Ohio Educator Spells It Out for State’s Policymakers

Valerie Strauss, a reporter with the Washington Post recently featured a very poignant and honest blog post by Scott Ervin, who has worked as a teacher, principal and discipline specialist over the last 15 years throughout Ohio. The post, entitled Teacher: I’ve loved my ‘very difficult’ job. But now Ohio has made it ‘impossible.’ Highlights many of the challenges that ACS hears regularly from teachers and administrators across the state — all amplified by a juxtaposition of cuts to funding and increases in mandated compliance, paperwork, and accountability measures.

Ervin addresses Ohio’s policymakers directly, explaining that increasing mandates prevent him from doing the things he believes to be crucial to support students, “I used to be able to do things that are absolutely necessary when working with at-risk kids: home visits, calls home, and taking time with kids outside of school.” Now, he says, “I literally do not have a single second to get things together so that I can attend one of the meetings you have mandated that I attend.”

Ervin also calls attention to Ohio’s new A-F report card, which has been of concern to many teachers, administrators, and parents throughout the state. “My school, even with our 60 percent poverty rate, was listed as ‘excellent’ with your old rating system. The next year, with almost the same scores, in your new rating system, we received an ‘F’. How does that make sense? I hope you can understand the position of many educators who feel that you all don’t even want us to succeed.”

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