Here’s today’s Columbus Dispatch’s editorial on Governor Strickland’s school reforms:
“Not that scrapping Strickland’s plan is, by itself, bad for Ohio schools.
“The governor touts it as a bold, new way of delivering education, but it really is, mainly, a list of jobs to be filled. It mandates that each clump of so many students must have X number of teachers, counselors, aides, nurses and the like, with little opportunity for different school districts to use resources in ways that meet their particular needs.”
“It’s a one-size-fits-all approach, well-designed for pleasing the education unions that are a large part of Strickland’s political base but ill-suited for fostering the innovation and initiative that struggling public schools need to end years of stagnation.”
In fairness, it’s not just the Governor that has touted Governor Strickland’s education reforms as “a bold, new way of delivering education,” but plenty of other groups such as Education Week which called Ohio the most innovative State in the country in public education due to Governor Strickland’s reforms. The U.S. Department of Education, which has granted $400 million in federal assistance to help fund Governor Strickland education reform proposals (something today’s Dispatch editorial completely omitted despite, supposedly, being focused on the lack of funding for it.)
Who else has called it a “bold, new way of delivering education” Anyone? Gee, I’m missing someone, I know it…. Let me think. Oh, yeah, I forgot a major one:
The Editorial Board of the Columbus Dispatch
Here’s what the same editorial board wrote about Strickland’s education reforms in an editorial dated January 29, 2009:
Aiming for the fences
In the midst of fiscal crisis, Ohio governor unveils transformation of education
Thursday, January 29, 2009 3:01 AM
Gov. Ted Strickland, who staked his political reputation to improving Ohio’s schools, unveiled in yesterday’s State of the State speech sweeping changes that would alter how students are taught, how teachers are trained and assessed, and how school districts are rated and funded.
His bold proposals are intended to redesign schools for the demands of the 21st century by phasing in 20 more days to the school year and expanding the school day to include wellness, tutoring and community-service programs.
And while promising additional funding for schools, he’s right to tie it to stiffer accountability requirements. His proposal would expedite the firing of underperforming teachers and would subject school districts to fiscal and management audits. School districts that continue to flounder would face a series of state interventions that could culminate in a shutdown of those districts.
Mentoring, coaching and peer review for teachers make sense. Having new teachers serve four-year residencies with senior teachers would help the least-experienced members of the faculty.
In addition, two-year tuition freezes at community colleges and regional campuses would help Ohioans struggling with higher-education costs.
In January of last year, the Dispatch praised Strickland’s plan as advancing merit-based teacher promotion/retention at the expense of those “evil” teachers’ unions. They applauded him for changing Ohio’s laws making it easier to fire bad and underperforming teachers.
The plan they praised in January became the law they’re condemning today. The plan didn’t change. The economic reality hadn’t changed, either. The only thing that has changed from January until today is that the Dispatch has endorsed John Kasich as Governor.
Today’s editorial doesn’t even acknowledge the contrary existence of the one last year. The Dispatch is so wedded to getting John Kasich elected Governor that they’re now going back and blasting the very things they used to praise Governor Strickland on. It’s pathetic media bias at its worse.
Shameless and disgraceful.