A Concern That I Share
One of the major provisions of the newly enacted Every Student Succeeds Act is that it is supposed to restore educational decision making to the local level. In one of his columns which appeared recently in the Troy Daily News, Tom Dunn who serves as superintendent of the Miami County Educational Service Center posed a concern that I share. Tom’s concern is that “local level” will ultimately be interpreted by our state’s political leaders as meaning that major educational policy decisions are now going to be made by elected and non-elected policy makers in Columbus rather than in Washington, D.C., and that these decision will be made without meaningful public discussion and local input. My concern is not based upon any feeling that there is a grand conspiracy to ignore the voices of Ohio’s citizens. Rather, it is that there is no history or tradition of engaging citizens at the local level in discussions about statewide education policy. In November of 2014, Ohio’s public school superintendents kicked off a grass roots initiative to return local control to their public schools by providing their citizens with a stronger voice in shaping education policy in our state. Their voice is the Ohio Public School Advocacy Network.