Adviser: Governor's education plan retains local control


Springfield public schools superintendent Nancy Golden, senior education policy adviser to Kitzhaber, said the governor’s proposed Oregon Education Investment Board is “basically a budgeting to outcome process.”

Read the full article here. Discuss below.

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    As a school board member, and a veteran of 22 years of local government, I am stunned.

    The Governor's Education Agenda includes a variety of potentially helpful proposals, but it does not retain "local control" under any rational definition of the phrase.

    Nobody benefits from clouding the debate with unsupportable appeals.

    Please do not pour a bucket of iced vinegar on my head and try to convince me it is raining - it cheapens the process.

    We need to discuss the larger issues.

    Fact: Since 1990, local government has been slipping down the slope.

    Fact: BM 5 and then BM 47/50 constrained local government flexibility and with it greatly constrained local control/s.

    Fact: The State of Oregon through GF and LF resources has backfilled much of the lost revenue since 1990 because we have not developed a suitable replacement revenue stream.

    Fact: The US and State Governments have established an enormous amount of new mandates for education without a subsequent proportional increase in revenue to accomplish stated objectives.

    Fact: Our schools are losing the capacity to keep pace with the expectations and requirements passed into statute at the federal and state level/s.

    Fact: Something needs to be done, because our children are losing opportunities available in other states.

    What we need is an open dialogue about the larger question: should we retain locally delivered education, or should we not?

    Put simply, either we have local school districts (that are already constrained in terms of authority and flexibility), or we scrap what we have and field a statewide - state delivered - education program.

    We can do either, but what we cannot do - must not do - is pretend things are something they are not.

    But we must make our decisions with open eyes.

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    I like the reforms aimed at early childhood education & services, it looks a lot like the CCO model being considered for OHP.

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    The major problem with the governor's approach to education is that it is steeped in educational reform ideas. And the educational reform movement has already highly damaged Oregon's educational system. We certainly don't need anymore of it. The whole idea of outcome based education where we tie the money to the outcomes is nuts. You can tie the money to creating opportunities if you like, but the major outcomes come from the kids, not from the teachers anyway. It is like Kitzhaber's people read the reform books, but didn't read the naysayer books.

    Furthermore, it is not a plan designed to alleviate the major educational problem in the state, the education in Portland's poor neighborhoods. I called Kitzhaber's educational advisor and complained that no one on his educational committee had the thousands of poor kids who are getting a rotten education and are the source of the major number of dropouts as their constituents. She could have cared less. At least at the district level you can work to try to offset the tilt toward the more well-to-do by complaining or running for office yourself. You have some chance. But when the governor appoints -- poor kids have no chance.

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