Saying ‘no’ to No Child Left Behind
When I was in high school and college in the 1950’s in Nebraska, the Republican Party (GOP) strongly stood for local control of schools and government as it was the BEST form of government. But my party has moved more and more away from that principle as witnessed by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act which for the first time put the Federal government into a major control position of schools. I strongly disagree with this move toward more power for the national (and state) politicians.
And now it seems that even within the GOP a backlash is well on the way. For example the Republican governors of California, Georgia, and Nevada have all begun to move in the direction of reducing their own state control of local schools. In addition the GOP state senators in Minnesota have been pushing for a bill which would require their state to pull out of the NCLB Act and its federal mandates.
Some have said that this would cost Minnesota $250 million in lost federal money. The Senators have responded that the state now has to pay over $300 million for mandates that the law requires but which Congress has never funded. The Bottom Line: Minnesota would save $50 million and recoup much local control of their own schools if they “Just Say NO!” to the NCLB!
Locally elected fellow citizens who serve on local boards of education, although certainly not perfect, are much more likely to be responsive to the goals and expectations of their fellow citizens than are “pure politicians.” Many times those elected to state and national legislative positions do not even reside in their own legislative districts anymore (example: Oakwood’s state senator and state representative who have ‘technical’ addresses in the district but live in Columbus).
Oakwood’s fight with a state rule (not a law) about buses vs. SUVs is just one example of the struggle for local control. Even the ‘Rule’ says “from home to school” must be via a bus. The Oakwood use is for from school to school, but the rule-makers demand to make their own interpretations. Oakwood is an excellent school district—among the very best in the state. I think we should be free to make more decisions based on our own local circumstances. What do you think?
Andrews Hall of Honor deadline April 18
The Oakwood City School District announces that written nominations are now being accepted for the Sam Andrews Educational Hall of Honor. Nominations must be submitted to the Superintendent, Dr. Mary Jo Scalzo, and mailed or delivered to the Board Office, 20 Rubicon Road, Dayton, OH 45409, by April 18, 2008.
The nominee should be retired from school employment or voluntary school-related service for three years or more.
Your nomination should include how the honoree has made “a distinguished and significant contribution toward the beneficial growth and education of the students in this community which shall serve to commemorate the high ideals that characterized the life and career of Sam Andrews.”
Please include adequate back ground information on the nominee so that he/she may receive optimum consideration by the selection committee.
A nomination form and information on the background of the award is available by calling Sandy Maresh at the Board of Education at 297-5332, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org; however, submissions may be made without using the form.
Oakwood band benefit concert raises $10,000
On Thursday, March 27, the Oakwood High School Concert Band opened for the Ohio Valley British Brass Band in its first ever benefit concert. This concert was designed to raise $10,000 to buy a new set of Timpani for the high school band. The Oakwood High School Concert Band under the direction of Mr. Ron Nelson performed its three selected pieces from the district contest which was cancelled due to the blizzard like snowstorm.
Mr. Ed Nickol conducted his 30 piece British Brass Band, which is a volunteer band in which Nelson plays tuba. The Brass Band played songs from renowned composers such as John Phillip Sousa, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and James Swearingen.
“I was gratified by the excellent community turnout and the response given to our Oakwood students. I will definitely do this again,” stated Nelson. The Oakwood High School Concert Band reached its goal of $10,000 and the new Timpani has been ordered. The Oakwood Band would like to thank the Oakwood community for its support, the Oakwood Band Parent Assoc., the Frederick R. Walker Foundation, and to everyone else who helped make this event a huge success. If you missed the concert or any other performances you can watch the Oakwood Band at: