Thursday, July 03, 2008

Education reform

The Strickland Administration has set up 12 regional PBS broadcasts/web casts with a live audience of invited guests to discuss education reform. In concert with these broadcasts, there will be “watch parties”. Anyone can host a watch party by registering on the website

It is obvious that education reform and school funding reform are issues that must be considered together; hence, it would be prudent for school district leaders to organize a watch party in each school building or at least in each school district. The Governor’s office indicates, “all feedback will be considered equally, whether from the live broadcast or the watch parties.” This is an opportunity to be heard!

In 1913, Governor James Cox proclaimed November 14 as “School Survey Day” and urged parents, teachers, pupils and patrons to hold a meeting in every school building in the state in the afternoon or evening. His proclamation also called for an “Educational Congress” to be held in Columbus on December 5 and 6, 1913. The closing words of his proclamation said, “Let it be a day of genuine awakening. The necessity and opportunity of the hour call for it.”

The 1913 “grassroots” involvement in the School Survey Day and Educational Congress resulted in monumental school reform legislation in 1914.

In 1997 the Ohio Supreme Court ordered the state to give the school funding system a complete systematic overhaul. The “overhaul” might just emerge from the current effort.

Dates, times and places of the Governor’s meetings may be found on the website.

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