This morning I posted a blog about Governor Kasich appointing a former football star to the Ohio state board of education.
I got this response from a reader in Michigan:
This is part of a trend I’ve seen here in Michigan – celebrity policy-making. It’s an extension of the traveling shows of Michelle Rhee and Jeb Bush. When Rhee talked to the Michigan legislature last year many legislators seemed in awe. The same thing happened when Jalen Rose, a former University of Michigan basketball star, talked to them about education and the need for more charter schools. He was an expert, I guess, being about to open a charter school in Detrot. His qualifications, other than as a basketball star, we’re that he had attended Detroit Public Schools and he had lots of money.Legislators were posing for pictures with him and getting his autograph. Celebrity policy-making in action.
This comment set me to wondering. Our policymakers say we should be competitive with the nation’s highest-scoring nations on international tests. The College Board ran a full-page ad in major newspapers saying that our education system is “crumbling” because we have lower scores on international tests than other nations and they are beating us.
Can you imagine Finland or Japan or any of the other high-scoring nations handing their kids and their taxpayer dollars off to sports stars? There is a football player in Texas who opened a charter school; needless to say, he has no background as an educator. Tennis star Andre Agassiz has started a chain of charter schools, backed by $500 million from investors.
Does anyone seriously believe that this deregulation and deprofessionalization will improve education and allow us to overtake the top nations?
Have we lost our minds?