We will be attending another meeting on Tuesday in Jefferson, Ohio. It is billed as the “Ashtabula County Regional Stakeholder Meeting”. They will be discussing future plans for Ohio’s education system. Here is their final draft of “Each Child=Our Future”
We will keep you posted. We are wondering if they will even mention the impact of their proposed changes on the property taxes to be paid by seniors. Stay tuned.
I did attend the conference in Ashtabula. They had easily over 100 in attendance, and their goal was to get input from attendees about their new #EachChild=Our Future program for the State of Ohio. I must honestly say that I felt like a “pair of brown shoes at a black tie affair.” My conservatism made me one of maybe a dozen in the room.
When asked why I was there, I told them that I was extremely concerned that we are pricing seniors and those living on fixed incomes out of their homes. After they picked their jaws off the table, I continued. I educated them on the fact that in the school year 2016 – 2017, we spent $24.1 Billion on the 607 Ohio school districts and for that investment we received a grade point average of 1.55. As a taxpayer, I am not impressed with those results. The moderator at our table was busily typing my responses, but I could tell that I was “grinding his gears”.
I asked why is their a need for a new program? Does it mean that someone screwed up and made mistakes on the current initiative that got us a 1.55 average? A parent at the table said that we do not want to lay blame on anyone. My response: “Oh, yes we do, someone always has to be held accountable, and it is past time to call out those that put us in this public education mess.”
We then started to review their document that provided the details of their program. I said that this was obviously written by Phd’s that use acronyms and phrases that the average citizens, who are footing the bill for education, have no clue what in the world they are talking about.
For example: What is an “adaptive comparative judgment model”, or, “Social-Emotional Learning Standards”…only to list a couple of examples..
Another issue concerning me was the comment of the State being involved from “cradle to career” (their phrase) in the education of children.
When I see statements like “Students are the State’s Hopes and Dreams”, I see an intrusive State trying to control our lives. They speak about equality of opportunity, but, in reality, they strive for equality of outcome.
There was a teacher at our table that did share some insight to what the problems are in our public schools. We have taken, for the most part, the teacher and his or her teaching ability out of the equation. There are now so many mandatory tests that the teacher has little time other than to train the children to take tests.
Also, it was expressed that we can no longer discipline the children for bad behavior.
My comment was that the basic problem is that we have destroyed the family structure, and it is reflecting in the behavior of the children.
Here is another gem that I picked up. At the beginning of the school year, the children are given a test to measure their knowledge and proficiency in certain subjects. The teacher…get this…the teacher has to then determine how well the child will progress by the end of the year. So, if a child scores 20% on the entrance exam, the teacher then looks into his or her crystal ball and says that they think that the child will score a 60% on the year end exam. If the child then scores less than 60%, the teacher is then marked down in their year- end evaluations. Invariably, and quite understandably, this leads to teachers “cutting the gap”, as they refer to it, in half.
I asked the teacher who is responsible for all of these tests that are obviously not producing the results. He said that it is the State legislators that are the problem.
Ladies and gentlemen, we can complain all we want about our real estate taxes, and the investment we make in our public schools, only to receive failing grades. However, unless we stand up and say, “enough is enough” nothing will happen. Be assured that the State’s education bureaucracy and our politicians will do NOTHING until we speak up as a united front and demand we go back to the basics.