Although test scores are not the best measure of the efficacy of schooling, vouchers were sold as a vehicle to improve test scores. That has not happened according to multiple studies – the latest of which is reported in The New York Times.
Math scores among students who used the vouchers were roughly seven percentage points lower than students who were not selected. The negative academic effect was even more pronounced for students who were not attending a low-performing school when they were awarded the vouchers – their scores were 14.6 percentage points lower in reading and 18.3 percentage points […]Full Story... →
Some political pundits have been saying SB 85-the Universal Voucher Bill-will not move through the legislature. Hopefully they are right. But in the era of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Education Secretary, vouchers could become more appealing. DeVos’ response to every question is an elevator speech on a parent’s right to choose. After hearing a talking point hundreds of times, one often accepts it as fact regardless of how wrong it is. The sponsor of SB 85, State Rep. Matt Huffman, is taking his show on the road. A May 19th Plain Dealer article details a rally […]Full Story... →
A hearing officer ruled against ECOT last week, however this political powerhouse has brawny allies in all branches of state government
ECOT appealed the results of the recent enrollment/student participation audit by the Ohio Department of Education to the State Board of Education. The State Board appointed a hearing officer to hear the audit matter. On May 10, the hearing officer ruled against ECOT. The matter will be decided by the State Board in June. If ECOT loses, it may appeal the State Board’s decision in court. Don’t count them out.
ECOT is everywhere. Rally at the Statehouse. Lobbyists […]Full Story... →
Last week’s ECOT rally backfired, but some state officials are still rallying behind this political campaign funding-driven machine. The May 16 Dispatch editorial seems to imply that the ECOT rally was not impressive. ECOT is marketing, lobbying and litigating to gain approval to lock in revenue streams for students even if they don’t participate-the equivalent of funding empty classrooms. Now that the ECOT scam has been exposed to the public, the political grip of the ECOT Man may be loosening. But don’t count ECOT out. It only takes one legislator to insert an ECOT-friendly amendment into a […]Full Story... →
Last week, former Congressman Dennis Kucinich conducted a Statehouse news conference and four town hall meetings in Ohio regarding the realities of the charter school industry.
Steve Farber has posted videos from two of the events. You can watch them below.Full Story... →
A cleverly-worded amendment that would benefit some charters magically appeared in the State Budget bill. No one seems to claim ownership-not me, not me, they say. However, Representative Teresa Fedor was suspicious. Even ECOT didn’t claim it.
Fortunately, Senator Peggy Lehner is quoted in The Dispatch as saying she has begun to draft an amendment to remove this provision.
“If it indeed does create some kind of staggering loophole, I think we need to deal with it,” said Sen. Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering, said Wednesday, adding she already was drafting an amendment to strip it out of the bill.
[…]Full Story... →
Dr. Sarah Stitzlein, Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati has written an important article about “building support for public education on the heels of Betsy DeVos.”
Dr. Stitzlein, in her commentary, “We are not consumers, but citizens when it comes to schools”, pleads for citizens to support and sustain the public common school as the key institution for preparing citizens for democracy.
“We need good public schools now more than ever to help us solve our problems, especially in light of our politically divided country,” Stitzlein concludes. “Let’s build on the momentum we witnessed in response to DeVos to improve […]Full Story... →
Berkshire’s perspective on the Betsy DeVos visit can be summed up by a quote made by Elida Treasurer Joel Parker while he and Board member Brenda Stocker were talking to her:
Parker, a Trump supporter, likens the growth of Ohio’s virtual schools, with their moneyed bosses and political flunkies, to the takeover of the garbage collection industry by organized crime in the ‘50’s. *The mob got into the business because it was easy, they could control it, […]Full Story... →
Jeanne Melvin, President of Public Education Partners (PEP) has developed a graphic that can be used to show school district patrons how a portion of their school levy funds flow to charters. Some state officials have argued that no local funds are involved in chartering. They may be aware that the use of revenue from local levies is restricted to the operation of the school district; hence, they fabricated the following argument:
· Districts must use their local revenue first for their district students
· Districts must use their state funds first for charter students
According to a recent article by Diane Ravitch, the Walton Family Foundation spent $179 million on charter school activities in 2015 and they “are in the midst of a pledge to spend $1 billion to open more charters.”
The Walton Family foundation and other pro-charter foundations are spending billions in the campaign to charterize the traditional public system. Ravitch shared a list of organizations that Walton is helping to bankroll that includes Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst Institute ($2.8 Million) and Teach For America ($8 Million) as well as School Choice Ohio ($35K), the shady Ohio-based, anti-public school organization.
While […]Full Story... →
According to Dr. Sarah Stitzlein, Associate Professor of Education, University of Cincinnati, school voucher programs place individual interest over the common good. The conclusion of Dr. Stitzlein’s Cincinnati Enquirer OpEd article is that SB 85 (the almost-universal voucher bill pending in the Senate Education Committee) is the wrong choice for Ohio.
Expanding school choice via free market ideology, a system that has served our country well in other areas, is appealing. But, it should only be used in the context of education when research and evidence demonstrate its usefulness for real children, schools, and communities. The reality is […]Full Story... →