(LFC Comments: Warren from Knox County wrote this letter to the editor of his local paper. We agree with Warren that school boards must be held accountable for the grades received from the State. When we have brought this subject up to educators, we have been told that we should pay no attention to the grading system. If that is the case, perhaps we should scrap the whole system and save the millions it is costing the taxpayers. Since the public schools are getting ~70% of the property taxes, what other effective measure can the taxpayers use to hold the educators accountable? We are willing to listen.)
State of Ohio School Grading System
I read with interest the article in the January 24th Mt Vernon News about Vouchers being extended to include more failing schools.
One of the things I have seen in the public school systems is the lack of accountability. A case in point is the East Knox Junior/Senior High School. For the last few years East Knox has gotten an “F” in at least one of the categories on the Ohio State Department of Education report card. In 2019 they received two “F”s three “D”s and one “C”. Their overall grade has been a “D” for years. If we were to correlate this performance to a business, this company would have gone bankrupt long ago. In the private sector when you put out an inferior product you lose out to your competition and you go out of business. At East Knox the people keep getting pay raises and things go on as if everything is OK. According to the state everything is not OK at East Knox and it hasn’t been for years.
The superintendent of the school system is responsible to make sure that each child in the system has the best education possible. Making sure the superintendent is doing his job rests directly on the shoulders of the local school board. As elected officials their constituents are the students and the tax payers, not the teachers and administrators. There are many good and talented people in education, but they seem to be trapped by a system that has an acceptable rate of failure. The lack of accountability and absence of competition are a major cause of these problems. This is symptomatic of government run institutions.
School administrators are some of the highest paid people in Knox County. According to the U.S. Census Bureau for 2018, the average wage in Knox County Ohio is $25,589 for an individual and $55,131 per household. The East Knox superintendent is making over five times as much as the average worker in this county. You would think the board would have an expectation that the school would be doing much better than it is. Either make the superintendent do his job or replace him. If that doesn’t happen, replace the school board. The children of the district deserve better and their parents should demand it.
To verify go to www.ohiodepartmentofeducation.edu/reportcard and select your school.