Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Yesterday's post and schooling

I wrote yesterday about my stint on the State Board of Education and little bit about the politics of it.

I just thought I'd clarify that I had really good credentials for that position. My children had attended public school, then went to a Christian school (private), and then were home-schooled. They were all accepted to various colleges after graduation from high school (home-schooled).

I was able, as a member of that board, to represent parents of all children, whether they were public school students, home-schooled, or attended any of many private/religious schools in my district, that district serving one million Ohioans. There were 11 districts at that time, 11 board members, and each one of us represented one million people. I served basically two counties in southwest Ohio, which included the city of Cincinnati.

I loved visiting the schools, no matter whether they were private or public. And I tried to keep a good rapport with the many superintendents in my district, which by and large, was a conservative (in the aspect of their desire for the type of education the children received) district. My superintendents often battled with the Ohio Department of Education (and the OSBE) over requirements that they include certain touchy-feely programs in their school day when they wanted to spend more time on academics.

So why am I writing more about this stint? Well, it certainly changed the way I looked at education for children, not only my own, but my grandchildren as well. I discovered things that were happening in the various school aspects that I liked, and some that I really didn't like, and could and would NEVER support. After getting off the board I was able to "lobby" for the programs I liked, named phonics and then going before the legislature with my (and my supporters) wishes regarding changes being made to the various required curricula for all students no matter what choice parents made -- what would be teaching requirements for all students.

So, I think I've written enough about this subject. I was a hard two years, but it was probably the best two years of my adult life from a "work" standpoint.

I have had many jobs in the past 65 years, being on the Ohio State Board of Education was by far my favorite.

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