Posts by: William Phillis

The Washington Post published an excellent brief recitation of the history of the “Blaine Amendment” by Diane Ravitch.

Public school personnel and all other citizens will benefit by reading this insightful article.

Church and state must be kept separate for the benefit of both church and state. Recent decisions by all three branches of government have blurred the line of separation in recent decades. That does not bode well for democracy.

Each, the church and civil government, have unique separate roles to play in our society. Intermingling of those roles will compromise both the church and state to the […]

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Before Ohio expands funding for charter school facilities, state officials should seriously investigate the California charter facilities disaster.

A group called In The Public Interest (ITPI) engaged Dr. Gordon Lafer, associate professor at the University of Oregon, to research the flaws of the California charter facilities policy. An April 2017 report of Lafer’s findings reveals that hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent each year without any meaningful strategy. Funds are thrown to charters with no statewide plan or local plans for efficient and effective use of the funds. Charter facilities are being built in locations where school […]

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Is standardized testing in America for the benefit of students? Or for huge corporations that profit from tests?

In an April 11 blog, Diane Ravitch highly recommended a post by Steven Singer that asks important questions.

School children as young as 8-years-old are forced to take a battery of standardized tests in public schools. Would educators prescribe such assessments if it were up to them? Would parents demand children be treated this way if they were consulted? Or is this just a corporate scam perpetrated by our government for the sole benefit of a particular industry that funnels […]

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As the almost-universal voucher bill (SB 85) is pending, Ohio legislators should take notice that Texas lawmakers supported an amendment to their budget expressly stating that state money, “may not be used to pay for or support a school voucher, education savings account or tax credit scholarship program or similar program through which a child may use state money for non-public education” by a 103-44 vote.

But even after that resounding defeat, some Texas lawmakers proposed a voucher program for poor families. It was defeated by a 117-27 margin. It appears Texas lawmakers understand that universal “voucherism” is […]

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A recent Washington Post article reported that U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is being protected by U.S. Marshals under a 7 ½ months contract for the amount of $7.78 million.

Federal marshals are protecting Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at a cost to her agency of nearly $8 million over nearly eight months, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

The Education Department has agreed to reimburse the marshals $7.78 million for their services from mid-February to the end of September, said a marshals spokeswoman — an average of about $1 million per month.

The plan is that U.S. Marshals will […]

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Ohio Republican State Senator Matt Huffman has introduced a bill  (SB 85) that would provide almost universal school vouchers across Ohio.

The Legislative Service Commission (LSC) estimates that 74% of Ohio students would be eligible to participate under the terms of the SB 85 voucher proposal. The LSC Fiscal Note and Local Impact Statement indicates if all students would opt for vouchers the net cost to the state would be $1.19 billion per year. Further, the LSC Note states, “Participation rates between 2.5% and 10% result in net annual state costs ranging from $45 million to $133 million.”

Private […]

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Imagine schooling in Ohio without the 1851 Constitutional provision for a thorough and efficient system of common schools.

The 18th and 19th century public officials set forth education policy with future generations in mind. The Land Ordinance of 1787 set aside the 16th section of each township for the support of education. It took a couple of decades after statehood for Ohio officials to get their education act together. They mismanaged (wasted) the revenue-raising capacity of the 16th section of each township and, for the most part, merely granted charters to local libraries, literary societies and charities to provide a […]

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Each person is amazingly unique, each endowed with innate characteristics, talents, abilities, gifts, etc. Each has an exclusive DNA different from all others.

The far-reaching goal of the public common school is to nurture the development of students’ gifts, talents, abilities, etc. The goal is to develop participating citizens capable of contributing to the common good. A broad array of programs, services and professional personnel are required for successful accomplishment of the goal.

But how should success be measured? By the A-F report card? High stakes standardized academic tests to be perfected by all students? Should all students be required […]

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Betsy DeVos, speaking at the Brookings Institution, said that we must think about funding individual children, not institutions or buildings in order to serve the greater public good. That logic would suggest that each citizen should be provided a tax voucher to purchase personal security while police departments and other safety forces are being dismantled. Why not abandon the Brookings Institution and provide some kind of voucher to allow Brookings employees to be paid to freelance their services?

DeVos’ answer to every question is “more choice” outside the real public system at taxpayer’s expense. Her view of public common good […]

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A new bill (HB 87) from Republican Rep. Kristina Roegner would require funds recovered from charter schools be returned to school districts: a really good proposal, but Ohio’s track record of collecting misspent charter money is less than 10 percent. Charter funds are deducted from school districts and thus misspent by charters should be returned to the source. That is a no-brainer! But Ohio has been conspicuously unsuccessful in collecting misused funds from charters. HB 87 should be amended to require state officials to aggressively pursue misspent funds and hold charter school sponsors responsible for repaying the […]

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According to the Sunbury News:

A Columbus woman who took $88,750 earmarked to start a charter school in Powell was sentenced to three years in prison recently by Delaware County Common Pleas Court Judge Everett H. Krueger.

If a charter school operator is sent to prison for taking funds earmarked for start-up school, why aren’t some of the big time thieves in the charter school industry punished?

Taxpayers pay for charter students that are not participating in education. Charter operators form companies to provide high cost rental space for the charter schools they operate. All kinds of nefarious deals […]

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