Archives for category: Ohio

This alert comes from Bill Phillis of the Ohio Equity and Adequacy Coalition.

“Thorough and Efficient System of Common Schools”: A right given Ohio schoolchildren that must be protected by all citizens

One hundred sixty-years ago, Ohioans voted to give schoolchildren the right to a thorough and efficient system of common schools. Ohio citizens must be alerted to the potential that this right embedded in the Ohio Constitution (Article VI, section 2), is under assault. This right is to Ohio schoolchildren what the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution is to the citizens of the United States. This right is as precious as freedom of religion, right to assemble, etc. There are those in our midst that wish to take this right away. Particularly, there are those on the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission that would do so. Perhaps they are just not aware of the damage that would accrue from such action.

Charter school advocates are most certainly behind the removal of this right. Shameful! Persons serving on the Commission should be debating how to strengthen the right of children to high quality educational opportunities. They should be elevating the “T & E” standard by adding language that guarantees schoolchildren the fundamental right to a high quality public education.

While the language of what became Article VI, section 2 of the Ohio Constitution was debated during the 1850-1851 Constitutional Convention, Delegate Archbold said he wanted a system “as perfect as could be devised.” (2 Debates at 698)

“Thorough” was defined by the 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language as: “literally, passing through or to the end: hence, complete; perfect.”

“Efficient” was defined by the same dictionary as: “causing effects; producing; that causes anything to be what it is. The efficient cause is that which produces; the final cause is that which is produced.”

Those words defined, and still define the system as one of perfection to which children should have a fundamental right. The Commission should just do it-add fundamental right to make Article VI, section 2 even more explicit.

Please advise all of your contacts that they must get involved in this debate with the vision that the constitutional provisions for public education will be strengthened to include the fundamentality of public education.

Sincerely,

William Phillis

Ohio E & A | 100 S. 3rd Street | Columbus | OH | 43215

Just when you think the attacks on public education can’t get worse, some rightwing legislature has a new bad idea. It is probably intended to pave the way for more money for charters, vouchers, and the online industry, which make generous campaign contributions to the GOP. Did this come from ALEC?

The following report comes from Bill Phillis of the Ohio Equity and Adequacy Coalition, which fights for fair and equitable funding for public schools.

Bill Phillis writes:

“Thorough and Efficient”–the time-honored constitutional standard for public education is threatened by a proposed change in the Ohio Constitution

When one thinks it can’t get worse for the public common school system, it does. Just this week, the chair of the Education, Public Institutions, & Miscellaneous and Local Government Committee of the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission introduced a proposal that would eliminate the “thorough and efficient system of common schools” language from the Ohio Constitution. The proposal would merely require the General Assembly to provide for a public school system.

The “thorough and efficient” standard has held the legislature’s feet to the fire for 160 years. Without a standard, public education could be diminished markedly and citizens would have no viable recourse via the courts.

The delegates to the 1850 and 1851 Constitutional Convention struggled successfully to reach consensus on the education clause and finally agreed on “thorough and efficient”, a wise decision.

When the Ohio Supreme Court ruled the system unconstitutional in 1997, some legislators proposed to remove the thorough and efficient clause from the Constitution so as to shut the Court out of any involvement in school funding matters.

This constitutional proposal is another serious attack on the public common school. Public school advocates and all other civic-minded citizens must rise up to stop this egregious attack on public education.

William Phillis
Ohio E & A

Ohio E & A | 100 S. 3rd Street | Columbus | OH | 43215

The mainstream press in Ohio is starting to take a closer look at charter schools, many of which are money pits for big donors to Governor John Kasich and the legislature.

The Akron Beacon-Journal published a remarkable, three-part series on charters, looking closely at the peculiar financial operation of the for-profit White Hat management company.

In this article, the reporter discovered that most charters won’t tell anyone who is in charge.

Journalists learned that most charter schools will not provide basic information. They are neither transparent nor accountable.

“The calls were made as part of a school-choice project by the Akron Beacon Journal and the News­Outlet, a consortium of journalism programs at Youngstown State University, the University of Akron and Cuyahoga Community College.

“In a phone-call blitz that began in early January, students in the journalism lab called 294 of Ohio’s 393 charter schools in operation at the time, seeking basic information:

“• Who runs the building?
• Who is that person’s supervisor?
• Who is the management company in charge?
• How does one contact the school board?
• When does the board meet?

“Public accountability was difficult. Of the 294 called, the results by March 26 were:

“• 114 — more than a third — did not return messages seeking information.
• Eight refused to answer.
• Seven said they would call back but did not.
• 73 provided some of the information.
• 80, or about 1 in 4, provided the information requested.

“By law, Ohio charter schools “must follow health and safety, ethics, public records and privacy laws; and comply with open meetings laws,” states a 2014 position statement by the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Citizens are not required to provide reasons for the requests.”

In the second article in the series, a reporter finds that board members of White Hat charters has no idea where the millions of taxpayer dollars go.

“As a board member of four publicly funded charter schools in Akron and Cleveland, Charlotte Burrell will watch this year as $5.3 million in taxpayer money passes through her financial reports.

“She knows most of it will go to White Hat Management ­— a private, for-profit Akron-based company that runs 32 charter schools in Ohio. But unlike an elected school board member who can obtain intimate details about spending, her hands are tied. What White Hat does with the money, she said, is beyond her control.

“She does, however, control “unrestricted net assets.”
She pointed to the line item on a budget at a joint board meeting in February for two of the charter schools — University and Brown Street academies. Of $2.1 million in expected yearly funds, unrestricted dollars for both schools totaled roughly $1,500, or less than 0.1 percent.

“That’s what we concern ourselves with the majority of the time,” she said.
She’s satisfied, so long as a school treasurer — employed by White Hat — says the money spent by White Hat adds up.

“So, who is in charge of the nonprofit, publicly funded Ohio charter schools that 20 years ago did not exist? This school year, more than $900 million in state and local tax dollars — some of it approved by local voters — will be transferred from local schools to charters.

“In Ohio, charter schools are required to satisfy strict federal guidelines as nonprofit organizations under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, including board autonomy. If the board is not independent of the company, the IRS is supposed to throw up a red flag.
But state law allows private companies to throw out nonprofit boards that challenge them.

“At many White Hat-operated schools, this already has happened. Last summer, boards in Akron and Cleveland expressed dissatisfaction with White Hat, so White Hat forced them out and new boards were formed.
The three unpaid board members who attended the February meeting said they were recruited by White Hat to serve. They turn over 95.5 percent of funding to White Hat, which then hires the staff, pays the bills and gives rent to its for-profit affiliates that own the tax-exempt school properties.”

.

“The IRS’ checklist to qualify for federal tax-exempt status draws a bright line between the charter-school governing board and the management company hired to run the school. The company should not create the board or recruit the members, and any evidence of boilerplate contracts from one school to the next suggests the company may be in control.

“Richard Schmalbeck, a Duke University professor of law and a former tax law attorney, said the description of relationships between private companies and Ohio charter schools may be problematic.

“The charter schools appear to be run by a for-profit organization,” he said.
Because the private company creates and owns the nonprofit school, then recruits a governing board that would give a favorable contract to the private company, “There may be a private benefit problem. Charities are supposed to operate exclusively for charitable purposes, and not for the purpose of advancing for-profit business ventures.”

“Schmalbeck is disappointed but not surprised that the IRS, buried in applications, might carelessly grant tax-exempt status to a nonprofit created or controlled by a private company. “If these facts are accurate and fully disclosed to the IRS, I think the IRS should withhold 501(c)(3) status,” he said.

“Ohio law requires schools to obtain 501(c)(3) status. The federal government allows 27 months to apply. Some charter schools are created and disappear in less than two years.
University and Brown Street were created by a White Hat attorney in September 2011, or 28 months ago. The board for each school, represented by the same attorney, had yet to file as of mid-March.

“Last year, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) barred the creation of four White Hat schools when the state determined that boilerplate contracts would strip too much power from the boards.

“So directors who owe their position and continued appointment to White Hat are voting a lucrative operator contract to White Hat. Since a community school is a public entity, ODE feels this is not permissible,” ODE’s Mark Michael wrote in an email rejecting White Hat’s applications.
This was a rare event, though, because the legislature has shifted direct regulation of charter schools from the state to school-choice friendly groups known as sponsors — such as Buckeye Community Hope Foundation, a two-time sponsor of the school at 107 S. Arlington St.

“Initially sponsored by ODE and known as Hope Academy University Campus, the state handed over control after State Rep. John Husted — now secretary of state and a recipient of at least $139,033 in campaign contributions from the Brennans — sponsored legislation that effectively stripped ODE oversight.

“Buckeye Community Hope then took over. Peggy Young, director of the group’s Education Division, takes the position that the boards have ultimate authority.

“We’ve seen boards fire management companies, so in that sense they have ultimate control of the school,” Young said.

“However, when 10 school boards attempted to fire White Hat, it didn’t work out so well. Because White Hat had trademarked school names and bought up real estate through affiliate companies, the renegade boards couldn’t force White Hat out of the building.

“All but one has since contracted with another private company, this one a Delaware-based affiliate of a Florida company founded by a former White Hat employee.

Young saw that as the board maintaining control.

“I’ve had boards do that. They move next door. They have the students. The records,” Young said.

The old buildings didn’t stay empty. They have students and teachers, and board members who say they were recruited by White Hat.

And their attorney, Amy Goodson, whose name is on incorporation papers for several White Hat-managed schools, said it’s “pretty typical” that lack of wherewithal forces boards to enter contracts with big name companies.

“What happens is, I can’t say broadly, but in the case of University and Brown Street, those were education models that White Hat creates,” said Goodson, who is paid by the board. “It’s kind of a chicken and an egg thing because you have to have someone start this.”

Burrell is unaware of her predecessors’ disapproval of White Hat. To the contrary, it’s been “fabulous” working with White Hat, she said.

When asked if she could provide some of the financial information that prior boards continue to seek in court, she replied: “That comes under the management company, not the board. So you would have to interview those persons at White Hat.”

A third article describes IRS rules supposedly governing the tax exempt status of charter schools.

Doug Livingston can be reached at 330-996-3792 or dlivingston@thebeaconjournal.com. Contributing to this story were NewsOutlet reporters Matt Hawout and Sara Rodino.

TheNewsOutlet.org is a collaborative effort among the Youngstown State University journalism program, the University of Akron, Cuyahoga Community College and professional media outlets including, WYSU (88.5-FM) and The (Youngstown) Vindicator, The Akron Beacon Journal and Rubber City Radio (Akron).

http://www.ohio.com/news/local/irs-sets-rules-on-how-charter-schools-qualify-for-tax-exempt-status-1.477137

Lets hope that journalists keep asking questions. The public has a right to know who and what they are funding, and where the money goes.

Stephen Dyer, a former legislator, explains here why charters in Ohio are very different from those in some other states.

The question he does not address is whether charters in other states operate as secretively and non-transparently as those in Ohio. Don’t expect to get an answer from the Obama administrations’ Department of Education, which loves the charter industry. We will have to wait for an enterprising researcher or journalist to dig deep and investigate.

Charters in Ohio collect $900 million yearly from taxpayers, but there are important questions they will not answer.

Dyer writes:

“Now it is true that sometimes it’s tough to get information out of traditional public schools. As a former reporter, I remember many rounds I’d go with districts about whether I could get information. But I never remember failing to receive this kind of information:

“Who runs the building?

“Who is that person’s supervisor?

“Who is the management company in charge?

“How does one contact the school board?

“When does the board meet?

“Only 1 in 4 Ohio Charter Schools answered these five basic questions. That’s right. Only 1 in 4 Charters told members of the public, who pay $900 million a year for these schools, when the school board meets. And these schools are called “public schools” throughout the Ohio Revised Code. Perhaps this is why courts around the country are finding that Charter Schools aren’t actually public schools? Because they act like private schools?

“Look, Ohio taxpayers fork over $900 million a year for Charter Schools. They deserve to know how that money is being spent. Because they would be able to find the answers to these five questions on every single traditional public school website. You wouldn’t have to set up phone banks to find out the answers to these basic five questions, the way the Akron Beacon Journal did for Charters.

“Can you imagine if the Beacon called Akron Public Schools and they refused to tell them who the Superintendent was, or when the board met, or how to contact the board? I mean, that is just beyond imagination, right? But Charters, we are told, are just as public a school as APS. So why do they operate under such a shadow?

“Ohio’s Charter School system is a disaster. It needs serious overhaul.

“Ohio’s Charter Schools take far more kids from school districts that outperform the Charter than the other way round. They spend nearly 3 times as much on administration than the average school district. They spend more per pupil overall than traditional school districts. And because the state pays about twice as much per pupil for the typical Charter School kid than the typical traditional public school kid, kids not in Charters get several hundred dollars less in state revenue than the state says they need. So what’s the bottom line for Ohio’s Charter Schools in comparison with traditional public schools, overall?

“They perform far worse academically

“They cost the state far more

“They spend more per pupil

“They spend far more on administration

“They are far less transparent”

Why is this situation possible? Two reasons: charter lobbyists make large campaign contributions to politicians, especially Republicans. They are not public schools, and need not be transparent or accountable.

Ohio has been under the thumb of Governor John Kasich and his merry band of privatizers and profiteers.

But this Ohio teacher came to Austin to join the Network for Public Education jamboree and left feeling inspired.

Dan Greenberg of the Sylvania Education Association enjoyed not just the Texas weather but the chance to meet activists from across the nation.

He caught the contagious spirit of optimism, the belief widely shared that regular people–parents and teachers working together–can stop the assault on public education.

It happened in Texas. It is happening in many places.

Dan went back to Ohio, ready to face a few more weeks of winter and ready to become a leader in turning Ohio around.

Thanks, Dan!

Denis Smith is a retired school administrator who worked both as a sponsor representative for charter schools as well as a consultant in the state charter school office. In this five-part series, he offers his perspective about charter school governance and how this mechanism designed to provide transparency and accountability for public entities is sorely lacking and may in fact be the “fatal design flaw” of these schools.

 

Part Three

 

Ohio charter school governance and management issues aren’t exclusive to national chains like Imagine. Here is a case history of one school that was operated by the founder and who hand-picked the board, treasurer and school staff.

 

In 2010, an attorney from a law firm in Wilmington, Delaware that represented an educational publisher called to ask my help in collecting payment from a charter school that had an overdue debt of more than $50,000. The attorney also told me the bill was more than three years old.

 

That’s not the only beef he had with the school. “Do you know how much the school administrator is being paid”? he asked. When I replied that I didn’t know because the state did not maintain a database containing compensation for charter school administrators, he told me. “She pays herself $156,000 to run a school with 175 students and there doesn’t seem to be anything left to pay my client.”

 

When I looked further into the situation and contacted the school sponsor for more information, a tale quickly unfolded of a school with no internal and external controls. The treasurer, a family member of the school head, had ignored invoices sent from the company demanding payment, and the attorney, who wanted to personally bring the situation to the board, could not find any information about where or when they met to discuss school business.

 

As it turned out, the president of the governing board was a close friend of the school’s director, as were several other members of the board. When the attorney contacted the school and asked about the board and their meeting schedule, he was denied this basic information. Stonewalled by the school at every turn, it was at that point that he contacted the state department of education.

 

A phone call to the State Teachers Retirement System soon revealed that no salary information had been sent by the school treasurer to determine payments owed by the school. The school, which had been open for about four years, was ultimately closed by the sponsor.

 

Although the school was operated by two family members and thus not part of a national chain like Imagine, it still contained the same fatal genetic flaw prevalent in too many charter schools – a non-functioning governing board serving not the students and families but the school directors who appointed them. In the post-mortem conducted with the closure of the school, it was apparent that the board was invisible and displayed no curiosity about how the school director and treasurer – family members – required some observation of their performance as well as collective visioning so that the board itself could affirm its role and purpose. In addition, the long-term friendship between the governing board president and the school director prevented the board from functioning and providing the oversight necessary for guaranteeing a free and appropriate education for the students as well as the stewardship necessary for protecting public funds.

 

Sadly, the tale related here has occurred again and again in Ohio since the inception of the charter school program more than fifteen years ago. It is entirely possible that some of the board members had no idea about the size and scope of the compensation that two members of the same family received when compared to the size of the school and the share of state revenue it received. But when a person serves as a member of a board, they must accept that as a trustee for the school, they assume several legal responsibilities which include these basics:

 

Duty of Care – Exercise reasonable care when making decisions as a steward of the school and ensure that all those associated with the school will be held accountable for their actions.
Duty of Obedience – In fulfilling the public’s trust, ensure that the State’s funds will be used to fulfill the educational mission of the school and not for a private purpose.
Duty of Disclosure – Disclose any transactions in which a governing authority member may be involved and where an actual or perceived conflict of interest situation exists.
Duty of Custodian of a Public Trust – Manage public funds for public purposes and not private benefit, comply with Open Meetings requirements and respond to citizen and media request for information about the school and its management.
Duty of Diligence – Determine that deadlines for all required reporting are met, including monthly financial reports, and closely examine reports to determine any trends or variances in the condition of the school.
It should come as no surprise that when problems occur at the governance level – and we have already made the point that by their very design, charter schools contain some fatal design flaws – symptoms of other problems will soon become evident, including poor academic results, financial issues, and staff turnover. Tomorrow, let us examine another case study to see how another governing board fared in meeting its duties and responsibilities.

Denis Smith is a veteran educator who ended his career working for the Ohio State Education Department, overseeing charter schools. This is the first of a series of five articles. In it he considers the question of charter school governance.

Who runs the school? Who appoints the board? Who is responsible? Is it public or private? Deregulation and privatization go hand in hand.

 

Denis Smith is a retired school administrator who worked both as a sponsor representative for charter schools as well as a consultant in the state charter school office. In this five-part series, he offers his perspective about charter school governance and how this mechanism designed to provide transparency and accountability for public entities is sorely lacking and may in fact be the “fatal design flaw” of these schools.

Part One

A few months before I ended my career as a consultant for the Ohio Department of Education’s charter school office, a sponsor representative approached me and asked why I was so critical of charter schools, and particularly the ones his organization had helped to open.

“It’s all about governance,” I replied. “In my community, I can drive around the neighborhood and see the campaign lawn signs of the candidates and what they propose to offer for the office they seek. I can see names and contact information for school board candidates and observe them at community forums. But I know nothing about the people on the boards of the schools you sponsor. Who are they, why were they chosen, whom do they represent, and how does a parent contact them when they have a grievance with the school and its administration?”

My response to the charter school industry rep’s question was based on musings at the end of a forty-five-year professional career, informed by service as a school administrator in two states at the district, regional and state levels, by experience in a for-profit environment in marketing communications, and as the director of a non-profit national professional society. In every aspect of that long and rewarding career in the public, for-profit and nonprofit sectors, I worked with boards that were elected by the voters in a school district, elected by members of the professional society, or through processes detailed in the organization’s by-laws. In the case of charter schools, however, the governing board and how it was selected did not fit into any of these processes. Therein lies the problem.

For me, the murkiness of how boards are populated and by whom remains the fundamental design issue with charter schools, and the problem with these proliferating entities begins – and ends – with governance. Or the lack of it.

A classic study conducted more than 20 years ago indicated there were more than 4.5 million boards in the United States that provided some measure of governance and oversight for all kinds of organizations, including for-profit, nonprofit, and governmental institutions. One can only imagine the plethora of various statutes, by-laws and corporate specifications that propose to direct the formation of all of these governing boards.

With full knowledge of the variety of governance models in all of these organizations, one should be able to see clear evidence of a visible board in action, responsive to its constituents. But when the subject is charter schools, we see in all-too-many cases an invisible board that has an ill-defined constituency which is determined by who selected the members.

And there is the fatal flaw in charter school genetic code. Based upon the method which formed the governing board, whom does the board represent? Is it the school developer, or the management company that operates the board? Since the board and its members would be expected to have a natural affinity for the individual or company that appointed them, the students and parents are in most cases not going to be the natural constituents to be represented at the table due to the manner of selection, not election.

Tomorrow, we will examine the clearest example of why governance is an issue with so many charter schools, evidence of the “ill-defined constituency” and a “natural affinity” for who appoints the board members.

A reader writes:

“How do you like this for accountability???
Lack of regulations, accountability and transparency invites charter school fraud

“Pet care, alcohol, vacations and other personal purchases were charged to taxpayers via Cincinnati College Preparatory Academy charter school, according to a 2013 state audit. The school misspent $520,000 in public money. Two former officials from the Cincinnati College Preparatory Academy are awaiting trial in Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas for theft in office and tampering with public records. Based on the states past record of recovering misspent funds by charter schools, the school districts from which these funds were extracted will not receive reimbursement

“In the now-closed Lion of Judah charter school fiasco, $1.2 million in public funds were lost but the court agreed to a settlement of $195,000 in restitution from the charter school operator. It is interesting that the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge approved a payback of less than 20% of the funds misspent and indicated that a prison sentence was not proper because the state didn’t properly anticipate the mistakes that could be made when citizens tried to run charter schools. It appears that the charter school operator received a lenient sentence for the fraud committed due to the judge’s view that the charter school law in Ohio is defective.

“On February 25, the State Auditor issued a finding for recovery in the amount of $507,206 against a Cleveland businessman who had unlawful interests in public contracts awarded to the now-closed Greater Heights Academy. Other persons involved in this charter school operation have been charged with a conspiracy to defraud the charter school of over $400,000.

“In a news release regarding the Greater Heights Academy charter school case, the State Auditor said, “…I’ll never understand what motivates people to steal from children.” An equally puzzling incomprehension is what motivates state officials to enact and continue to support charter school laws that provide for a license to steal.

“When will lawmakers regulate charter schools in ways to stop the fraud on the public and the low quality education provided to charter school students? Not until the public becomes outraged and demands that state officials refuse campaign contributions from charter school operators and advocates and begin to regulate charter schools.

“But hey, you know they are all in it for the kids. Aren’t you just wowed by the “innovation”? I’m sure people in NYC would love to know what is happening in the charters that they pay for.”

And what happens when the State Comptroller is legally barred from auditing charter schools, as in Néw York, because charter schools are not “a unit of government.” That means they get public money but they are not public schools and may not be audited by public authorities.

Bill Phillis of the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy here contrasts the governing structure of public schools and charter schools. The implicit questions: how transparent is their governing structure? How “public” are charter schools?

“Governance of school districts compared to governance of charter schools.

“School district board members are visible and scrutinized when they run for a seat on the board. They are visible and accessible to the public at well-publicized board meetings and on a 24/7 basis in their respective communities. The Secretary of State provides pertinent information about school district board members on a published statewide roster. This accountability and transparency of the lives and actions of board members are appropriate and essential.

“But, what is the level of accountability and transparency of charter school board members? No statewide roster. In some school communities, one-fourth or more of the students are enrolled in charter schools, but there is no community-wide roster of charter school board members.

“Three new board members in Columbus were recently featured in a front page story in The Dispatch. Although, about one-fourth of the students in Columbus City School District attend charter schools, there have been no front page stories about charter school board members. These individuals have little or no visibility in the community. In many charter school cases, board members are mere figureheads. Hence, who is accountable to whom?

“The governance structure in the charter school kingdom is obscure. Who is held accountable for the use of funds and the academic rating of charter schools? The State Department of Education? The sponsors? The charter school board members? The education management company? The stockholders in the for-profit companies? The executive of the education management company? The board of directors of the education management companies? The charter school principal or site manager? Who? Who?

“Who appoints charter school board members? The sponsors? The management company? The charter school employees? Public school districts give up funds and students to private operations over which the community school districts have no control. The only public aspect of charter schools is public funds. Period.”

William Phillis
Ohio E & A

This email was sent by ohioeanda@sbcglobal.net |

Ohio E & A | 100 S. 3rd Street | Columbus | OH | 43215

Bill Phillis, the leader of the Ohio Coalition for Education & Adequacy is a tireless crusader for equitable funding of public schools. He is a retired after serving as assistant state superintendent of schools.

He writes:

Public education enemy #1

The Gates, Walton Family and Broad Foundations have federated with the U. S. Department of Education to eliminate the public common school system. The Obama administration’s point man, Arne Duncan, is spearheading an assault on public education that is unprecedented in American history. He is attempting to override the education provisions of every state Constitution. All states have one or more constitutional provisions that establish and maintain a public common school system.

It is mindboggling and unconscionable that this federal administration is deferring to the corporate, for-profit agenda to destroy the premier promoter of the public good-the public common school system.

Policies coming out of Washington D.C., and in many state capitols, are demoralizing teachers, undermining the traditional role and governance of boards of education, de-professionalizing the teaching profession, re-segregating American communities and reducing the traditional dynamic of learning to a testing obsession.

Many chief state school officers in recent years are moles of the privatizers or lack the conviction to fight for the public common school system. Hence, state legislatures and governors, in many cases, receive no resistance to their privatization agenda.

Often local public school personnel, including boards of education, feel helpless to stem the tide of public school bashing and the privatization movement.

Enough is enough. It is past time to hold all state officials accountable for their support of policies that lead to the privatization of public education.

Ohioans and the citizens of the nation, when mobilized, can uproot the anti-public education agenda of America’s oligarchs and their plutocratic political allies.

William Phillis
Ohio E & A

Ohio E & A | 100 S. 3rd Street | Columbus | OH | 43215

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