Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Strickland attacks high-stakes testing, tax dollars for charter schools | The Columbus Dispatch

Strickland attacks high-stakes testing, tax dollars for charter schools | The Columbus Dispatch:

Strickland attacks high-stakes testing, tax dollars for charter schools

Democrat U.S. Senate candidate Ted Strickland surrounded himself with teachers this afternoon as he spoke about public education policy at Downtown Columbus High Scho

Democrat Ted Strickland touched on key points of concern to Ohio's public school educators this afternoon amid his campaign for the U.S. Senate.
The former governor seeking to topple Republican incumbent Rob Portman spoke for 24 minutes before a group of teachers gathered at Downtown Columbus High School.
He left them applauding as he denounced "excessive, oppressive" high-stakes student achievement tests and the flow of tax dollars to 'shadowy charter schools." He also called for government bureaucrats to give parents and teachers a greater stake in decisions that affect classroom education.
Strickland, who is endorsed by the Ohio Education Association and the Ohio Federation of Teachers, vowed he would be an "unabashed champion of public education" if Ohioans elect him to the Senate on Nov. 8.
Recalling he pushed for a moratorium on new charter schools as governor, Strickland attacked the privately operated, but publicly funded charter schools that he said robs money from the public K-12 system.
"We must fight to protect and strengthen public education in the face of deliberate and detrimental efforts to privatize our schools," he said.
"Shadowy, sometimes out-of-state, corporations are trying to divert our tax dollars away from our public schools in order to profit from the education of our kids."
Strickland recounted the data-rigging scandal at the Ohio Department of Education to improve sponsor evaluations by omitting scores of online charter schools. And, he spoke of "scandalous E(lectronic) schools" in making an indirect reference to the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow fight with the state over verifying students are receiving the needed hours of instruction.
In the Senate, he promised to pursue initiatives to alter federal standards that led to the flurry of student proficiency testing and promote funding for traditional public schools over charter schools.
The Democrat portrayed Portman as far from a friend of public education, saying the Republican has supported "sending millions of our tax dollars to companies that profit off our children's education."
The Portman campaign released statements of support from several area school board members, a teacher and a career center superintendent.
John McClelland, a New Albany school board member and veteran GOP consultant, criticized Strickland for cutting funds for literacy and pre-school programs, among others, and a reversing a higher-education tuition freeze while serving as governor.
Strickland countered that he was dealing with the "crisis" of a national recession that cratered the economy and tax-take of Ohio and other states, requiring him to balance a budget with less revenue.
He correctly pointed out that Ohio's education system improved during his watch to be ranked fifth best in the nation in one noted study. The Quality Counts report by Education Week a trade newspaper, now rates Ohio 23rd among the states.

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