Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Buckeye Institute on State of the State

COLUMBUS - Buckeye Institute President David Hansen today offered a free-market response to the education proposals contained in Gov. Ted Strickland's third State of the State address.

Hansen made the following comments:

School District Performance Audits
"If the governor intended to increase school district accountability by allowing the Ohio Department of Education to conduct performance audits, he missed the mark. That is like putting the fox in charge of the hen house. The State Auditor currently does a good job of making school districts accountable through comprehensive performance audits. The governor should not take away the State Auditor's authority or add another layer of bureaucracy to the current performance audit process. A better move would be to expand the State Auditor's performance audit responsibility."

Teacher Merit Pay
"We had hoped the governor would address needed education reforms such as teacher merit pay. Merit pay works because it injects quality into the teacher pay system. Better teachers will earn more, and bad teachers are weeded out."

Dropout Recovery Charter Schools
"While the governor seemed to soften his opposition to charter schools, he was wrong to attack dropout recovery schools run by for-profit operators. These recovery schools salvage lives because they take in students traditional public schools fail to nurture and teach. These schools put students back on a path to learning and future economic prosperity.

"The governor instead signaled his intention to limit the effectiveness of these schools. Children who have been failed by traditional public schools need more options, not less. If for-profit charter schools can accomplish the task, why not let them?"

The Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions is a nonpartisan research and educational institute devoted to individual liberty, economic freedom, personal responsibility and limited government in Ohio.