Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Education in Ohio: Crap, Crap, Crap?

Two nuggets from the news today:

Intelligent design: Schools become battleground
Opponents of Ohio's Board of Education's science standards were set to rally Sunday night, according to an article in that day's Columbus Dispatch. Their beef with the board stems from guidelines that they feel allow the teaching of intelligent design in high schools.

According to the Dispatch article, "Ohio standard's say students should be able to 'describe how scientists today continue to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory.'" Although this language is not as nakedly supportive of intelligent design as in the recently struck down policy of the school board in Dover, Penn., it does allow for the discussion of intelligent design in high school biology classes.

I thought school boards were just supposed to be a rubber stamp for tax increases. When did school boards start getting so much curriculum power?

Students leave top-rated schools for online charter programs
AKRON, Ohio - About 3,000 students have opted out of the state's 112 top-rated public school districts to enroll in charter schools, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

Most of the students traded high-achieving public schools for online charter schools, which have some of the poorest academic ratings in the state, according to an analysis of school data by the Akron Beacon Journal.

Ohio's top schools are labeled "excellent" if they achieve at least 21 of 23 state performance standards, which include minimum passing rates on state proficiency tests, graduation and attendance.

The five largest online charter schools met only two to five performance standards on last year's report card, among the lowest ratings for any school in the state.

Susan Bodary, executive assistant for education to Gov. Bob Taft, said the state is learning that families choose alternatives for a variety of reasons and "not just academics." They may opt out of high-performing districts because they have different ideas about parent involvement, discipline or safety, she said.

Ohio has been opening many more charter schools ever since NCLB got its hands on the state. Unfortunately, this has given parents more options in how they educate their children, and many uneducated Ohio parents want to make sure their children are brought up with just as little education.

I suppose in both of these cases the parents are to blame. The parents vote in the inept school boards. The parents choose the charter schools. So maybe the subject of this post should be, "Parents in Ohio: Crap, Crap, Crap?"

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1 comment:

Jenn Onofrio said...

What would you do if you had to put a kid through, say, middle school in Ohio?