On Sunday we detailed many of the major changes that school districts will be forced to change surrounding the implementation of the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES).  Those changes would be onerous and certainly untimely for school districts as they are not likely to be officially adopted until some time this summer.  Such a late adoption of the sweeping changes will once again leave school districts scrambling and leave teachers and administrators questioning what, exactly, the latest iteration of the OTES actually is in practice.

There are, however, two positive(?) changes to the evaluation system that, while still leaving school districts […]

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John Kasich on Language: Educators, Superintendents and Politicians
by Denis Smith

Ohio Governor John Kasich has a way with words. Without resorting to understatement, let’s just say that with his practice of oral communication, he is certainly no Prince Charming.

In January 2011, just weeks into his term as the state’s chief executive, he gave a speech to a group of state employees in which he described an encounter with a police officer in 2008. Kasich used the word “idiot” three times to characterize the officer who ticketed him for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.  Following an […]

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In 2013 Salon ran a piece titled “Fetal pain is a lie: How phony science took over the abortion debate.”   That same phony science will be coming to Ohio soon.

“Close to a dozen state legislatures across the country have passed laws banning abortion at 20 weeks,” wrote Salon’s Katie McDonough two years ago. “Most of these restrictions are given grave-sounding titles like the ‘Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.”

The article went on to thoroughly debunk the whole concept.  “The fetus at 20 weeks can’t actually feel anything at all. Which is to say, the fundamental justification for these laws is a […]

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Deep in Governor Kasich’s budget bill (House Bill 64) on page 924 we can find language requiring the creation of an evaluation system that will cover all of Ohio’s school counselors (Ohio Counselor Evaluation System?; OCES?).  The overall framework and final evaluation ratings closely mirror the OTES structure, though the final pieces of the puzzle will ultimately be decided by the state board of education (led by two Kasich appointees).

The actual evaluation process is slated to begin in the 2016-17 school year and the legislation has many holes for the state board to fill, including the decision […]

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The full text of Ohio’s latest proposed budget bill (House Bill 64) was posted last week and, as in years past, it includes much more than just financial recommendations.  There are numerous education-related “reforms”, some of which have promise, others that will place additional expenses on the backs of local school districts, and some that will continue to just continue the chaotic environment of change that teachers and administrators have been dealing with under the Kasich regime.

A key piece of reform that falls into the latter category involves the ever-changing Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES).  In […]

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The second year of signing up for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ends this Sunday. It’s been a roller coaster ride from the first day in the fall of 2012, when the Marketplace Website that insurance shoppers were to use melted on start-up. Republicans cooed with joy that such a big launch had gone so terribly bad. Their fondest dreams were realized as people who might qualify for taxpayer relief from rising private insurance health coverage premiums couldn’t find information or sign up for offered plans.

But the disaster Republicans wanted to continue didn’t, as Health and […]

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The hard-working dandies on the Republican team in Columbus are demonstrating that Ohio is on the move!

Here’s the latest exciting evidence:

Gov. Kasich is transporting his “Sunny Persona” ( Washington Post reference, not mine) to South Carolina and West Virginia to continue his pitch for a balanced budget constitutional amendment.

Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel spoke at a fund-raising “gala’ by a conservative group in Washington.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted also went to Washington to testify on the evil effect of President Obama’s immigration policy that would screw up his epic battle to rid the voter rolls of […]

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Much of the media coverage around John Kasich’s latest budget proposal and “new” school funding model has focused on the mysterious calculations that are supposedly determining how some school districts will receive more state funding and some schools will receive less.  While this debate is certainly interesting, it ignores the larger, and more important conversation that should be occurring.

Kasich’s latest proposal makes some grand and fatally-flawed assumptions about the amount of state funding that should be allocated to the Department of Education as a whole.  Furthermore, Kasich’s bold statement that local districts that “can help themselves…need…to step up and […]

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Gov. John Kasich loves to mete out discipline by telling others to work harder and do more with less. Unfortunately, he never takes his own advice, because he prefers to do less with more. This has been the case when it comes to creating jobs working families can actually live on without being “dependent” on government, a very taboo thing to do for the Reagan relic who’s out touting a federal balanced budget amendment in two more reliably Republican states, South Carolina and West Virginia.

Always ready to take food off the table or money out of the wallets of […]

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In June, 2014, Lt. Governor Mary Taylor’s Chief of Staff and her assistant were forced to resign after a public record request from Plunderbund revealed both staffers were likely billing the state for hours that they were not actually in the office working.  A tip received by Plunderbund suggested the women were working on the Kasich/Taylor reelection campaign while being paid by the LG’s office.

Mary Taylor, not exactly a workaholic herself, vowed to get to the bottom of the issue.  In a memo to the Ohio Inspector General and the Ohio Highway Patrol, she asked both offices to pursue an […]

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Gov Kasich’s mad dash to school tax reforms that played off suburban districts against their poorer cousins took a direct hit from an old friend that posted its complaint in a full- page layout on Wednesday titled: Not Good Enough.

While allowing that his formula contained “some sense”, the editorial declared:

“Poorer districts should get more money, but it should not come at the expense of often struggling suburban districts that are just climbing out of the Great Recession.”

Coming from the PD, such dissent from Ohio’s biggest newspaper might remove a little of the edge from his swaggering […]

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