Realistic Ohio education reform needed
Give Ohio Gov. John Kasich credit for not having a dog in the fight he waged over public education for several months. By the time House Bill 512 could have gone into effect, Kasich would have been out of office.
But though his motives appeared pure, Kasich’s idea was a bad one. He wanted to place control over public schools under the governor.
HB 512, proposed earlier this year, would have consolidated education in Ohio. It would have created an entirely new department, under which the current ones of education, higher education and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation would have been placed. That new agency would have been controlled by the governor, who would have appointed the state superintendent of schools. Currently, that post is filled by the state Board of Education.
Substantial reforms are needed in both public schools and higher education. For one thing, there needs to be better coordination of curriculum; too many high school graduates arrive on campuses unready for college-level work.
But HB 512 would have placed too much power under one person.
Fortunately, the bill appears to be dead. Good. With a new governor and a new General Assembly taking office next year, a more realistic education reform bill can be tackled.