Positive Reaction from His Staff

Last Wednesday, I posted a powerful interview reported on Cleveland.com with North Olmsted City Schools Superintendent Mike Zalar who spoke out with great clarity about the impact of Ohio’s testing and accountability system.  He followed up by sharing the interview with his school district staff.  Here are some examples of the positive feedback he received:

  • This is phenomenal and I appreciate you further sharing your views, providing background and additional resources, and for speaking up for the education system.  Seriously, thank you!!
  • Very well said – and hurray for those who can finally say the Emperor has no clothes.  Enough is enough and making our staff, kids and parents feel inadequate through an arbitrary and politically motivated system of “grades” is educationally unsound and morally wrong.  Let me know how I can get actively involved as this is EXACTLY the reason I left the private sector world and joined our district.
  • Wow.  Thank you!  I agree with all of your sentiments and I am impressed that you had the courage to go on the record with such strong statements given your position as our superintendent.  Hopefully this opens the door for others with leverage who may feel the same way to speak out.  I sincerely thank you.
  • Thank you, Dr. Zalar, for standing up for this monumental issue.  I shared a link to the Cleveland.com article about your interview along with these comments that I am pasting below:  “As an alum, with two brothers, and two children who all graduated from North Olmsted schools, I can attest to the fact that despite any test scores, we all were well-prepared for college after graduation.  We were better writers than most of our college peers and often took on roles of leadership.  I am so happy that Dr. Zalar has chosen to take on the fallacy of testing that has overwhelmed our state and painted a ridiculous picture of failure that is far from the truth for our district.  Thanks again for being the kind of leader our district needs.
  • Thank you for taking your time to provide us with important information!  What specific steps should we take to take back our public education?  I believe that the critics of public education have succeeded because no reaction from the communities state wide.  I also believe that people do not understand that the current political agenda may put education in general at risk.  They try to use standardized tests to defeat public education that is the only hope for poor and middle-class families to educate their children.  Based on my own personal experience, I consider charter school system is a real threat to national security.  I cannot find one single country all over the world that can allow just anyone  to operate several charter schools nationwide to apply his own hidden agenda using public money!  There are many examples of people who operate charter schools as business and they continuously fail.  Communities must defend public schools to allow their children to receive better education.
  • I firmly believe that the legislature, ODE, AIR and state report cards are all unaware of the reality of children and classrooms.  Thank you for speaking out on our behalf.  The “end of course” assessments are administered to US History students when they still have 25% of American History to study.  If I assessed my students in the same manner that the state assesses my students, I would expect to be looking for a new job.  The tests are mysterious to the teachers; we are not allowed to see the tests; we don’t know the exact nature of the tests; if we overhear students discussing the test questions we are not permitted to engage; and, they are scored 5-6 months after administration. It is educational malpractice, pure and simple.  Now it is time for us act on these sentiments – what would seriously happen if we boycotted these tests and disconnected from the report card system?  Respectfully awaiting the educational revolution.

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