Maureen Reedy, Ohio teacher running for office

Diane Ravitch, writing about 2002 teacher of the year and Ohio House candidate for distrcit 24, Maureen Reedy

Maureen Reedy

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?

That’s easy:

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,

Gahanna city council in the hot seat

Gahanna city council has put itself in the hot seat over SB5. A member of the council has placed a resolution on tonghts agenda, supporting issue 2. We are hearing that attendance at tonights meeting might break records as members of the community flock to denounce this resolution.

We have heard that council President Dave Samuel is opposed to the resolution, as is At Large council member Tim Pack. We have also heard that the Gahanna Mayor does not support this resolution and will not sign it.

If you live close by, or espeically live in Gahanna, you can attend in person
When: Tonight at 7pm
Where: Gahanna City Hall. 200 South Hamilton. Gahanna, OH 43230

If you can't make it at such short notice, please consider sending a message, before tomorrow nights meeting, in opposition to this resolution to your council representative.

At Large (President) Dave Samuel

Ward 3 (Vice President) Brian Larick

At Large Timothy W. Pack

At Large Nancy McGregor

Ward 1 John McAlister

Ward 2 Shane W. Ewald

Ward 3 Brian Larick

Ward 4 Beryl D. Anderson

A litmus test tomorrow in Wisconsin

Tomorrow is a big day in the test of working people vs. extreme politicians. In Wisconsin an election will be held to allow voters a say on recalling 6 Republican State Senators who voted for an SB5 like bill. Unlike Ohio, Wisconsin doesn't have the ability repeal legislation, instead they provide the voters a chance to recall their legislators.

So worried are the GOP over this recall effort they even resorted to running "fake Democrats" in a primary election a few weeks ago. Needless to say voters saw through this scam and every fake candidate was handily beaten. But these extremist lawmakers have a right to be worried after building an all too familiar extremist record in short order

Further, with the Republican-contrived primaries over (they recruited fellow Republicans to run against Democrats in order to delay and sow considerable confusion about recall process), the public can now focus on clear-cut choices between Democratic candidates with demonstrated followings and Republican senators whose reputations have been tarnished.

The Republican baggage includes:

  • their extraordinary anti-union votes,
  • their support for an exceptionally punitive budget toward local public education and services, and
  • their collaboration with the most dictatorial procedures and anti-democratic legislation that the Wisconsin Legislature has witnessed in more than a century.

MotherJones provides us a good synopsis of the 6 elections being held tomorrow. 2 are looking good for the Democrats, 3 are toss ups and one is looking to be a GOP hold. The Democrats would need to win 3 of the 6 to retake control of the Wisconsin State Senate and end Gov. Walkers middle class damaging agenda.

This election will also give us one of our first indicators of the kind of energy and voter turnout we can expect in Ohio around Issue 2, in the fall as voters here look to repeal similar extreme legislation.

School related election issues today

24 counties have issues on the ballot today, a majority of those issues are school related.

30 Tax levy questions (20 are school issues)
1 Combination question (This is a school bond issue with a tax levy question)
4 income tax questions (2 are school income tax questions)

We'll bring you the results tomorrow.

Citizens can lobby too!

We know that David Brennan and Michele Rhee hired lobbyists to get their agenda in front of the Republican controlled legislture, and inserted in SB5 and the budget bill. We also know that lawmakers hearing from teachers, and other concerned citizens, got many of the most eggregious provisions removed. But now there's pressure to perform a double-back-flip-U-turn and put these terrible measure back in the budget.

There's still time and opportunity for citizens to lobby their represenatives. If you are a member of OEA, tomorrow is a scheduled lobby day. (Link - bottom, left). If you want to attend, meet at Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel at 50 N. 3rd St., Columbus, Ohio – The briefing will start at 9:00 a.m.** (map).

JTF will be coming along, we hope to see you there. Together we'll change some minds!

**If you have a distance to travel, check with your local or regional association. Busing is being provided, along with parking and lunch if needed. Also, vallet parking at the hotel is available and a voucher for it will be given to you when you sign in.