Making the Case – Commitment

State Board of Education considers the “cut score” for the Third Grade Reading Guarantee on October 18. By a 9-8 vote, the Board raised the score by two points for 2016-17.

The voters and residents of our district have my commitment to three critical issues in the campaign for the State Board of Education. I summarize them as Overtesting, Underfunding, and Privatizing.

Let’s review:

  • Overtesting: Parents, teachers, and community members ask more questions about this topic than the others combined. That’s not surprising, since this issue directly affects children. Quite simply, we are using too many tests, frequently the wrong tests, and we are using them for the wrong reasons. While the State Board of Education can’t end high-stakes testing, I am committed to holding the line on reasonable use of those tests, including the setting of “cut scores.”
  • Underfunding: More spending won’t solve all the problems of schools; but many of those problems are aggravated by Ohio’s unconstitutional  school funding system, which relies too heavily on local property taxes. While the State Board of Education doesn’t have authority over Ohio’s budget, I am committed to working with legislators of both parties to find a solution to this problem.
  • Privatizing: Ohio’s kids have a constitutional right to a “thorough and efficient system of common schools,” and school choice shouldn’t be used to dismantle that system. Ohio’s charter schools are protected in law, but I am committed to making sure that the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Ohio Department of Education do their jobs to make sure that charter schools are held accountable.

There’s more, of course. but these three examples make a good start in identifying my priorities. Commitment is the first of three themes that I have emphasized since early in this campaign. Coming up in these final days are the other themes: Service and Leadership.

This post originally appeared on the website of my 2016 campaign for State Board of Education,

Author: StgCoach

Retired teacher and public education leader. Pastoral musician, community activist, parliamentarian, and photographer.