Dispatch dodge disappoints

The Columbus Dispatch has cheered on the Governor's education "reform" plans every step of the way, from the draconian budget cuts, to SB5 - the Governor has had the full support of the state capital's newspaper of record. A need to improve the quality of Ohio's public education system, challenge the "status quo" has been their rally cry.

We were shocked then, to not read any editorial in this weekend's Dispatch criticizing the Governor for his appointment of an unqualified candidate to the State board of Education.

According to the Dispatch's own reporting, the Governor appointed Stanley Jackson, without ever having seen his resume. The Governor claiming Mr. Jackson's involvement in a charter school was qualification enough, only to discover that the charter school does not yet exist, and before Mr. Jackson can even spend one day on that job, he will resign from his fake school in order to avoid legal complications.

Furthermore, according to reports from NPR,

Kasich spokesperson Rob Nichols said Jackson is currently a candidate for an elected seat on the State Board of Education. Nichols said Jackson’s candidacy was what brought him to the attention of the governor’s office.

However, Jackson has not actually filed to run for state Board of Education, according to the Allen County Board of Elections. The deadline to file is Aug. 8.

StateImpact also reports that Mr. Jackson was an OSU dropout and never obtained his degree.

The State board of education has a full plate of policy to implement and guide, from common core, to teacher evaluations, and a new reading guarantee just for starters - it needs to have qualified people with a deep understanding of the issues in order to be successful, something Mr. Jackson does not posses.

Given these facts, why then has the Dispatch editorial board remained silent? Does their support of the Governor's education policies stop at the waters edge once criticism of their implementation is warranted?

Instead what the Dispatch editorial board decided to publish this weekend was another rehash of the SB5 fight, a sign that the Dispatch cares more about it's partisan politics than policies, even those it allegedly supports.


The ABJ manages to publish an appropriate editorial on this subject.

State Board struggles to develop plan

This article in the Plain Dealer doesn't inspire confidence.

The state school board is fine-tuning parts of a model plan for evaluating teachers across Ohio, but has barely started on what promises to be the most controversial half -- measuring and using student academic performance in a teacher's rating.
"Let's do the best we can on this initial one," said Thomas Gunlock, vice president of the state board and chairman of the board's Capacity Committee, which is working on the plan. "Call it Teacher Evaluation 1.0. The idea isn't that we think it's perfect. It would be an organic thing."

Organic. Moving on.

Representatives for Gov. John Kasich have also been meeting with teachers to discuss ways to evaluate teacher performance. Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said the governor's teacher liaison Sarah Dove has met with teachers 19 times this year, but has not yet presented any findings.

Nichols characterized the effort by the governor's representatives as a collaboration with the state board. Dove, he said, attended July's Capacity Committee meeting and plans to attend meetings this fall.

They are working at crossed purposes, because their purposes are not aligned. The Governor's office has been chasing a clear ideological agenda from day one, as is evidenced by this report from StateImpact.

We continue to advocate for major stakeholder inclusion in the design of a teacher evaluation system. Anything less will result in a system that has little buy-in, lacks credibility and will not have the sustainability everyone is seeking.