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For all but four of the last 23 years, Republicans have held control of the governor’s mansion and both houses of the Ohio General Assembly. Buoyed by conservative support across huge swathes of the state’s rural landscapes, the GOP has dominated politics in Ohio and placed a chokehold on the our state’s working class.

A generation of Ohioans has grown up in the shadow of this conservative death star, constantly clamoring for lower taxes, more deregulation and more handouts to big businesses, even as their rural constituents struggled to make ends meet. Jobs were slashed en masse, wages plummeted in […]

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If Carly Simon gave us an anthem with You’re So Vain, maybe Good Charlotte’s Predictable provides the perfect lyric to help us define the dull and uninspiring Andrew Brenner.

I knew it all along
You’re so predictable
I knew something would go wrong

Yes, we knew all along that he was so predictable. But what has gone wrong for Brenner this election year in a big way is that he’s facing a formidable candidate who has a great chance of bringing him down in the otherwise reliably red territory of Delaware and Knox Counties.

In his search […]

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We’ve all seen far too often what happens when legislative bodies are non-representative of their constituents. Infamous images abound of panels of elderly, white, wealthy, Republican men staring down on women and people of color from their positions of power, enacting policies to benefit and enrich themselves at the harm of everybody else.

It’s long overdue that we should see an influx of women into the Ohio House of Representatives and State Senate. To say the least, it’s incredibly frustrating that 27 of the 33 State Senate seats and 76 of the 99 House of Representative seats in Ohio […]

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The failure of Betsy DeVos to effectively advance her privatization of public education agenda at the federal level is no reason for public education advocates to diminish their efforts. The September 4 Washington Post article “The education of Betsy DeVos: why her school choice agenda has not advanced” might prompt some public school advocates to ease up on their efforts.

The article said: “Her motivation, DeVos says, is to make sure every child can escape failing schools, even if parents can’t afford private school tuition. Critics counter that vouchers and related programs […]

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Last week, Ohio gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine released a remarkable statement that said too much testing in school “interferes with a child’s ability to think creatively and problem solve.”

Huh? When he was a Member of Congress, wasn’t Mike DeWine one of the strongest proponents of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law that’s been the bane of educators for nearly two decades?

Steve Dyer, an attorney, and Education Policy Fellow at Innovation Ohio examined the previous positions of both DeWine and his running mate, Jon Husted, in the area of education policy. Dyer served in the legislature during the […]

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Ever wonder what happened to the $71 million federal grant for new, improved, innovative, high performing charters? Steve Dyer probed the matter. The charter school grant, the nation’s largest for the matter, had a rocky start and has deteriorated as attorney Dyer explains in 10th Period on August 17

In 2016 last year, the state gave out a staggeringly low $1 million of that $71 million to just three of Ohio’s about 400 charter schools. Then the state just gave back $22 million of the $71 million, saying it just didn’t have enough good oversight agencies running charter schools. A fine admission.

[…]

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What does a judge’s ruling about a constitutional amendment in Florida have in common with television commercials aired recently about online schools in Ohio?

Answer: it’s not what’s stated in the proposed amendment and the TV promotional that’s important. Instead, it’s about what’s not disclosed in each.

The question then is why was an important word left out of both? Where Groucho Marx rewarded contestants for uttering “the magic word” on his TV show, we should recognize readers for being the first to figure out what key or magic word is being left out of commercials for some Ohio online […]

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Fast and furious. When people see that phrase, they often identify it with the name of a film released several years ago. But today, fast and furious also describes the behavior of Republican politicians as they flee as swiftly as they can from the spreading radioactive mushroom cloud generated from the implosion of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, the notorious online charter school.

As damaging as the charter school’s implosion was on the viability of Republican pols, the corresponding explosion ECOT’s demise is causing in state political circles continues to reverberate, particularly for four GOP ECOT stalwarts named […]

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It finally seems that ECOT is dead. Today the Ohio Supreme Court ruled 4-2 against ECOT’s appeal and sided with the state. This upheld lower court rulings and determined the state acted lawfully when it ordered ECOT to repay millions for unverified enrollment. However, the matter of collecting ill-gotten money from the ECOT Man and his two companies is still pending.

The decision came with Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, Justices Patrick Fischer and Mary DeGenaro and appellate judge W. Scott Gwin, sitting in for recused Justice Judith French, forming the majority.

Fischer explained in the majority opinion that the Ohio […]

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The white flash mob that turned out for Herr Trumpf’s rally in Tampa with vulgarities and fist-waving threats to the media was in brutal contrast to a friendlier moment the day before as superstar LeBron James hosted the opening of his Foundation’s grade school in Akron.

In Florida the cheers went out for a president, having now downed his quart of Muscle Milk and executed his defiant game face with tight lip-synced push- button grins, rose in the grandeur of his chilling opera.

In James’  hometown of Akron, where he entered the real world without the benefit of a $1 […]

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The Ohio Attorney General’s response to the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow’s (ECOT) June 27, 2018, Memorandum Regarding Assignment of Claims could open a can of worms for the charter industry.

In his “response“, claims that public money can be recovered from the ECOT scheme in three ways:

William Lager, the operator of ECOT, had a fiduciary duty to ECOT and thus violated that duty by doing business with the two companies he created. Therefore, all the profits realized via those companies’ dealings with ECOT should be recovered. Lager’s status as ECOT’s agent made him a […]

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