Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

John Kasich's Unreal World of Education

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

John Kasich's Unreal World of Education

Article excerpt

A lot of people have eagerly embraced the notion that if only government, or schools, or whatever else ails us were run more like a business, things would be a whole lot better.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the McKees Rocks native offered to American voters last year as the more reasoned Republican alternative to Donald Trump, is the latest.

Despite overseeing a state that has some of the nation's worst charter schools run by private businesses - a 2015 Akron Beacon Journal study found that Ohio charter schools misspent taxpayer money almost four times more often than any other taxpayer-funded agency - Mr. Kasich recently proposed requiring K-12 teachers to do internships with local businesses or chambers of commerce in order to be recertified.

The commission - a governor's executive workforce board made up of leaders in higher education, business and trade positions - that recommended the internships did not include anyone from the K-12 world.

Ostensibly, the real-world postings would enable teachers to inform their students about what kinds of job opportunities are out there and what skills they require. It's important that kindergarten students know that upfront.

Of course, that's nonsense. Or, as former Ohio public school teacher Scott Ervin described it in a Feb. 22 Facebook post, "completely ludicrous insanity."

An educational consultant based in Dayton, Mr. Ervin resigned two years ago after 15 years of teaching hard-to-handle students. In a widely read Washington Post op-ed, he wrote that continuing budget cuts and the increasing number of standardized tests and other pointless tasks that Mr. Kasich and other elected officials who fashion themselves as education policy experts make teachers perform caused him to step away from teaching.

In his Feb. 22 post, Mr. Ervin wrote that Mr. Kasich apparently has such low regard for teachers that he is proposing the internships as a way of letting teachers find out what the real world is like.

"There is no way that a person smart enough to become a governor could be stupid enough to think that this requirement could actually help teachers and students, so I can only assume that it is meant to hurt us," Mr. …

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