Ohio’s War on Public Education

In 2012 and again in 2014, Republican, Sarah Fowler, a 24-year-old former egg farmer from Ashtabula County, Ohio was elected to the Ohio State Board of Education. Her district includes all or parts of Ashtabula, Trumbull, Geauga, Portage, Lake and Summit counties. She had never set foot in a public school as she was homeschooled her entire life.  Her motivation for running was too weaken the regulations on homeschooling. Ohio already has some of the most lenient laws in the country, on home schooling. She stated a big interest in countering the liberal bias and indoctrination that has seeped into public school classrooms over the years.

She has never set foot in a public school but she has an overactive imagination of what takes place there. That and hatred for teachers unions has led her to say some very wacky things. For example, “American history in most Ohio public schools, for example, starts at the Civil War, omitting lessons on the people and documents that founded the United States of America. If we don’t teach how our nation began, and about the people who founded our nation, than how can we expect children to appreciate the sacrifices of the people who fought for our freedom? Gay rights, Marxist ideals, and other elements of the left’s political agenda have slowly crept into school lesson plans with the help of teachers unions and their allies, and it’s important to counter that influence to provide students with a proper education. I would say the union is definitely promoting that agenda, but it’s not something new. It has been going on for a very long time. I think looking at the history of it; it’s been a really well planned out progression to where we’re at. That’s one of my concerns with the public school system – that things are taught accurately and in the proper context. A lot of people are not aware of a lot of things that are being taught.”

I’m sorry Ms. Fowler but Ohio’s children learn about our founders and the Constitution from a very early age. I have no idea where you think kids are learning about Marxism in schools. As for gay rights, if you want to throw the word freedom around, shouldn’t gays have equal rights? I believe homeschoolers like Fowler put a white washed happy face on America’s past. Yes, we should celebrate those who have sacrificed for us (and public schools do) but we should not ignore some of our countries atrocities and mistakes. They are things to learn from and our children cannot learn from them if we pretend they don’t exist. Whitewashing the history of U.S. Imperialism and genocides just makes such atrocities more likely to happen again. I’m lucky because I had history teachers who were honest in their lessons. They taught about the genocide of Native Americans, Manifest Destiny, the quest for empire, Imperialism, Robber Barons etc. I’d love to see Ms. Fowler take a test on these historic facts. I’d love to see more restrictions on homeschooling, not less.

Even though the Democrats picked up two seats on the Ohio State Board of education Republicans still control it. That and the fact that charter school operators have donated millions in campaign contributions to Kasich and Republicans in the state legislature is a problem for public schools. David Brennan (owner of White Hat charter schools) and another for-profit charter school operator, William Lager, have reportedly funneled over $4 million to Ohio Republicans since 2001. Investigation showed that in the 2010-11 school year, no White Hat school in Ohio earned higher than a “C” on the state report card, and most received a rating of “D” or “F.” The state has spent over $1.4 billion just since 2005 on charters that never scored above a D on their annual report cards. Charters get about $7,200 per student in taxpayer funding, compared to about $3,500 per student in traditional public schools.

Public schools are up against a Republican agenda that wants to make money from education the number one goal of education. Conservative homeschooling parents have an agenda that wants to pretend the U.S. is a country whose history is all happy faces. Their agenda also wants to pretend that our Founding Fathers didn’t establish a separation of church and state. We need of help Ohio’s children by electing candidates who have actually set foot inside a public school. We also need to elect candidates that aren’t on the payroll of charter school CEO’s. We also need to stop the lies about our history. In schools this week kids will learn the lie about the first Thanksgiving. Instead, we need to be honest and tell them this truth about the Thanksgiving celebration.

A Brief History of America.

Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live. ~Attributed to Jacqueline Winspear

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