7 thoughts on “Get FutureReady Columbus

  1. Certainly the resources, brainpower and influence this commission has brought to this pressing and depressing problem is commendable. However, as so many efforts to improve education do, it will fall dreadfully short of its goal of providing effective education programming for Columbus kids.

    If the problem existed in a hospital–that less than 50% of its patients were not cured–the analysis would not focus mostly on the people who administer the finances or the paperwork and reporting of the hospital’s business. It would focus on the doctors and the medication they are proscribing and the procedures they are applying to the illnesses. The rubber meets the road, when a physician examines a patient, makes a diagnosis and applies treatment. If people fail to improve, the doctor has not done her job well. The fix for this must examine why there are so many misdiagnoses or wrong treatments. It is only logic.

    Very little of the interventions suggested by the education commission get even close to mentioning the interaction between teachers and children in the classroom. That is where the problem exists. But as a whole, education cannot agree on what constitutes effective instruction. There are so many fads and fictions about instruction that one cannot blame the commission for ignoring it. But classroom instruction is the problem, and it stems back to colleges of education and school policies and eventually teaching procedures.

    So the power and analysis and actions of this commission is headed toward ultimate failure as so many have before it. It is a gallant effort, as it is directed at a serious social problem. I hope this group proves me wrong and hits a home run, but given the batting averages of previous efforts of this nature, it will probably not get to first base. Five years or so from now, with a new mayor and five more years of students having failed, the same type of futile effort will be tried again. Depressing.

    • “…Classroom instruction is the problem…”

      Jim, the teachers that serve Columbus schools are highly qualified. Learning deficiciences cannot be laid at the feet of educators. The true problem is the lack (or total absence) of parental preparation and support. Many parents in Columbus are not instilling the importance of education in their children. Rather, they allow, and in many cases, demand, that schools assume parental roles that parents in succeeding school districts do not. To illustrate this point, you could remove all the teachers from Columbus’s worst performing school and trade them for all the teachers in a similar school in one of the highest succeeding suburban districts, and you would have very little effect on student success in either school.

      Teachers are most effective when students come to school ready to learn. Teachers do not perform miracles.

  2. I have pushed hard to keep my child in a public school, not private or charter. However, with charter schools taking most of the money from the public schools, this poses a real problem in the United States and certainly Ohio and Columbus fall into this category.

    With that said, these are the issues I see on a day-to-day basis as a parent, citizen and taxpayer. Rather than put so much money into building one gigantic great new school such as Linden (which is wonderful by all means), why not focus on building the school up to make it better and also give to other schools around it, such as a new playground to one school, new computers to another school, new library in another school to help the surrounding community schools become more level and even.

    How is it that one school can be completely failing, while 5 miles away, another school is thriving? Perhaps if this problem were addressed, there would be less need for a lottery, less need for the additional (very excessive and not at all efficient) bus routes, less income going to that respect because children would actually be able to attend schools in their own neighborhoods.

    Also, schools that are located near a highly populated Somali area or other cultural area, why not make them designated as a Somali school such as Cassady to help those children succeed and thrive with the issues they face while not holding back the children who already speak English, know our culture, etc….(when my son attended, his teacher felt so badly about the lack of learning that she would send him home additional homework to help him succeed) such as the Spanish Immersion school.

    Why does one school have no playground, very little library, rooms that are only closed off by curtains, a computer shared by several classrooms, and other schools a few miles away have computers in each classroom, classes closed off by actual walls, beautiful playgrounds, beautiful libraries, terrific school programs, etc.?

    When we looked at our neighborhood school, it had a 12% rating. However, within 6 miles, there were half a dozen other schools for Columbus City that were rated 70% or higher. Are you kidding me? Where is the level, even playing field for these children to learn?!

    I would also like to address that you are requesting MORE MONEY for help on Columbus City Schools when the teachers do less work now that more of it is electronic (not like the days when teachers did a lot of the work at home without extra pay), and they have at least, AT LEAST a day off every single month during the school year. This is ridiculous when our children are failing, when teachers and staff have the summer off already, constantly want more money and even when they are getting ready to have a break of sorts, they still have to have a half hour off also beforehand?! This is not at all productive, not effective or efficient for these children. Why don’t we actually have the staff in school during most of the 9-month school year to help these children learn and give the children a better opportunity for gaining knowledge. I am not at all opposed to year-round schools because other countries are catching up and passing us by. Just keep in mind that many parents work, so we need a productive way to handle the children’s time off from school. We cannot simply “not work”.

    Lastly, I would like to mention that you expect young children, ages 5 and thereabouts to actually WALK to school or find their own way to/from in this huge city if they live less than 2 miles from their school with quite often no street lights, no sidewalks, around busy streets at 45 miles an hour and how many people who have been arrested for kidnapping, pedophile, etc. are lingering or driving by when it’s dark out. Are you serious?! It’s that or parents have to find a way to drop off and pick up their children when school is in session for less than an 8-hour work day, and most of the schools do not offer latchkey. Why not stagger your staff to allow for the latchkey service (even if children just sit in the cafeteria reading) to keep these children safe! It’s okay for the City of Columbus to say a small child should walk to/from school with all of those very scary things in their way daily, but if I tried to say my child should walk somewhere ,as a parent (which I would never do), that was 2 miles away (not school), I would be put in jail for child endangerment. Come on, let’s spend our resources wisely. If we didn’t have need for the extra bus routes due to so many lotteries, perhaps ALL the children even within the 2-mile radius could be safely taken to/from their schools so that parents can work their 8-hour days.

    I realize sports is not part of academics, but IT IS part of being a healthy child. Why not have your schools from elementary up have sports (playing other Columbus City Schools) so that the children are kept fit and active, given something to do that is productive and not causing trouble, and your teachers could possibly help with these sports to supplement their income while the children would have something to do after school. Also, you could charge far less than these other places around Columbus for sports to help the families, but still make money for Columbus City Schools. It doesn’t need to be a physical part of the school curriculum or come up for issues on ballots; it can just be an offering of services to keep the kids active, learn social and competitive activities, and keep the money in the school system rather than private organizations.

    I am all for helping our students succeed, but I will not make more of a contribution when I see the money wasted for such horrific decisions. Let me know if you need my help in making some good decisions. I am willing and able, but I will not be a part of something that continues to spin its wheels and not make a real difference. I want so badly for my child to continue in Columbus City Schools, and I hope you will find a true, valuable for the children, helpful way to make this happen. Thank you.

    • I believe that I am responding to a long post by a parent that made quite a few very good points. I must, however, correct one misconception. Charter schools receive about 60% of the money a district school student receives to go to school. I cannot imagine how this could be constitutional. In any case, when a child leaves a district school and goes to a charter, she or he leaves 40% behind. So the district actually makes money, when a child goes to a charter. If all kids were to go to a charter, the district would still have 40% of their income and no students to teach.

  3. I just saw the commercial for the levy. One statement is not true: Officials associated with the data scandal have retired, been reassigned or relieved of their duties.

    There are several high level administrators at the Kingswood Data Center who are still in the positions that allowed the data rigging scandal to happen.

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