Posts by: William Phillis

The federal and state voucher trains are picking up steam in spite of dismal results from vouchers.

Education choice enthusiasts originally spewed the rhetoric that vouchers would allow poor children to have the same opportunities for a private education as rich kids. Now choicers want money to follow every child (i.e.) a universal voucher system.

At the federal level, HR 610 has been introduced to require states to adopt vouchers in order to maintain eligibility for federal funds.

Although Ohio has a half-dozen separate voucher programs, Senator Matt Huffman is proposing a voucher program that is essentially universal. Huffman’s proposal […]

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Here is you opportunity to be heard on the state’s draft plan for ESSA.

The notice regarding hearings scheduled by the Joint Education Oversight Committee is below. If you can’t appear in person, you may wish to email written testimony.

Don’t let this opportunity slip by you!

NOTICE: The Joint Education Oversight Committee will be hearing testimony regarding Ohio’s State Plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act. JEOC will hold two meetings on Thursday, March 2,2017 at 2:30 PM and Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 1:30 PM in the Senate South Hearing Room. If you are interested in testifying please contact […]

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Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Secretary of Education with a tie-breaking vote by the Vice-President. Opposition to her confirmation was intense and protracted because she has no public school experience and has contributed heavily to advance her anti-public school agenda.

Now she is echoing that tired, old rhetoric that her opponents are merely those who are against “new ideas.”

Of course, her “new ideas” are any and all alternatives to the public common school.

Often public school personnel and advocates will not speak out in opposition to nefarious “reforms” from the nation’s Capital and groups such as the American […]

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In a recent Dispatch article, Governor Kasich “defended his proposed school funding formula that would result in cuts for more than half of Ohio’s school districts” by complaining that many school districts “have not looked to improve how they operate, from merging with other districts to partnering in purchasing.”

In fact, many school districts have reduced programs and services to cope with state-imposed loss of tangible personal property revenue (TPP), state cuts in reimbursement for loss of TPP, flat state funding for several years and loss of funds flowing to charters and vouchers.

With very, very few exceptions, merging […]

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The February 11, 2017 Policy Matters Ohio research report, by Zack Schiller, pinpoints why multitudes of school district students are deprived of a high quality education.

State officials in Ohio seem more comfortable tolerating the school-to-prison and school-to-welfare pipelines than biting the bullet to appropriately fund a constitutional system of common schools. All the political rhetoric about career and college readiness is noisome twaddle without the provision of adequate resources directed to all school districts.

Policy Matters asked the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy to analyze Kasich’s latest tax proposal. This is what they found:

• The middle fifth […]

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Dr. George Wood, an education policy expert serving as Superintendent of Federal Hocking Local School District, provides three easy budget fixes in this article for the Athens Messenger.

These “fixes” would provide some relief in the short term. In the long term, state officials must revisit the Ohio Supreme Court’s decisions in DeRolph and give the system a complete systematic overhaul as directed by the Court.

Here’s a quick summary of the highlights:

First, end the transfer of local tax dollars to electronic charter schools (e-schools). Second, the legislature should act to reduce the number of tests Ohio school […]

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15,000 Ohioans were engaged in discussions to advise ODE regarding the ESSA plan. Did ODE really listen to the folks that participated in the feedback sessions? Or did ODE listen to the Governor, who in a political statement, said we are not going to back down from high standards. The Governor’s posture on the matter would be appropriate if the “high standards” had validity. School district officials and teaching personnel do not not opt for low standards-they want the appropriate high standards.

The key highlights on page four of Driving Education Excellence: Securing the Future for All Ohio Students […]

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The PAC that Billionaire Betsy DeVos chaired and helped fund owes Ohio $5.3 million in fines for illegal actions while promoting charter schools in Ohio.  Laundering money in her zeal to charterize Ohio was the issue. This matter was recently aired on the U.S. House floor, but the fine will not likely be paid. Although the DeVos confirmation vote has been delayed twice, she will probably be confirmed. Despite the outstanding fines, Ohio Governor John Kasich wrote a glowing letter of recommendation about DeVos to Lamar Alexander, chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, […]

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The office of Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education should be occupied by an experienced, highly professional educator that is a recognized leader – one who commands the respect, admiration and approval of those laboring at all levels of education policy and practice. Jan Resseger’s review of the confirmation hearing confirms that DeVos has no experience in public education or in-depth understanding of education. The Senators in the hearing should have been “distressed by her evident lack of knowledge and experience and her ideological bent,” wrote Resseger.

The school choice thumpers now have one of their own in […]

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The Governor, during a January 12 speech to the Columbus Partnership, announced a provision in the state budget proposal to add three non-voting, non-elected business persons to each board of education. Why three? Why any?

This solution-looking-for-a-problem approach is yet another signal that some politicians don’t trust citizens to elect the “right” individuals to manage educational programming in school districts. Appointed state board of education members and the “Youngstown” Plan (amendment to HB 70 of the 131st General Assembly) are other examples of lack of confidence in citizens. Of course, the citizens that elect the board members also elect governors […]

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Diane Ravitch was invited to introduce Betsy DeVos to the readers of In These Times.

Her view of Betsy DeVos as the nominee for Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education: “Billionaire Betsy DeVos will be great for private, religious and charter schools—and bad news for students and teachers.”

 There is little doubt but that Ms. DeVos will be confirmed; hence, why raise the issue of her lack of qualifications and desirability for the position? Simply because the American people have a right to know her background and the potential damage she can do to public […]

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