Another Terrible Idea From Our Governor

(Are you losing count yet?)

Apparently, goaded by criticisms that he has basically ignored education except to steal money from schools and give it to his cronies at failing for-profit charter schools, Governor Kasich is making noises about presenting an education reform program to the legislature.

But, since he really obviously doesn't care all that much about education or it would have been at the top of his to-do list two years ago when he was suddenly unveiling SB 5 instead, his "ideas" are nothing but the weak fodder of the anti-public education "reform" crew.

One such idea he's ballyhooing is "merit pay" for teachers who perform well according to some unclear standard.

This is one of those ideas that kind of sound good in theory but has proved of questionable worth in practice. In areas where it has been implemented, it has often had no impact on teacher or student performance. Many teachers have made it clear this isn't a motivation, and they'd rather have the resources put into education.

The lack of clear, reliable standards for judging teacher performance is a huge obstacle, especially with the push by many "reform" groups to weigh standardized testing more — testing that wasn't designed to measure teacher quality.

But I don't see one of the biggest obstacles mentioned by education funding slasher Kasich — who is going to pay for it? Please draw my attention to this if I missed it. Is Kasich going to offer a significantly large new pot of money to make this anymore than a symbolic sop? HA! Or does he plan to pay for it by firing other teachers or cutting their pay? That would be terrific for morale. Or maybe he'll pay for it out of the profit David Brennan of the failing for-profit White Hat charter schools is making at the expense of Ohio taxpayers and kids, and the state's future? Double HA!

Perhaps I shouldn't be so suspicious, but this sounds like yet another of our governor's poorly vetted plans based more on ideology than on being a pragmatic and proven solution to a problem. It joins a long list of such ideas, like JobsOhio, prison privatization, and turnpike leasing/bonding, whose benefits to Ohioans would be questionable, if any of them were actually ever implemented.

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