Maureen Reedy taught in public school in Ohio for 29 years. She ran in 2012 for the state legislature and narrowly lost. She continues to be a leader in the fight against destructive privatization and excessive high-stakes testing.

She writes:

New Year’s Resolutions For Public Education:

First of all, Kudo’s to Ohio’s Plunderbund investigative journalist, Greg Mild, public school teacher, for his multi-article series exposing the shell games of ECOT’s 100 million dollar salary earning CEO, who only graduates 35% of his students, William Lager. Greg is brilliant!

On to New Year’s Resolutions:

Wouldn’t it be great if tens of thousands of educators, parents and other concerned community members made it their New Year’s resolution to join or start their local, grassroots Public Education group?

That is what IS turning the tide, that is what will ultimately preserve and protect our children, their futures, public education and our teaching profession for this generation and generations to come.

Yes, it would be great to have advocates for public education in Ohio’s State House, as Chiara Duggan suggests in previous comment here.

But, it is tough to get in, because the big money, corporate, for-profit, shell game charter operators are the largest contributors to the GOP. The GOP controls our state legislatures by gerrymandering district lines drastically in favor of candidates for the legislature that will craft laws straight out of the ALEC playbook which funnel our tax dollars to crooked charter school operators like William Lager of ECOT.

As 1 of the 12 public school teachers who ran for the Ohio House of Representatives last cycle, I can personally vouch for the great lengths ECOT founder, William Lager, White Hat founder, David Brennan, Michelle Rhee and other for-profit charter CEOs went to keep teachers OUT of Ohio’s State House.

We ran for the Ohio House, some of us, taking personal leave and giving up a year’s salary, to become advocates and a collective voice, for our children, public education, and our teaching profession.

ECOT’s William Lager, White Hat’s David Brennan, StudentsFirst(Last) Michelle Rhee and the GOP spent 1.5 million dollars in the last 2 weeks of the race against just my campaign, I do not have the total $ spent against all 12 teachers, but rest assured, it is in the millions.

So, what to do? Is all lost?
Do we lose our resolve to restore resources, authenticity and integrity to our public schools, the bedrock of our communities and our democracy?

NO!

Here is what I am convinced will turn the tide… along with following the incredible work being done day in and day out by Diane, Anthony Cody, Greg Mild of Plunderbund, and other bloggers across the country who are giving us resources and ammunition as warriors and patriots for Public Education:

• Join your local grassroots organization for preserving and strengthening our Public Schools, if there isn’t an organization in your area, start one.

• In Ohio, there are 3 active non-partisan groups of engaged community members, planning community wide forums and other action steps to educate the public and expose the for-profit (or non-profit, managed by for-profit) charter scam as well as the dangers of high stakes testing, A – F ranking of schools, evaluating teachers by test scores, etc. There are hundreds of other such groups across the country, you can find them on Diane and Anthony Cody’s Network for Public Education website:http://www.networkforpubliceducation.org/

• Here are the Face Book links to Ohio groups:

Central Ohio Friends of Public Education:https://www.facebook.com/COFPE

Northwest Ohio Friends of Public Education:https://www.facebook.com/NWOFPE

• Join the Diane and Anthony’s Network For Public Education, make a weekly donation of $5 to support candidates for school boards across the country who will fight for public education:http://www.networkforpubliceducation.org/

Wouldn’t it be great if tens of thousands of educators, parents and other concerned community members made it their New Year’s resolution to join or start their local, grassroots Public Education group?

That is what IS turning the tide, that is what will ultimately preserve and protect our children, their futures, public education and our teaching profession for this generation and generations to come.