Politics is all about getting power and exercising power.
Oftentimes, public education is the hot button topic for those persons seeking to obtain, retain and exercise political power. I have heard candidates for City Council, Mayor, County Commissioner, State Representative, Governor, Congress, and President, along with many others, speak of "reforming" or "improving" public education as part of their campaign platforms. BUT, most of those elective positions have absolutely no authority or "legitimate power" to do so.
Do the candidates for elective office and the incumbent elected officials think the American electorate are dumb enough to fall prey to their promises that they cannot possibly legitimately fulfill? OR, are they attempting to gather more political power than those positions are responsible and accountable under the law?
Playing politics with primary and secondary education (as well as higher education) is quite a common occurrence in Ohio, just as it is in other states.
The State of Ohio has a State Board of Education that has both elected and gubernatorial appointed members. At one time the Board of Education was an all-elected body, but the size of the Board and method of selecting its members was changed at least twice in the past decade or two by the Ohio General Assembly at the urging of a previous Ohio Governor or two.
The most recent example of playing politics with education in Ohio involves Governor Ted Strickland, the State Board of Education of Ohio, and the Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction.
It seems Governor Ted Strickland wants to establish his own public policy of public education in Ohio and wants to appoint the individual responsible to implement and administer public education policy. Those are the functions of the State Board of Education of Ohio.
For more information on what's going on in that regards, please read the embedded links of the following:
Strickland's school plan criticized
Longtime leader of Ohio's public schools to resign
Ohio schools superintendent resigns
Governor gets wish on schools leader
Why, oh why, oh why, do 'we' have elected members on the State Board of Education if 'we' want the Governor to assume the role of those elected members? Frankly, I do not think the State Board of Education is doing a very good job, nor do I think the State Superintendent has been doing a great job. None-the-less, they are the persons who have the responsibility and the authority, not Governor Ted Strickland. I might even prefer Ted Strickland's ideas, I'm not sure, but it makes no difference to me because it is not within the Governor's legitimate authority.
If the Governor is to exercise power in the area of primary and secondary education in establishing and administering public policy, then the system needs to be changed legitimately by the appropriate means.
Oh, gee, that means the Ohio General Assembly may need to enact some legislation to allow the necessary changes. Well, let's forget it then. The Ohio STATE LEGISLATURE has been a TOTAL FAILURE in the whole area of public education for at least the past 25 years.