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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Playing Politics With Ohio Education

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.

5 comments:

Ben said...

Yeah he does want to install his own educational system, problem being no one knows what it is yet, even though that was one of two major things he ran on for governor, the other being I am not a republican.

Roland Hansen said...

Ben,
I am sick and tired of politicos playing on citizens' concerns for the education of our children.
I don't care who they are --- Democrat, Independent, Republican, - whomever. I will out them no matter.
As a matter of fact, in my personal opinion, any politician whether an elected official or candidate for elective office who plays the education card but is not in an elective position of authority and responsibility that would allow that person to effectuate change in the education field (or seeking such position) should be removed from office or removed from any elective candidacy -- PERIOD. They are perpetuating a fraud on the American public and should be disallowed from any position of public trust.

Ben said...

Agreed.

Tim Higgins said...

Roland,

I am cynical enough to wonder why the state is taking an interest in everything that has to do with education except what the courts consider an illegal funding system. Gov. Strickland now appears to be assuming direct control of the education system for the state, and as you say, we don't know what plans he might have for it. We all know how power corrupts however, and there are too many unanswered questions here.

This situation is fraught with danger.

Judy said...

Governor Ted Strickland has begun to travel down a road with many twists and turns. I just hope that at the end of the road we will find the right path has been taken.