Corky O'Callaghan

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The Accountability Charade

A writer, educational thinker and passionate advocate for public schools, John Tanner believes we should finally be done with high stakes testing and the accountability charade that gets wrapped around it every year because it doesn’t tell us the truth, it prolongs and intensifies biases that hurt us as a society and it can’t do what it purports to do.  The founder and executive director of bravEd, John is leading a nationwide initiative to revolutionize the accountability function in schools.

Join the Conversation on April 29

On April 29 at 7 p.m., the Ohio Public School Advocacy Network will be hosting a conversation with legal scholar,  professor of law and author, Derek Black.  The focus of the discussion will be his latest book, Schoolhouse Burning: Public Education and the Assault on American Democracy.  In it, he warns that efforts to undercut our public education system now threaten our nation which, since its founding, has been deeply rooted in the belief that our democracy can only truly survive with an educated citizenry.  To participate in this important virtual conversation with Derek Black, save the Zoom link below:


The New Normal

When the COVID-19 pandemic is in our rearview mirror, what will the new normal look like?  This a question many of us are asking ourselves.  In Apollo’s Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live, Nicholas Christakis addresses this important question.  In his book, he discusses how the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic will unfold in the coming years and predicts that at the end of 2023 and the beginning of 2024 we will enter the “post-pandemic period” where something similar to the roaring ‘20s will likely occur.  If he is correct and the post-pandemic period will usher in a new era of revitalization and change, the time to begin discussing what the “new normal” should look like is now.

OPSAN Expanding Its Statewide Footprint

This week, the Ohio Public School Advocacy Network took an important step in expanding its statewide footprint.  On Monday, the superintendents who have been leading an initiative (in 10 districts) to give their staff and community a stronger voice in shaping statewide education policy hosted a Zoom meeting with other superintendents in their area to learn about OPSAN’s work.  Twenty-three districts were represented in Monday’s discussion.  Follow up conversations will now be made to determine who would like to become part of the expansion of this grassroots movement.

Why OPSAN Is So Important

As recent events in our nation’s Capitol begin to settle in, it is becoming increasingly clear that we are now witnessing a life-changing struggle over who we are as a nation.  What’s more, the wake from this struggle will have a profound impact on our educational system.  This is why the grassroots initiative of the Ohio Public School Advocacy Network to give our local citizens a stronger voice in shaping education policy is so important.



With Clarity Comes Hope

It is difficult to come to grips with a problem that is lurking beneath the surface slowly eating away at our way of life.  As a result of the shock over what occurred yesterday, that problem is now out in the open and can no longer be ignored.  And with clarity comes hope that we can do something about it.  While identifying what that something is may not be evident right now, it will become clear at some point down the road.  There are no quick fixes to what we are facing.


The Debate About School Safety

For months, the debate about opening schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic has centered on the question of whether they are safe.  In a provocative article in The Atlantic, the author writes that the debate about school safety is no longer relevant:  “Except in the few remaining regions with modest rates of viral spread, the transmission risk from and within schools is now beside the point.  So many teachers and staff members are sick, quarantining, or have stepped down that many schools trying to remain open or to reopen just do not have the personnel available to do so well.”

Wouldn’t It Be Nice

In addition to being a retired superintendent of the Medina City Schools and an educational partner with the Kettering Foundation, Charlie Irish serves on the transition team for the Ohio Public School Advocacy Network.  In a recent conversation with Charlie, he posed a thought-provoking question that has important implications for OPSAN’s grassroots initiative to give Ohio’s citizens a stronger voice in shaping statewide education policy.  His question was:  If we take money out of the equation, what do we have to discuss with our state’s elected representatives?  Unfortunately, the need for more money for our schools is often the sole focus of our discussions.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have a discussion with them that wasn’t only about money?  I suspect it would take some preparation as they would likely be leery of our motives.  Even then, it would likely feel strange since they aren’t used to this sort of interaction.



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