Ohio unions are hand in glove with writers of Buckeye State's Race to the Top application--why this is a bad thing
Before jumping prematurely to the conclusion that Ohio's ability to achieve union buy-in for its Race to the Top plans is a good thing, let me stop you. Buy-in, cooperation, coalition-building are all nice ideas (and valued in the Race to the Top application -- states garner significant points for achieving LEA support), but unless Ohio unions? have had a dramatic change of heart as to what constitutes "reform," this collaboration sounds like trouble. Take this message (sent to district superintendents across the Buckeye State on December 30, 2009) from Ohio's state superintendent of public instruction, Deborah Delisle:
Please join representatives from the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Education Association, and the Ohio Federation of Teachers for a conference call to provide additional guidance and technical support in the completion of the Race to the Top Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
While unions in states such as Florida, Michigan, and Minnesota are in an uproar over their states' RTTT applications (calling them "fatally flawed," "unconscionable," insert insidious adjective ), Ohio's education chief sends out what sounds like a party invitation thrown by herself and two of her closest friends. All the more odd considering that the OEA and OFT don't host conference calls providing direction to districts applying to other federal grant programs.
Why are the OEA and OFT willing to provide "guidance" and "support" to school districts applying for Race to the Top funds, while other
The holiday season has arrived - and here at Fordham Ohio we're feeling pretty darn generous. ??We've decided to bestow upon you this week not one, but TWO Ohio Education Gadflies!
This edition features a Q&A with Mark North, superintendent of Lebanon City Schools whose district is facing challenges from the unfunded mandates in H.B. 1. Jamie provides timely coverage of a report from The New Teacher Project that could have profound implications for improving teacher effectiveness in Cincinnati Public Schools. And be sure to check out a recap of Checker's recent keynote address at the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools Annual Conference. (You can find the full text here??and the Q&A session below.)
The Dayton Daily News asked today why the "big names" in education from the Dayton area weren't on the state's new "Ohio School Funding Advisory Council". The names referenced included Fordham's Terry Ryan.
Capital Matters overfloweth with timely coverage of the recent flood of education-related legislation. Among them are bills that address the Buckeye State's bid in Race to the Top, and the proposed changes to the Ohio school rating system and its all-day kindergarten mandate.
John Derbyshire is no optimist... that is when it comes to education policy. In an excerpt from his soon-to-be-released??We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism, he explains how education policy has nothing new under the sun. One particular common theme? That more money will solve education's ills. It's been tried countless times and it's failed each and every one of them. So what's new about there being nothing new? That these theme of spending more money on education is being endorsed by the current administration. "We must push our elected officials to supply the resources to fix our schools.??.??.??.??We can't pass a law called No Child Left Behind and then leave the money behind," Derbyshire quotes President Obama. He continues:
It is not quite true that there is nothing new under the sun, but there is nothing new in education theory, ever: just the same truths, revealed again and again, then pushed down the same memory hole by the same lying careerists, the same wishful-thinking fantasists, and the same parrot-brained politicians.
Education Week posted a blog recently with a link to the slew of comments offered up by folks in response the U.S. Department of Education's criteria for awarding the Race to the Top (RTTT) funds (i.e., $4 billion dollars in competitive grants). There are over 1,500 comments from educational organizations, think tanks, policymakers, advocacy groups, teachers, you name it...One could spend days and days combing through the PDF files, but here are a handful that I opened to read:
AERA: Like others, AERA is off-put by the emphasis on school turn-around strategies. They recommend that "all turn-around strategies proposed by state and local districts be strengthened by requiring a theoretical and research-based justification..." Don't hold your breath on that one. Unsurprisingly, they are also not happy about using student achievement as a central measure to evaluate teachers and principals. They contend that tests have not been validated for such purposes and that states should "justify whatever assessment measure [they] use rather than fixing on a single procedure."?? In other words, use multiple measures and water down the significance of student achievement...
Kate Walsh over at NCTQ is concerned that the definition of alternative certification routes in the RTTT language "seems more consistent with a traditional undergraduate preparation program than a true alternative." She's not keen on requiring a "clinical/student teaching experience" and says that the same goals can be met via intensive mentoring
About the Editor
Michael J. Petrilli
Executive Vice President
Mike Petrilli is one of the nation's foremost education analysts. As executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, he oversees the organization's research projects and publications and contributes to the Flypaper blog and weekly Education Gadfly newsletter.
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