A Personal Note to the Reader
My name is Randy L. Hoover, and I am emeritus professor of graduate studies in Teacher Education at Youngstown State University. I am also the person behind this website, The Teacher Advocate. I grew up in Willoughby, Ohio, graduating from Willoughby South High School. My undergraduate degree is in political science from The Ohio State University, my master's degree is in educational administration from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, and my PhD is in Teacher Education from The Ohio State University. I taught public school social studies in Madison (Lake), Ohio, for 12 years where I worked with a passionate group of truly amazing educators at Memorial Middle School. Following four years as a teaching associate at OSU, I joined the faculty of Youngstown State University, retiring spring 2013. While at YSU, among other scholarly works, I coauthored Democratic Discipline: Foundations and Practice (1997) with Richard Kindsvatter, PhD. In 2012, I was deeply honored to receive the Intellectual Freedom Award from the National Council of Teachers of English.
Since 1999, I have been involved in standardized achievement test research in terms of test validity, accountability metrics, value added, and the impact of accountability mandates on public schools and their educators. I have done extensive quantitative research on achievement tests in Ohio, authoring a number of national scholarly papers and two major empirical studies (2000; 2008) of Ohio school district test performance and test validity. The past two years I wrote three different book chapters1, the first one dealing with curriculum for civic and intellectual empowerment through public schools and the latest two dealing with school accountability metrics and the neoliberal politics of educational reform.
As a teacher in Madison, I became active in the OEA, especially at the local and regional levels during the time when teacher advocacy was the OEA prime directive. As a union, OEA state leadership fought, and fought hard, for teacher advocacy. Unified dues, collective bargaining, master contracts, UniServe offices, the state income tax to help fund schools, and the right to strike were all accomplished during the time I was a classroom teacher. OEA's motto during that time was "Together We Can," and together we did. But somewhere in the early 1990s, teacher advocacy began to die of benign neglect as leadership began a sordid romance with the political proponents of test-based educational reform and all that flows forth from it. We are where we are today is, in large part, because teacher advocacy was abandoned. Now is the time to help our union leadership at all levels to reanimate and restore teacher advocacy as their prime directive. Together we can, and together we will!
1Hoover, R. (2013). Animating Democracy: The Civic and Pedagogical Imperative. In Educating for Democratic Consciousness: Counter Hegemonic Possibilities. Abdi, A. & Carr, P. (Eds.), NY: Peter Lang.
Hoover, R. (2014). The Pseudoaccountability of School Reform: Injustice by (False) Proxy. In, Social Context Reform: Equity and Opportunity—not Accountability—in Education Reform. Carr, P. et al, (Eds.), NY: Routledge Press.
Hoover, R. (2014). The Neoliberal Metrics of the False Proxy and Pseudo Accountability. In Carr, P. & Porfilio, B. (Eds.), The Phenomenon of Obama and the Agenda for Education: Can Hope Audaciously Trump Neoliberalism? 2nd edition. Charlotte: Information Age Publishing.
Hoover, R., & Kindsvatter, R. (1997). Democratic discipline: Foundation and practice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.