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August 04, 2009
July 12, 2010
July 15, 2010
Last week, economist and education
policy expert Eric Hanushek testified in a joint meeting of the Ohio House and Senate education
committees. His testimony – which focused on the importance of ensuring that
all education policies, including school finance policy, create incentives for
achievement – came less than one week before Gov. Kasich’s budget was introduced.
The most debated education-related
policy changes here in Ohio over the last month have been about Senate Bill 5,
the Buckeye State’s controversial attempt to weaken public sector collective
bargaining in the state. (Terry testified in support of the aims of the teacher personnel provisions
in the bill, not expressly on rolling back collective bargaining rights.)
Hanushek’s presentation helped
reframe the debate in a necessary way: undoing LIFO, or changing teacher salary
schedules, or including value-added data in teachers’ and principals’
evaluations is not about weakening unions but about incentivizing
performance, driving student achievement, and ultimately improving the quality
of Ohio’s future labor force.
Given the highly politicized
environment surrounding the capitol lately, it was good to hear an outside
expert explain the research and remind lawmakers that the need to move toward
achievement-focused policies predates the Midwest’s turmoil over collective
bargaining and will certainly go on long after. Hanushek explained:
As important as the fiscal issues that motivate current
discussions are – they are actually secondary in my mind to other policy
concerns about our schools, although we shall see that there is also overlap.
The current fiscal situation is pushing us to make a variety of responses. We
should first respond to these pressures in ways that improve the system. But,
second, we need to recognize that – even if the fiscal situation of Ohio
improves – there are fundamental reforms that are needed.
His testimony included several
Read his full testimony here.
Eric Hanushek’s visit to Ohio was
made possible by the generous support of the Cleveland Foundation, Diggs Family
Foundation, Farmer Family Foundation, Fordham Institute, George Gund
Foundation, Mathile Family Foundation, Nord Family Foundation, and the
Lovett and Ruth Peters Foundation.