Strickland discussed how education changed his own life and how he’ll fight for public schools in address to educators at school in Columbus
COLUMBUS, OH –– Today, Ted Strickland addressed a group of educators at Columbus Downtown High School to discuss his Ohio Families First Proposal to Champion Public Education for students, parents and educators and to launch a new coalition supporting his campaign: “Educators for Ted.”
“I was the first in my family to go to college. Like so many Ohioans, I can truly say education changed the course of my life. But it only happened because educators throughout my life believed in me, they pushed me, and they helped me achieve my full potential,” said Ted Strickland. “I have always believed deeply in the importance of public education, and in the Senate I look forward to continuing to serve as an unabashed champion for our schools, teachers and parents. But Senator Portman has some very different priorities: he’s voted to slash funding for our public schools, and even supported sending millions of our tax dollars to companies that want to profit off our children’s education. Education shaped my life and offered me a pathway to opportunities that I never could have imagined. In the Senate, I will never stop fighting until every Ohioan has the same chance to receive a quality public education and achieve their full potential.
“Ted has been a tireless champion for our public schools, educators and students, and I know he will bring that same commitment to the U.S. Senate,” said Becky Higgins, Ohio Education Association President. “He has always fought for Ohio’s working families and to ensure that every student has the opportunity to achieve their full potential, and those are exactly the values and principles we need in the Senate.”
As governor, Ted revolutionized Ohio’s system of school funding to make sure students from every zip code received the quality education they deserve, protected resources for schools even in the midst of the Great Recession, and worked with teachers to establish smaller class sizes, the best teaching methods and rigorous, fair standards. During Ted’s administration Ohio’s school system skyrocketed from 27th to 5th best in the nation, and Ohio earned the Frank Newman Award for educational state innovation.
Strickland’s proposal announced today focus on these three issue areas and is available online here:
Advancing Public Education. Strickland believes that the solution to improving our education system isn’t to rob traditional public schools of the resources they need. That’s why in the Senate, Strickland will strongly oppose efforts to send our tax dollars to enrich out-of-state or in-state charter school operators at the expense of our public schools, students and teachers. In contrast, Senator Portman supported sending millions of our tax dollars to Ohio’s failing charter schools, including private, for-profit companies who want to profit off our children’s education. Senator Portman has also voted to cut funding for public schools by $780 million in order to give taxpayer-funded handouts to his rich and powerful friends, to cut the Department of Education by $115 billion, and he’s supported budgets that jeopardized over 65,000 educational positions across the country.
Reducing High Stakes Testing. Teachers want to teach and students want to learn, but excessive, oppressive testing is stifling both. Strickland believes we must reduce the reliance on one-size-fits-all high stakes testing, and instead use systems of accountability that inform instruction so schools aren’t chasing test scores at the expense of real learning. Strickland also believes we must revisit how underfunded schools, who are now forced to teach to tests, are narrowing their curriculum offerings -- making it difficult for teachers to teach in the way kids learn best and limiting educational opportunities that help create well-rounded learners.
Empowering Educators and Ensuring Local Decision Making. Ted trusts Ohio educators, and believes our teaching professionals are the ones who should be making the decisions about what goes on in the classrooms. Too often, teachers have become the subjects of politically charged attacks from those seeking to drive a corporate agenda. This discourages retention and interest in this noble profession. The replacement for No Child Left Behind, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), specifically empowers local and state decision makers to develop their own standards and accountability measures, rather than relying on a top-down, cookie-cutter approach from Washington. In the Senate, Strickland will work with teachers, parents and local communities to make sure the implementation of ESSA lives to these principles, and that educators and parents are making the decisions about their own local schools and curriculums, and work to change the conversation from the demeaning, negative attacks on our education professionals to a proper appreciation for these people who we are luck enough to have in our classrooms and who have devoted themselves to seeing our children succeed.
Educators For Strickland: The coalition is made up of educators from across Ohio who will work to mobilize voters across the state and share Ted’s message of fighting for educators and parents with Ohioans throughout the campaign. The first members of the coalition announced today include the following individuals:
Carol Brown Dodson
Pat Frost Brooks
Leah Jean Ord
Bernadine Kennedy Kent
Thomas L. Beck
Stephanie L. Dodd
Catherine O'Neil Smith
Sandy Sirois Schwering
Gay Su Pinnell