Friday, October 13, 2006

Strickland Warns of Blackwell's "65 Percent Solution"; SWNID Warns of Strickland's Slavish Devotion to Public Employee Unions

Yesterday's big news in Ohio's gubernatorial campaign was an event staged by Ted Strickland's handlers to bring the affable and vacuous Democrat together with fellow party members and representatives of teachers' unions to denounce Ken Blackwell's proposal that schools be directed to spend at least 65% of their budgets on classroom instruction.

All this, of course, is part of a very consistent elements of Strickland's campaign: the labeling of Ken Blackwell as a dangerous extremist. But more than that, it's a very consistent part of Strickland's politics: slavish devotion to the agenda of unions representing public employees.

Strickland, we undertand, has a 100% voting record with AFSCME, the major union of public employees who aren't teachers. Yesterday's event puts him in good stead, where he probably was already, with the AFT and NEA, the unions that stand for additional funding of the educational status quo in public schools. Restrictions like Blackwell's would stymie the career path of teachers looking to leave the classroom for the many administrative jobs created every year by the public education bureaucracy. The unions won't have that. So Strickland won't either.

At the risk of causing offense (like we care?), we will speak as an educator and administrator, albeit not in elementary and secondary education, but also as a consumer of elementary and secondary education. The idea that anyone would find onerous a requirement that less than two pennies out of three in a school's budget should go into actual instruction is to us breathtakingly absurd.

Education is about teaching. The longer we do it, the more we know it. That's why we refuse to quit teaching even though we administer. The suits need to be minimized; the teachers maximized.

But in that notion, there is something to fear, says Strickland, mouthpiece of the education trade union.

Fear Ken Blackwell, the extremist candidate who thinks that schools should spend almost two thirds of their money teaching!

Embrace Ted Strickland, the friend of the common AFT member, who will leave no public employee behind!


Bryan D said...

Maybe my social world is a smallish closed circuit, but I haven't met a single public school teacher that doesn't admire what Blackwell is trying to do for education. Perhaps this won't mean that they will vote for him (I'm certainly not going to) but it is a nice idea as opposed to, well, I suppose I don't know that Strickland has any ideas. I propose SWNID adopt a new motto for the Stirckland campaign: "Their idea won't work, our idea is... I'll get back to you on that one."

JB in CA said...

What is the current percentage of funding that goes to classroom instruction?

Anonymous said...

The public school system is the crowning achievement of American society. The teachers love our children, and the organizations that represent them and their administrators think only of what is best for the children.

The administrators, likewise, have only the interest of the children at heart. Why else would they spend so many years in public service? They shunned the opportunity to work on Main Street or Wall Street to benefit our children.

As we all know from the volumes of scholarly educational research over the last 60 years, it's not just how you teach, but what you teach. Administrators are there to make sure that our children get the best of both.

And nowhere is that more true than here in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Public School system is the poster child for all that is right with public education. The test scores, the attendance rate, the graduation rate, do I need to go on? Oh yes, and the percentage of funds spent in the administration...

We should be thankful that we have what we have. And we should oppose any candidate who seeks to tear down the administration that has achieved so much with so little.

To make more improvements based on more scholarly educational research, we need more administrators, and fewer teachers. The teachers are great; don't get me wrong, but the administrators are better. They know what is best for our schools, for our classrooms, and for our children.

We also need to double the size of our local school board. We just aren't able to get enough out of the few servant-leaders that we have.

The schools need more revenue, and that revenue should come from Main Street and Wall Street. Stickland will make this happen. The associations also need more dues, and how can that happen unless we fund those who are members, administrative and otherwise.

So I'll be voting for Strickland. Blackwell is an extremist. He does not care for our children. He cares only for rare coins. Stickland cares for the children. He is the compassionate one. He is the right choice for Ohio.