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More funds alone won’t cure schools

July 10, 2013

Ohio’s recently enacted state budget bill makes some changes to the way schools are funded....

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Mark77

Jul-12-13 10:01 AM

Sorry, another note... when more per capita money is flowing into a charter school than its regular public counterpart in the same neighborhood, you know something is seriously wrong. If anything is to change, the money must start following the child to a public school of parent choice. If the school attracts and keeps students, it will succeed. If not, well then it folds. From there, stakeholders themselves (based upon existing charter law) will spend it as they see fit - to include buying or not buying services provided by existing central administration. In other words, the school can shop anywhere it wants. Central administration suddenly answers to the school - it is not the school begging crumbs of the central administrative apparatus. This is doable NOW under Ohio charter law, but requires a superintendent and board that recognizes education happens in the classrooms - that students and teachers are the bottom line, not administrative/board power and influence.

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Mark77

Jul-12-13 9:50 AM

nolegrrl1... respectfully, "they" don't care. You see, it is school personnel (teachers, aides, cooks, etc.) that go first in any budget cutting scenario. The "critical" administrators remain in place. Charter schools (online and otherwise) have cut into "regular" student enrollment and teacher employment by the thousands. The union's response? "They stink. We perform better." Yes, in the majority of cases this is correct. However, it changed nothing. Thousands of good paying jobs have been lost to under performing and often for-profit charters. I personally dealt with the CEO of Cleveland schools on the subject of teacher developed charter schools - only to watch her undermine or outright torpedo them. Money, power, absolute and suffocating control is the mantra of such districts. Student/teacher focused reform is not possible in the current model. The best that can be hoped for is mediocrity driven by the testing whip.

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ladybug

Jul-12-13 6:06 AM

Right !!!!

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ladybug

Jul-12-13 6:05 AM

Communists. No.

Where more American than you'll ever be, We also have the go-nads to stand up for our rights, We don't spend our day kissing butts.

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notSocialist

Jul-12-13 5:33 AM

"So you are implying my son is a communist !!"

Is he union leadership?

YOU are a communist, like father like son, right?

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nolegrrl1

Jul-11-13 10:47 AM

Societal issues notwithstanding, I believe much of our attention should focus on the problem of standardized tests. Our children are no longer receiving an education: they are being instructed in the art of test taking. Our teachers are no longer educators: they proctors of an exam. Schools have become a business, and in the business world, one gets attention when one takes their money elsewhere. It could be a public online school, a charter school, or even a private school, whichever is chosen, it takes the dollars away from our failed public school system. That is a sure fire way to get the attention of the administration. THEY work for US, perhaps it is time they are reminded of that.

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Mark77

Jul-11-13 10:47 AM

For those who took my comment to be anti-union, you are mistaken. The dollar numbers were intended to illustrate a point - after paying a teacher his or her due, where is the rest of the cash going? Is it being productively spent at the school level? After all, it is in schools, not administration buildings, that the educational rubber hits the road. The factory union-management model in urban education is flawed. It replaces creativity and initiative at the school level with a whip. However, the union is the only protection a teacher has against excessive and mindless over-reach by administration. Which, trust me, is common. To demonize teacher unions is simplistic and nonconstructive. The problem (beyond socioeconomic ills which schools can do nothing about) is structural. There is one model for urban schools - top-down, highly centralized and controlled. Basically, those who hold the gold make the rules - and are farthest removed from the kids.

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ladybug

Jul-11-13 7:20 AM

So you are implying my son is a communist !!

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notSocialist

Jul-11-13 6:54 AM

"The unions are people and if treated as such will be more than happy in most cases to work with the adm, "

But the communist union leadership is not.

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ladybug

Jul-11-13 6:35 AM

My son teaches in Cleveland, They have taken concessions,cut staff and agreed to rule changes, Big difference No.

The students still live under the same conditions. Low incomes,broken families ,gangs and drugs,

Good place to start with your commando therory , If you live to tell about it !!

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ladybug

Jul-11-13 6:25 AM

The unions are people and if treated as such will be more than happy in most cases to work with the adm,

It's when people pull their behind the back sneaky ----- is when they fight back.

Grant,Maybe you'd be happier if these teachers worked for 1990 wages.

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ladybug

Jul-11-13 6:23 AM

What has caused the cost of everything to double in thelast 20yrs .Grant ?

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qcityfan

Jul-10-13 3:19 PM

The unions make fixing the structural problems impossible.

Those that think otherwise are delusional.

Public education is our greatest national travesty; keeping your head in the sand and accepting the status quo is a disgrace.

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GrantMingus

Jul-10-13 3:19 PM

The cost per pupil has doubled in 20 years but the standard of education has gotten worse...and the unions didn't put us here. Riiiiiight ladybug. What caused the cost to double then?

I know where we can start in reforming our education system. Abolish the Department of Education and get the federal government out of it.

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ladybug

Jul-10-13 2:50 PM

Start with discipline !

Good luck let me know how your plan works out,

Let us know when you get it going.

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ladybug

Jul-10-13 2:45 PM

Your entitled to your opinion and me mine .

The unions didn't put us their.

As far as my point i think i made several good ones,

Discipline,broken families,lack of parent participation,cell phones,cars, and a give me society

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qcityfan

Jul-10-13 2:41 PM

correction to prior post ---- "those that DO NOT abide by the rules ......"

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qcityfan

Jul-10-13 2:40 PM

again, ladybug misses the point, entirely. We are talking about turning the entire education system upside. One part of this will involve discipline, and under that we will eliminate from the education process those that abide by the rules of the school, and laws of the land. You either become a productive member of the school or you go elsewhere (perhaps military school etc...). The education model will be re-invented, and there will be no more excuses for turning out a horrific work product despite the unprecedented amount of money being spent.

Bulldoze the system, and stat over ............. and yes, without a militant union in command.

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ladybug

Jul-10-13 2:19 PM

How many schools did Chicago just close. ?

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ladybug

Jul-10-13 2:18 PM

Most teachers are caring people.

It's hard to fight the system and teach too !

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ladybug

Jul-10-13 2:15 PM

What is the failure rate in uor inter city schools ?

50 - 60 %

If corse we also realize todays stydents ( locally ) have hteir own car,a cell phone stuck in each ear and parents who think school is a social issue,

Hell most the students can't even afford the prom any more

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ladybug

Jul-10-13 2:11 PM

Did you teach in Cleveland ?

Did you consider most students there come from broken ,low income families, A teacher can't make a student come to class while their out doing drugs and belonging to gangs,

Discipline is out unless you want sued by our sue happy society

Your not going to cure our schools problems until you start addressing our socities issues,

Blame it on the unions is the easiest solution.

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qcityfan

Jul-10-13 11:46 AM

mark77,

I agree with your entire post. The union-controlled public education monopoly is effectively destroying our future, by failing our kids. We can, and must, do soooo much better. Money is not the answer, caring, discipline, and nurturing a true learning environment is.

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Mark77

Jul-10-13 10:55 AM

As a retired teacher, trust me.. money is not the problem. To the degree money is an issue, it is organizational structure not per pupil dollar amounts that are at fault. In a Cleveland classroom of 25 students after paying average salary and benefits to the teacher there is almost $250,000 in tax money left. I've never seen a classroom in Cleveland that remotely appears to have that level of resources dedicated to it. The public education system needs to be turned on its head, inside out. Dollars should follow the child to a school of parent choice. Central administrations should answer to individual learning communities - not the other way around. It is doable under Ohio charter school law. Unfortunately, it requires will and apolitical thinking. Both seem lacking.

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EATTHERICH

Jul-10-13 10:53 AM

Lots of great points in this editorial!

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