Primed and Ready to Take Some Action
One of the reasons why I wrote America’s Schools at a Turning Point and do this blogging is my deep passion about the pressing need to engage the American people in a frank and open discussion about how the education reform movement is impacting their public schools, their communities and them, personally. Having worked in many school districts throughout Ohio and Arizona, I am convinced that if our citizens were aware of what is really happening to their schools many would storm the halls of their state’s policymakers and demand they put a stop to it. Some hard evidence that our communities are primed and ready to take some action can be found in the results of an opinion survey conducted this spring (May 6-8, 2015) in Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren Counties, Ohio. Here are some of the highlights generated by the survey:
- When asked what level of government should have the most control over the direction of their public schools, the majority (50.7%) of citizens in these four counties said locally elected school boards. Only 36.5% believe policy decisions made at the state level are in the best interest of students.
- The vast majority (62.1%) of citizens do not approve having a portion of their local tax levy funds shared with for-profit charter and online charter schools. They also believe these charter schools should be held to the same standards for transparency and accountability as public schools.
- Six out of 10 (60.4%) of the residents living in these four Ohio counties feel that increased mandates and demands on their public schools by the State Legislature have not increased student achievement and academic performance. In fact, 67.8% think these increased mandates and demands have excessively burdened local taxpayers and 80.8% believe their State Legislature should reduce the amount of these mandates and demands.
For more information regarding the results of this Southwest Ohio Public Education Survey, contact Jon Graft, Superintendent, Butler County Educational Service Center (513-594-3581).