Speak Out: Waiting for "Superman"

Phone Booth, February 2008 by Flickr user Maggie Osterberg.

The documentary film, Waiting for “Superman,” by producer Davis Guggenheim is scheduled to open in Columbus on Friday, Oct. 14. A film that evokes strong emotions, it tells the story of injustice in America’s education system. It says important things about the challenges of the public education system. However, the reductive messaging—“charters are good” and “teachers unions are bad”—oversimplifies complicated issues and threatens to thwart thoughtful discussions about improving public schools.

You will be tempted to get defensive about this film. But CEA welcomes and encourages filmgoers to join us in our mission of making great public schools for every student. Association members have always led the fight for great public schools, and we hope the movie inspires others to become engaged in a larger discussion about the shared responsibility for public education.

The CEA Blog wants to know:

What are your thoughts about  Waiting For “Superman”? Do you think this film will create a constructive or divisive dialogue about improving public education? Feel free to write a review if you have already seen the film!

Visitors to the CEA Blog do not need to be registered to leave a reply. Simply click on the “Comments” link directly below the post title. Type in a screen name of your choice, enter your email address and leave your comment. Please make sure your comment adheres to our posting guidelines. Once your comment has been moderated, it will be visible to all visitors to the CEA Blog.

Ohio Supreme Court won’t hear pro-charter PAC’s appeal

In a ruling released today, the Ohio Supreme Court will not hear the appeal of All Children Matter, a pro-charter school Political Action Committee (PAC). The group had been fined a record $5.2 million by the Ohio Elections Commission for violating Ohio campaign finance laws in 2006.

From the CEA Blog 4/4/2008:

All Children Matter, a Michigan-based pro-charter Political Action Committee (PAC) violated Ohio campaign finance laws by funneling $870,000 to its affiliated PAC in Ohio in 2006 and was assessed a record $5.2 million fine by the bipartisan Ohio Elections Commission in a unanimous ruling publicized yesterday.

White Hat founder and CEO David Brennan contributed $200,000 to the group. Ohio campaign laws limit PAC contributions by individuals and corporations to $10,000 per year, but since the group was raising its money in Virginia where individual and corporate contributions are unlimited, Brennan was able to donate in increments of $50,000 and had no legislatively mandated ceiling on his contributions. White Hat operates the largest number of privately managed charter schools in Ohio, which include the Hope Academy and Life Skills Center chains. 

You can read the full story in the Columbus Dispatch here, or read the a series of posts by The CEA Blog in 2008 examining the Ohio Department of Education’s statistics for the Hope Academy charter school chain here.

Up to 26 Ohio charters could be shut down in 2011

"Closed for business" by Flickr user maistora

Ohio charter schools enrolled nearly 90,000 of more than 1.3 million Ohio students during the 2008-2009 school year.  According to the charter school “Watch List”, up to 26 Buckeye state charter schools that enroll more than 7,800 Ohio students could be closed by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) at the end of the 2010-2011 school year.

Released jointly by The Education Voters of Ohio and The Forum for Education and Democracy, the charter school “Watch List” list shows that students in 10 Ohio counties could be affected by up to 26 potential charter school closures at the end of the 2010-2011 school year. Closure of each charter school depends on their academic performance on the next set of ODE’s school report cards, scheduled for release in late August of this year.

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