Bob Sommers, the exit interview
Bob Sommers, Ohio Governor Kasich’s “education czar” for the past year officially stepped down from his position on January 31, and before leaving he sat down with Rick Hess for an interview about some ed reform successes of the past year as well as what still needs to be accomplished in Ohio. He is leaving his post to return to the school-management business where he is forming a new company, StudentmindED Schools.
In the interview Sommers notes that while 2011 was a big year for education reform in the Buckeye State there is still work to be done, namely the creation of a P-20 data system that will allow the state to collect data on everything from Kindergarten readiness to employment rates of college graduates. Sommers also says the state’s report card must be amended, “We have a convoluted report card system that can label a school with a fifty percent rate of failure as ‘honors with distinction.’ That just doesn’t work.”
Sommers likewise admitted to some mistakes that he and the Administration made in the last year, including the failure to explain Issue 2 to the public, “We just didn’t do a good enough job of explaining to the public the problem that we tried to solve. The public didn’t see the problem that we saw.”
Finally he discusses the status of Race to the Top Implementation, key challenges in implementing reform, and what surprised him the most about his job as the Governor’s top education advisor. But I won’t spoil it all for you. Go check out the interview for yourself in its entirety here, it’s a good read!
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June 5, 2013