Election 2014, New Research Findings, and the Common Core Controversy

Please don’t think that the recent absence of blogs is indicative of things slowing down
for the Teacher Advocate Project. A lot has been going on, which I will brief you about
below, but the most important item at the moment is the election.

From the standpoint of this project, electing strong pro-public school and pro-teacher
candidates to the Ohio State School board is critically important to our mission. It is the
only element of State government where we can oppose the reformists. While certainly
all the state offices and upcoming elections are important to us, we have the best
possibility of affecting some positive change in our direction by changing the makeup of
the State School Board.

To that end, I strongly recommend that we vote for the OEA-endorsed candidates for
the State Board. (OEA-endorsed candidates for State School Board are listed at the
end of this blog.) But for those of you in State Board District 7 and District 8, Michael
and Robert Hagan need our complete support. I personally know both
candidates and cannot recommend them strongly enough. Michael Charney is simply
outstanding in his teacher advocacy and his incredible depth of knowledge about all the
issues that have to do with the entire public school and educator accountability issues.
I have talked in great depth with Charney and can tell you with total confidence that he
has the insight and passion to truly make a difference in the accountability narrative
going on in Columbus. Please get everyone you know to look down the ballot and vote
for Michael Charney for District 7 State School Board Member.

In District 8, Bobby Hagan is a truly outstanding choice. I know Bobby very well and
have worked with him for many years in supporting pro-public school and pro-teacher
legislation. I can’t say enough positive things about Hagan’s values and support of
public school educators. He has a consistent record of fighting for us and representing
our interests in Columbus. With both Bobby Hagan and Michael Charney on the State
School Board, we will see significantly more teacher advocacy in how the board votes
and more press coverage of the issues critical to all of us in Ohio. Please vote for these
two down-ballot candidates. After my first study in 2000, Bobby submitted legislation for
a moratorium on testing that I wrote.

I also have to add that Michele Lepore-Hagan, who is running unopposed for State
Representative in District 58, and Joe Schiavoni, who is running unopposed for State
Senate in District 33, deserve our recognition also. They are both outstanding
supporters of the teacher advocate mission.

A last, but not least comment--No teacher advocate or public school supporter
should even consider voting for John Kasich!
He was and is one of the single most
anti-teacher governors in the entire country. Ed FitzGerald has run a horrendous
campaign and has some dubious background issues, yet we cannot give Kasich a
single vote. Please think of a vote for FitzGerald as a vote against Kasich. Keep the
moral ground for teacher advocacy: Just say NO to Kasich!

My Newest Research: On another front, I want to tell all of you that I have just
completed an extensive research analysis of Ohio school district performance on the
latest Ohio School Report Cards. An analysis of value-added performance across all
Ohio districts has also been completed. While I will release the studies in complete
form at some point, I must tell you that both studies show statistically significant
problems. In short, the Ohio School Report Card study shows beyond the shadow of
any doubt that the results are completely misleading all the stakeholders. The Report
Card grades and Performance Index scores are utterly lacking in truth and credibility.
When do we demand that the lying stop?

Common Core State Standards: The controversy about the Common Core is rampant
across the states and the confusion even more so. I still passionately oppose CCSS,
not because I am opposed to the standards (I am not opposed), but because CCSS
brings more completely invalid standardized testing, lower cut-off scores, and more
fodder for attacking public school educators. Don’t be misled; it is all a ploy to lock in
more anti-teacher publicity and legislation. See my paper on PARCC and CCSS at
http://teacher-advocate.com/content/parcc-common-core for more detail.

Good News: Nationally and in Ohio, public and educator resistance to the testing and
teacher evaluation mania is growing. If you want to get a morale boost, you should
subscribe to Bob Schaeffer’s weekly email newsletter Testing Resistance & Reform
News. You can easily do so by going to http://www.fairtest.org/weekly-news-signup. It
is well worth it. Subscribing to this and also to Diane Ravitch’s blog at
http://dianeravitch.net/#subscribe will give you insight into the trend against testing. See
the Teacher Advocate links page at http://teacher-advocate.com/content/links for other
vital sources of information about what’s going on.

Don’t forget to spread the word about the Teacher Advocate Project. You can access
the flyer here.

Endorsed State School Board Candidates:

  • District 7: Michael Charney
  • District 8: Robert Hagan
  • District 2: Kimberly Redfern
  • District 3: A.J. Wagner
  • District 4: Pat Bruns
  • District 5: Roslyn Painter-Goff


Map of Ohio’s State Board Districts:

Election 2014 Ohio Board of Education district map

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