Education, Ohio, Public Schools, Schools, Uncategorized

Ohio BATs Agree with OSBA, BASA, & OFT’s Amicus Brief about HB70

signatures of support

Ohio BATs extends its sincere gratitude to the Ohio School Boards Association, the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, and the Ohio Federation of Teachers for their joint filing of an amicus brief in opposition to state takeovers via House Bill 70. As amici explain so well, the process and the intent of the amendment, that ultimately was introduced and passed on the same day, was an affront to the entire democratic process of our governance.


We completely agree with their statement: “Amici share a keen interest in preserving the local, community-centered autonomy of local school boards. Voters elect the members of their districts’ school boards from their own communities, and school districts, in turn, have authority over their districts. But R.C. 3302.10, enacted in Am.Sub.HB 70, upends this system by unconstitutionally usurping the powers of school boards and, by extension, the will of the voters who elected the board members. And it does so in violation of Article VI, Section 3 of the Ohio Constitution as well as the Equal Protection clause.” Read the full brief here:

When we see amici representing Ohio’s school board members, superintendents, and educators against the state, then it is clear there was an egregious and corrupt attempt to disregard the voices of experts through HB 70. The bill’s intent is an entrepreneurial endeavor designed by the elite. One that is most costly to children and cold to communities. One that indiscreetly discriminates and racially divides. One that has no empathy for the socio-economically disadvantaged. One that is morally bankrupt and intentionally moot about the ill-effects and failures of this greed-driven educational experimentation thus far.  

Our signatures below are a strong stance in solidarity with the amici’s legal challenge put forth in the brief and in unity with all other groups of public school primary stakeholders who are also vehemently opposed to HB 70 and its broad destructive future plans.


Kelly A. Braun, 30 years in some form of education-related jobs; currently a pre-K teacher

Brittany Alexander, 21 year educator

Karen Linch, 18 year educator

Linda Englert Kennedy, 35 years, since 1983

Gary Gilbert, father of two, educator in some form for 30 years.

Debra Testa Fedyna, 35 years elementary teaching, 6 years University of Mount Union adjunct professor, supervisor of student teachers

Michelle Amber Clark, 7 year educator

Sherm Koons, 20 year educator

Tucker Kari MacDonald Tucker, 22 year educator

Rania Fowler, 20 years

Kelly Modlich, 19 years public school educator, 8 year pre-school educator

Wendy Duke, 22 yrs now retired

Laura Valendza, 15 years

Karen Dodson-Glanzer, 21 year educator

Teresa Brown, 35 year educator

Marti Franks, 44 years in secondary education, retired but still an activist.

Mary Reed, 20 year educator

Ana Chapman, 25-year educator and 4-year school board member

Elizabeth Evans, 9 years teaching

Beth Egbert, 19 years

Brandon Parsons, 13-year educator, parent for 13 years

Julie Cohan, educator and parent for 25 years

Melodie Larsen, 31 years teaching in urban public education

Jackie Conrad, 25 year educator

June Krayer, 16 years in education

Rhonda Chartier, Elementary education 13 years

Billie Sarich, 31 years, elementary education

Carrie Preston, teacher, 20 years, mother of 3 grandmother of 5

Stephani Itibrout, 21 years high school teacher

Marty Perlaky, 27 years secondary education

Danielle Carey, 23 year educator

Dawn Neely-Randall, 28 years teaching in public education

Jocelyn Weeda, PhD., 23 year educator

Douglas Edwards, 34 year public school educator

Isabel Bozada, 3 year educator

Geoff D. Mize, 19 years public school educator

Rebecca Kleinhenz, 18 years public school educator
Shannon Brazzil, 21 years 8th Grade Special Education

Travis Pennell, 10 years

Eckhart Marylouise Eckhart, 30 years in public schools now retired

Larry Ellis, 17 year public school educator

Mary Palmstrom, 35 years in public schools, retired

Andrea White, Ph.D., 25-year-educator

Becki Schwab, 14 yrs public school educator

Hauer Katie Hauer, 28 year educator

Tom A. Traut, 30 years in public school – retired

Abby Vaile, 39 years as an educator

Myra Keller, 9 years

Laurie Maravetz, 25 years public school educator

Beth Wilson-Fish, 34 years in education, 2 years on public School Board
Charlandra Lundy, public school educator, 23 years

Jeanne Melvin, educator – 3 years corporate-owned private school and 36 years public school district

Amy Fihe, 23 years

Paula Garfield, Retired- 32 years in public schools, Behavior Intervention Teacher/Specialist

Linda Limbach, 35+ years as public school educator and 3 years as an educational consultant

Stephanie Jordan, 16 yrs public educator

Mandy Jablonski, parent, supporter of public education

Matt Jablonski, 18 years public school teacher

Vickie Briercheck, 30 years

Soozie Kish-Hetterscheidt, 17 years

Jo Guido, 33 years

Dan Heintz, 15 years teaching in public education

Jane Barnes, 14 years in public education

Anita Beck, retired 37 yr public school educator

Denis Smith, Retired 36 years public school teacher and administrator

Diane Valentino, 28 year public educator

Rhonna Smith, 25 year public school Intervention Specialist

Matthew Smith, 31 years public school educator-retired

Ruth V. Spanos, 14 years public school Speech-Language Pathologist

Chris Thomas, Retired public school teacher-28 years

Jessica Bosak, parent/home preschool educator, public school supporter

Jinnifer Roach, public school teacher for 21 years

Margaret Moschell, public school teacher for 19 years

Maureen Reedy, retired educator, 36 years of experience, Ohio Teacher of the Year, 2002, Upper Arlington Teacher of the Year, 2001

Stacey Higgins, 22 years experience

Brenda Moran Schaefer, 20 years experience

Sarae Pacetta, early childhood educator, 21 years experience

Pamela Sneary Spadaro, 21 years of teaching

Melissa Marini Švigelj-Smith, 20 years teaching

Penny Parish-Brown, 34 years, 14 as a teacher and 20 as a School Psychologist

Rachel Rowen, public school teacher, 9 years



50 Days Worth of Blogs About ‘Tornadic’ Tom Vander Ark: Day 11

U is for Union


UNIONS are something for which Tom Vander Ark has, and probably never had, any USE!!

UNIONS are something of which Tom Vander Ark has no UNDERSTANDING.

UNIONS are those over which Tom Vander Ark continually USURPS authority.

UNIONS are those which Tom Vander Ark perpetually UNDERMINES their importance.

I am glad I did not commit to 50 days in a row, but just rather 50 days worth of writings exposing Tom Vander Ark. I (WE) have had the most wretched week here in Youngstown, Ohio. And though I have not yet found the direct link (oh, and I will) all of my upset is related to exactly everything I have been writing about in this marathon blog series. Youngstown education was in a wicked whirlwind manner spun out as the MODEL CITY for which other Ohio school districts will be controlled by ALEC legislation. “This act also removes procedural and funding barriers to charter school success.” That would be the UNIONS!

We have been sold. Tom must have danced a jig as another one of his “TomMARTS” is going to get built. I will address this specifically in another blog with examples of exactly what I mean, but he probably will not personally appear on the scene. For the sake of his PR Upkeep, Youngstown is far too poor to prove to be one of his ‘supposed successes’. Indeed Youngstown is THE most impoverished city in Ohio!

I am vested in this city, born and raised on the west side of the rust belt. I do not want one single dollar bill to go to Tom Vander Ark from here. NOT ONE! I am so sick about this HB70 that I hardly know where to even begin. Tonight though… as NEA RA is getting underway in a couple of days. (with Badass Teachers Association in full representation) and, as my spirits were lifted somewhat yesterday by watching a WONDERFUL movie about Woody Guthrie, I feel led to stay with one singular aspect of all of this. UNIONS are still highly respected in Youngstown. We still carry the punch and fight gumption of the Steel Belt Era.

HB70 is taken directly from the cues of the model legislation bill from ALEC for charters. Only there has been so much negative light shed on all of Tom Vander Ark’s FAILURES in education experiments, that they have chosen to use his word COMMUNITY schools instead of CHARTERS. Any way you label it, Tom’s TOP-DOWN contorted “business model” FOR-PROFIT (but called non-profit) PRIVATIZED (though they hide behind the word PUBLIC) CORPORATIZED (though they will say Community-involved) schools complete with a 6-digit CEO and several 6-digit salaried consultants now will sink their sucking fangs into the neck of MY CITY and insert their money-siphoning tubing into the Heart of Youngstown!

One of the most-used sets of words in HB70 is “collective bargaining”. I did not count, but it might be the most frequently used words. This is how TomMARTs work. Legally freeze the UNION, annihilate their power, oh and do it quickly (this bill made all rounds politically in under 12 hours save for Gov. John ALEC FOUNDER Kasich’s signature, expected in the next two days.)

Here Tom is flipping out about Unions (he is upset big time at NEPC and NEA!):

“Finally, the report gets to the real point—there are (OMG!) for-profit companies involved in online learning. The real purpose of this hit piece is to block K12, Connections, and other private organizations from serving students. As John Bailey pointed out, this ‘keep the private sector out” strategy has successfully blocked the participating of private sector participating in education to a greater extent than in any other area of public delivery.”

Remember we discussed Sam Walton’s way to build and what he thought was the largest profit-line…was employee costs. With the Union silenced, this new CEO to come to Youngstown will have 100% fire/hire power. This is how TomMARTs are rolled out! Here was a comment in response to a Diane Ravitch blog where she talked about the “getting rid of teachers.”

“Anti-union ed reformer Tom Vander Ark relayed his message to school districts on August 18, 2011, at a presentation at Georgetown U.

  1. He said, ‘Give me two more weeks a year and two more hours a day and you can subtract two teachers.’”

    and another response:

    “*Effectively, the goal is to not have teachers anymore.*

    For the simple reason that paying teachers interferes with profit. The dismantling of public schools isn’t about educating kids – like all privatization schemes, it’s about companies like Pearson and K12 Inc making as much much money as possible while the opening to do so exists.”

In a review of Tom’s book, one had this to say: “The bottom line is that, although Vander Ark makes a few good points, and although he informs readers (in a scattershot fashion) about some interesting and innovative new approaches to education, “Getting Smart” is not a systematic or objective assessment of what we know or what we need. Instead, it is a self-serving marketing brochure for Vander Ark’s businesses and the industry associations to which they belong. Furthermore, Vander Ark promotes an anti-union legislative agenda that would deprofessionalize teaching and throw away the American tradition of local school control (for better or worse) in order to allow the big textbook companies and their education technology subsidiaries to profit more fully from the enormous public education market.”

When I first read this interview with BILL GATES, I had all of my Vander Ark research open in a search bar. I got confused for a second. These words are NOT BILL GATES words at all. He is just repeating what Tom Vander Ark has relayed to him or told him. I swear I can see Tom’s fingertips back where Bill’s tonsils would be.

“Gates: It’s not easy. School boards have a lot of power, so they have to be convinced. Unions have a lot of power, so teachers have to see the models that are working, because although change may be scary, they want to be part of a successful model. So we need more pilot programs, more dialogue, to get all the entities, government, school boards, unions, moving towards a more intensive education process.”

It is a BILL and TOM commercial! Read the whole article if you have time…Anthony Cody gives refute to Gates words (with Tom manning the dummy) in a powerful way.

Tom and Bill, both need to study their union history. Maybe we could sic the ghost of Woody Guthrie on both of them? I think I will send them both some lyrics of some super special songs.

Elitists have no use for unions. Why would one need democracy when you have the power of money or in Tom’s case the deceitful persuasiveness of CHARM.

Aside from the history and humanitarian side of the unions Bill and Tom BOTH need to read this lesson and study this bassackwards effect from what they propagandize that they are doing economically! Oh silly me, they most probably did study this chart and are working to swing that profit pendulum.

I could just scream at reading Tom’s lists over and over again in his posts. He just tweaks them here and there and regurgitates them for years upon years in his host of online places. But I hope that Tom Vander Ark will be experiencing the full-blown noise of a BAT SWARM very, very soon. And when he does, perhaps he will read all of these. And if he does…. perhaps this might be kind of like speaking his language.

Tom, here are ten MYTHS and FACTS about UNIONS:

Union Maid
Words and Music by Woody Guthrie

There once was a union maid, she never was afraid
Of goons and ginks and company finks and the deputy sheriffs who made the raid.
She went to the union hall when a meeting it was called,
And when the Legion boys come ’round
She always stood her ground.

Oh, you can’t scare me, I’m sticking to the union,
I’m sticking to the union, I’m sticking to the union.
Oh, you can’t scare me, I’m sticking to the union,
I’m sticking to the union ’til the day I die.

Please NEVER STOP SINGING Becca RItchie ^0^ !