The view from the Ohio trenches
April 28, 2008
Here in D.C., the politics of education reform seem tame compared to what our Fordham team in Ohio faces, a point made clear in this Columbus Education Association interview with Governor Ted Strickland. In outlining his "6 point plan" on education, Strickland continues the attack on charter schools that began during his campaign, calling them "destructive to our students and wasteful of our tax dollars," * repeating his previous calls for "a moratorium on the creation of new charter schools," and strongly hinting that if only he had a Democratic legislature he could truly kill the state's charter (and voucher) program.
He'd also like to turn back the clock on accountability, arguing that "testing and assessment ought to be diagnostic," and "teachers must have the freedom to teach without the fear of standardized test results communicating that you're a bad teacher."
Of course he's genuflecting before the unions, so much so that this quote--which apparently addressed how teachers have influenced his life--seems like a comic Freudian slip about their role in his administration: "Teachers have incredible power and monumental influence. What's most important... is that (teachers) need to be respected by the government."
And what about the students, Governor?
We hope Democrats outside Ohio (e.g., Eduwonk) notice that he's giving the party a bad name in education.
*Correction: The CEA wrote to tell us that their interview had erroneously attributed the Governor's "destructive and wasteful" quote to charters rather than to vouchers. They have since corrected the interview.