Thursday, January 08, 2009

Ohio Ranks Seventh in Education

Education Week, the publication of a not-for-profit organization that seeks excellence in education, says Ohio has the seventh-best public education program among all the states. Ohio was given a B- overall.

For a severely cash-strapped state whose public school funding program has been ruled unconstitutional by the State Supreme Court on four different occasions, this is, quite frankly, amazing news.

Governor Ted Strickland, who was elected in 2006, has said that if he doesn't get the school funding mess straightened out and institute other education reforms during his tenure as chief executive is through, he will consider his term a failure. If Strickland can convince the General Assembly, the state's legislature, and all the relevant players to go along with his reform plans, he will do what none of his predecessors, Democratic or Republican, have been able to pull off.

Strickland may have a better chance of getting a reform program through in the next two years. While his first two years were marked by uncommon cooperation between the Democratic governor and the Republican assembly, the State House of Representatives will now be under the control of the Democrats, presumably smoothing passage of Strickland's agenda in that body.

Here is an interactive state report card map.
Here is detailed state data.
Here is a statement from the governor.

Here are links to several pieces I've written on Ohio's public school funding crisis over the past four years:
It's Time to Get Mad About Ohio's School Funding Crisis (March 25, 2005)
A Blueprint for Reforming Ohio's Public School Funding (March 30, 2005)
Governor Working on Master Plan for Ohio Education (October 30, 2008)

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