Ohio Public School Advocacy Network

A Strategy to Expose the Impact of Education Reform

Yesterday, Firelands (Ohio) Local Schools Superintendent Bob Hill took a simple but important step in exposing to the American people how the education reform movement is impacting our public schools.  He suggested on his school district blog that citizens in his community take advantage of two “valuable sources of information” about what is happening.  Here is what he wrote:

America’s Schools at a Turning Point: What is your role?

by rhill

Public education continues to evolve at a rapid pace and educators are faced with an ever-changing playing field that is most often dictated by our state legislature. Due to the myriad of recent changes such as the new Ohio Learning Standards, PARCC testing (performance based assessments, end of course exams), the new Ohio Teacher and Principal Evaluation System (OTPES)…and the list goes on…I am often asked how our community can become involved in the change process to help ensure an education that is best for our most valuable asset, our students.

After much reflection, I write today to alert you to two valuable resources that serve as tools to educate our citizens about becoming involved in supporting the education of our children in regards to… Continue reading

Loss of Funds to Charter Schools

This morning, I road tested a new website designed to help citizens in Ohio better understand how the 400 publicly-funded charter schools in their state compare to their traditional public schools.  The website is called KnowYourCharter.com.  For my road test, I selected my alma mater, the Milton-Union Exempted Village Schools.  A 1,500-student district located 12 miles north of Dayton, Milton-Union not only lost $252,223 this year in state funding to publicly-funded charter schools but received less in state funding than all of its charter school counterparts.  While Milton-Union received $4,115 per student, state funding per student for eight area charter schools was as follows:  Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow ($6,440), Virtual Community School of Ohio ($6,131), Ohio Connections Academy, Inc. ($6,142), Pathway School of Discovery ($6,435), Life Skills Center of Dayton ($8,046), Greater Ohio Virtual School ($6,484), Mound Street Health Careers Academy ($8,076) and Summit Academy Transition High School of Dayton ($16,745).  Statewide, Ohio’s public schools are losing more than $900 million a year in state funding to publicly-funded charter schools.

An Important Initiative in Ohio

This past Friday, something really important happened in Ohio.  On November 21, sixty superintendents met in Columbus to discuss an initiative that I believe will prove to be historically significant for the children who attend Ohio’s public schools.  The initiative is to provide citizens with a stronger voice in shaping statewide education policy, and it is being led by a coalition of superintendents from 29 school districts in the Buckeye State.  While I will be contacting all of the meeting participants to gain additional insight into the impact of what was discussed, this is my initial takeaway from what occurred.  First, I think that Friday’s discussion is ultimately going to make a significant difference for our children.  By giving citizens a stronger voice in determining education policy, they will be able to address with Ohio’s education policymakers the fact that our children are being over tested, our teachers are physically exhausted and emotionally demoralized, and our tax dollars are being diverted to the corporate sector to replace our public schools with a privately managed, free-market system of education.  Second, the meeting validated the hard work of this superintendent-led coalition and has given the initiative… Continue reading

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