Ohio wins a major award ?????' aka the 'leg lamp' of education

Remember in the movie, A Christmas Story, when Ralphie's dad wins the infamous leg lamp, places it in the family's front window, and shouts to the neighborhood that he's won a ???major award????

That's kind of what happened yesterday when Gov. Strickland announced in his State of the State that Ohio had won an award for ???the most innovative education system in the country.??? Turns out, Ohio was recognized (conveniently just moments before Strickland's speech) by the Education Commission of the States as recipient of 2010's Frank Newman Award, which ???recognizes states and territories for demonstrated excellence in shaping education policy.??? The basis for Ohio's win? Strickland's move to channel increased spending through new school reforms, enshrined in H.B. 1 (which, as I'm certain you know by now, we think are overly prescriptive and misguided).

Feel like you're standing in the snow staring at a glowing leg? Me too. We looked up the list of Frank Newman recipients for past years, and it's not a ranking of innovation so much as a student-of-the-month honor for states. Kentucky, Alaska, North Dakota, and Tennessee are the most recent winners, and while there's nothing to bash about various reforms in winning states (pre-k, technology, etc.), Ohio's receipt of this award is a far stretch from saying that it symbolizes that we are ???the most innovative education system in the country.???

But try telling that to a man who's just won a major award.

--Jamie Davies O'Leary

Image courtesy of Our_Photo_Stuff at Flickr

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