had 14 years of experience. We took a look at this too, and came to the same conclusion.
Our analysis also showed that the average level of experience of a charter school teacher is only 4.9 years, while in traditional schools that figure is over 14 years.
Dyer also discovered, what he called "two equally stunning statistics"
2) About 1 out of 3 Charter Schools in Ohio have at least some core courses taught by someone with a temporary teaching certificate. Of the more than 3,200 Traditional Public School buildings in the report card data, not a single one has core courses taught by teachers with temporary certificates.
Furthermore, over 10% of Ohio's charter schools have class sizes greater than 25 students per teacher, 20 of them more than 30 students per teacher!
The major innovation attempted by Ohio's charter school community has not been to find ways to deliver higher quality education, but instead to find ways to minimize teacher costs in order to maximize profits. This is made very clear when once looks at this experience and qualification differences, education outcome quality differences and the subsequent difference in average salaries where the charter school average is $33,993 and traditional schools $57,303.
No sooner had we pegged cheating scandals as our number 4 story of the year, than a new scandal emerges, this time in Georgia.
A new investigative report details a second major standardized test cheating scandal in a Georgia school system, implicating 49 educators, including 11 principals. A key reason for the “disgraceful” cheating, investigators said, was pressure to meet No Child Left Behind requirements.
The probe (see here and here) by the Georgia governor’s Special Investigators team into cheating in the Dougherty County School System concluded that “hundreds of school children were harmed by extensive cheating.”
“While we did not find that Superintendent Sally Whatley or her senior staff knew that crimes or other misconduct were occurring, they should have known and were ultimately responsible for accurately testing and assessing students in this system. In that duty, they failed,” the 293-page report says.
Wherever we have corporate education reforms we find unsavory corporate behaviors.
Lifted from the comments of this article at Education Week titled "New Attitudes Shaping Labor-District Relations"
Our current debate about the failures in education has spent far to much time demonizing teachers and their contributions and they are the "frontline" of improvement.
It is not surprising that Michelle A. Rhee would find collaboration an "overrated" concept. Many of her recommended interventions shared around the country have divided school personnel and made it far more difficult to work together in unity for the same goal, student achievement.
Viewing teacher tenure as the central problem in our schools completely contradicts collaborative efforts. Tenure was written to protect the voice of teachers, not poor teachers.
Some leaders lack the skills and experience to adequately build a case in dismissing poor teachers, that is not the fault of tenure. 75 teachers fired by Michelle Rhee were returned to work with full back pay and not because of tenure. The courts determined the teachers were fired on a whim, for "arbitrary and capricious" reasons.
Ridding the schools of veteran teachers unable to express their voice if not in conformity while replacing them with the inexperience of "Teach for America" candidates is no solution to real problems in the urban classroom.
It is refreshing to see we are discussing the idea of working together to find amicable, reasonable solutions. This should go a long way in building teacher morale which is dissapating by the day, half are gone in the first few years.
The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has just released this contact information document by subject matter expertise. We thought it might be useful to share with our readers if you;re trying to find the right perosn for the the right topic. Feel free to download it, or just book mark this page.