Welcome to The Teacher Advocate, a website designed to help Ohio public school educators and others to understand the fundamental nature of the elements of school reform that are destroying public schools and demoralizing the dedicated educators who staff them. The primary purpose of the site is to provide you with a central location for accessing a series of papers, each one covering a particular aspect of the school reform initiatives affecting Ohio. The site also offers thoughtful commentary, select links to the most relevant sites, specific research, and individual narratives. The material offered is presented from the standpoint of examining how and why particular elements of school reform disadvantage Ohio’s public schools, their educators, and their students and what we can do to advance their well being.
The Teacher Advocate believes that there is an incredible amount of extremely important knowledge about testing, assessment, evaluation, and accountability that has not been succinctly presented nor clearly explained to Ohio educators or to the public. The critiques offered by The Teacher Advocate are my attempt to correct that situation, to do right by teachers and administrators so they can, in turn, do right by their students.
Arguably, the exposé and critique presented herein should have been provided to Ohio’s teachers long ago by our unions, NEA-OEA and AFT-OFT, but were not. Why this has happened is a critical issue in itself that is examined as well. Therefore, in large part, this site is designed to help teachers help their unions recapture a conscious and proactive sense of teacher advocacy that was abandoned with the birth of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The Teacher Advocate believes the time has come for union leadership to accept the full mantle of accountability to their membership. The time has also come for teachers to be heard, for their professional voice to be valued and amplified.
The Teacher Advocate was created as a project to offer exposé and critique of Ohio’s system of education accountability. Most, if not all of what is offered here, is generalizable across other state systems and the federal system as well. Individual state accountability systems are all simply slight variations on the overall education reform model represented by the corporate, standardized-test-driven legislation. The Teacher Advocate project is dedicated to help public school educators and the public in the pursuit of a fair, valid, reliable, and reasoned school accountability model.
My promise is to keep this knowledge as straightforward as possible and always factual. Please share the URL of the website as far and as wide as you can. Together, we can change the system.
--Randy L. Hoover, Founder of The Teacher Advocate