Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Education & the Budget in Ohio

Ohio's Governor Ted Strickland wants to 'reform' the education system. Essentially he wants to dump more money into a failed system. He follows in the steps of the alleged President Barry Soetoro (a/k/a Barack Obama), who has shown a expertise at spending taxpayer funds, as well as piling up unsustainable amounts of debt during his first 100 days in office.


The following excerpt is from The Eagle, a publication of the Ohio Eagle Forum, Spring 2009, Volume 11, Issue 2.

“The legislature needs to act on the new biennial budget by June 30. The spending plan will require some serious thinking this year in view of decreasing state revenues resulting from the recession. Gov. Strickland has proposed a $54.7 billion two-year budget, which represents a 6.3% increase in state spending.

“Nearly $1 billion of new spending will go towards implementation of the Governor’s proposed “evidence-based” education funding plan. This proposal is controversial in itself . . . and wrangling over education philosophy will take place concurrently with the budgeting process . . .”


Two of the changes in educational philosophy incorporated into the new budget are a longer school year for public schools and the introduction of an assessment of students attitudes and behaviors as a part of the assessment of their readiness to advance to the next grade or graduate. Both of these “reforms” are foolhardy and unnecessary with the state of education in Ohio and America today. The graduation rates are horrific and the students who do graduate are woefully prepared, some cannot even read or write.

Why in the world – except to placate his teacher union political supporters – would the Governor not want to work on strengthening the academic content in the schools rather than just extend the time to prolong the inevitable failure in the system. Fix the problem – which is weak academic content and low standards – before you try to assess “attitudes and behavior” which does not lend itself to any type of measurement that can be audited. The reform should be first and foremost on academics. Also parents should be given a choice in what school to send their children, especially if the school is itself failing to meet basic standards.

Money is not the solution, a longer school year is not the solution, focusing on attitudes/behavior instead of academic skills is not the answer. Introduce competition into the education system. Break the grip of the union tentacles around the neck of the educational system. The education system is being choked by the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers. They are more interested in pushing a secular humanistic creed and their liberal agenda (homosexuality, comprehensive sex education, revisionist American History, etc.) and protecting some inept and incompetent teachers than they are at preparing children to be active and engaged citizens with knowledge and skills to be equipped for the 21st Century.


On Thursday, April 30, the Ohio Senate will be conducting a hearing on these proposed changes in philosophy in the educational system.

Here is a copy of the email, which I sent to several Ohio State Senators yesterday regarding these matters.

Dear Senator -

Since the Ohio Senate Education Committee will be discussing school year length and requiring attitude/behavior testing this week, I would like you to know that I am strongly opposed to both of these possible measures.

First, in terms of introducing or expanding state assessment of a child’s attitude or behaviors as a major component of whether-advance to the next grade level or even graduate from high school, please consider the following. Our schools are doing a woeful job in teaching sciences, history, math and reading. This is what I, as a taxpayer, am funding. Please reject any language that expands state assessments (Kindergarten through 12th grade).

Second and for the same reason, I am against the expansion of the school year as Governor Strickland proposes. We are not doing a good job using the resources or teaching the basics – reading, writing, math, science or history - now, what makes the Governor think spending more time not educating properly will make any difference? It won’t, it will just cost the taxpayer more money.

I request you either reject these two proposals or please vote against the current budget.

Most importantly, we must work at beefing up our academics and not get sidetracked wasting money on the peripheral issues, non-essential issues. The priority must be to strengthen our academic content and standards, not water them down further. Why are we so far down in the list of industrialized nations when it comes to education, when we spend such great amounts of money on it?


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