Where was this published?Change is especially important when it comes to
K-12 education. Reformers often appropriately use the term "kids first" when it comes to our educational priorities. Too many times, however, "adults first" is the prevailing philosophy. That has to change, and thanks to Kelly Kohls, it is changing in our Springboro school district.
Springboro's old philosophy was like that of many public school districts: Teachers were given annual "step" raises and administrators received nice salary perks, whether there was money in the district's budget or not. If the district couldn't afford it, voters were expected to approve tax hikes to pay for it all, or accept cuts to student services.
That old "adults first" approach was on full display in 2009, when district officials chose to address their financial woes by eliminating busing for high school students, laying off 30 district employees and raising pay-to-play fees for after school activities.
Not long after that, Kelly Kohls, a mother of five and a former college professor, joined the Springboro school board and a new "children first" philosophy began to emerge.
Kohls' approach of challenging the "business as usual" mindset has proven very effective.
The district now requires employees to contribute more for their health insurance plans. Backdoor bonuses for administrators have been eliminated, annual teacher "step" raises have been frozen, and a variety of spending cuts have been implemented.
Kohls' self-described "kids first" approach has caused a lot of heartburn among Springboro's school establishment. During her tenure on the board, district officials have publicly blamed Kohls for the defeat of a $6 million school levy, the departures of a superintendent, a district treasurer, a school board president and the large turnover in school administrators.
(Springboro families and taxpaying homeowners continue applauding in appreciation and continued support the good work of putting "our kids" first).
Members of the Springboro Education Association - the local teachers union - use public schoool board meetings to excoriate Kohls for opposing teacher pay raises and proposing budget cuts.
Kohls response is that: some people get so entrenched in the old philosophy that it's tough to get them to think whether or not something is going to help the kids.
Voters seem to agree. In November 2011, two additional "fiscal conservatives" were elected and took majority control of the five member school board, with the beginning term January 2012.
Kohls says her approach has been to "ask a lot of question" and to explain the board's spending decisions to the community.
Since January, 2012, the new board has enshrined its "children first" philosophy in a series of 29 goals, which include setting district money aside to help prepare students for the ACT test, among other things.
The board has switched to zero based budgeting, meaning that school budgets will not automatically increase every year. The board is also developing policies that prioritize district spending, to ensure that student-centered spending needs are met before employee benefits and wage increases are considered. Kohls is crafting a point system to determine which employees will receive bonuses from the available funds.....
and this is just the beginning...
Thank you, Mrs. Kohls, Mr. Petroni, Mr. Rigano.
There are 32046 comments on the Dayton Daily News story from Feb 5, 2008, titled Our recommendation: Springboro voters should say 'yes' the first time to school levies. In it, Dayton Daily News reports that:
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#23508 Feb 19, 2013
#23509 Feb 19, 2013
Where was this published?
#23510 Feb 19, 2013
Signals, You are dead wrong. You need to get your facts straight. maybe a little soap in the mouth also.
#23511 Feb 19, 2013
I would be more worried about colleges not accepting PSEO credits.
#23512 Feb 19, 2013
So according to Just Watching your children were failing. However, they scored very well on the ACT and got in to the colleges they chose. Doesn't seem like failing to me!
#23513 Feb 19, 2013
Information in the above informative and encouraging article by Ben Velderman was found on the website: EAGnews.org
(This comment at the end are word Thank You added and should be repeated often throughout our school district/community).
....and this is just the beginning ...
Thank you, Mrs. Kohls, Mr. Petroni, Mr. Rigano
#23514 Feb 19, 2013
Given the latest news from Michigan regarding the passing of Right to Work legislation in that state it is encouraging to know that Ohio is right behind them. No longer should teachers be coerced into to participating in an organization that contradicts many teachers moral convictions. See links below. Forced unionism is a Marxist philosophy and has no place in Springboro. Yes a teacher can opt out but must still pay a large portion of the Membership dues. How about giving the teachers the ability to opt and an pay nothing.
The Pro Union thugs that attend your meetings undermine and interfere with the Board's efforts of promoting fiscally responsible Pro Student/tax Payer initiative’s. The noise they make always leads back to what’s best for the teachers union interests with little concern for the Student or the Tax payer. Please understand I am thankful for the many great teachers in Springboro, it’s the Union who we have issues with.
Please do not cave to their Thug Tactics, the Community is behind you and appreciate your efforts to be fiscally responsible. Unelected Union Sympathizers have no platform to constantly harass the BOE members as they are neither Staff nor Union Members. As Union puppets their only purpose is create division and discontentment within the Schools and Community.
The best thing that can happen is to make Right to Work a Law here in Ohio and it is coming. http://www.10tv.com/content/stories/2012/12/1...
Check out what the NEA/Teachers Union stands for regarding Homosexuality, Liberal and Christian viewpoints. In my opinion Teachers Unions are like affirmative action, they force employers to compensate groups of individuals based on the demands of the group rather than individual performance/contributions. It is insulting to individual liberty and personal responsibility and is basically a legal form of extortion. Do we reakky want organizations with these kinds of radical agendas shaping our schools ideology?
See the links below and you’ll realize what we’re dealing with:
Thank you for your efforts,
#23515 Feb 19, 2013
From the Ohio Department of Education website
Do courses taken in the postsecondary education options program count toward the Diploma with Honors?
Yes. Diploma with Honors rules specifically allow for postsecondary options to count toward Diploma with Honors credit. Caution: Check with the school to determine how PSEO units are calculated.
Odd that you would need to check with your particular school in regards to how PSEO units are calculated. If it is state mandated, would not the Ohio Department of Education be aware of that fact?
#23516 Feb 19, 2013
Each college that participates in the PSEO program has a link to a nationwide data base that cross checks whether or not the course you are taking will be accepted by the institution you wish to attend.
Perhaps this will assuage your heartfelt concern.
#23517 Feb 19, 2013
The woman does not mention whether or not her children took the test but one time or many? Did they take any ACT prep classes like the one Mr. Rigano had added to the course of study at the high school?
Graduating Proficient leaves a lot to be desired educationally, and the OGT is only a test that measures what the child learned in grades 1-9. The range of correct answers a child must produce on the test to be rated Proficient range from 41%-63% in reading. Less than 2/3 of the material mastered to be at the top end of Proficient? Hardly a reason to shout from the roof tops.
Children can get their act together on their own from their sophomore through senior year.
Anecdotal tales placed anonymously on a blog are hardly conclusive of anything.
Verifiable, documented facts and sources provide a much greater basis for rational conclusions than stories written for a blog.
#23518 Feb 19, 2013
Tiffin, Ohio not a bad job of reporting by this newspaper. Who, what, when, where, and how rather than an interjection of the reporter's personal biases.
Now let me know what you disagree with and why.
And don't forget to document your source rebuttal material to make your argument more enjoyable.
#23519 Feb 19, 2013
First off, in the grand scheme of things, I don't think most parents are going to make the decision of AP class vs. PSEO based on this percentage grade different.
The bigger question is why are upper level high school classes weighted the way they are? If a student is willing and able to take the higher level courses then they should accept the grade they get - why should they get 10 extra points added to their grades? If you are so against the "Proficient" definition of the OGT and other tests, then you should be against this type of weighting. Kind of hypocritical don't you think?
#23520 Feb 19, 2013
The real hypocrites are educators and politicans who greedily trumpet more money invested in preschool education is getting the most bang for the buck.
These hypocrites promoting "blessings for the least of these" from the false gods of universal preschool are nothing nothing more than union minded worshippers of the false doctrine; preaching that a child will be more competitive in the future global workplace; IF only the Teachers Union can stamp a "dollar per pupil" sign on the
precious little one's forehead, straight from the womb and into a taxpayer-funded public schools classroom with a "union" teacher.
#23521 Feb 19, 2013
The reason for weighting of classes is that some classes are much easier to take than others.
Grades determine your GPA and thus one's class standing. According to Mr. Malone, colleges put great stock into a student's GPA and class standing.
Comparing an A garnered in a basic algebra class and an A one earned in a calculus class is not quite the same. Much like different professions pay more money for more prep work up front, academic challenges should be rewarded the same way.
No one expects a MD who puts in 12+ years of rigorous study to be compensated in the same manner as a medical assistant who got their certification in 8-12 months. Academic challenges should be treated in the same manner.
I don't believe it is hypocritical to ask that we not accept ratings that say if you get 32% of the material correct we will deem you a PROFICIENT student in math in the 7th grade. The fact that less than 1/3 of the material mastered makes a student proficient is absolutely absurd.
#23522 Feb 19, 2013
my-oh-my thou protestest too much in defense of the has been a SHS principal for 12 years, but why?
Our overwhelmingly vague principal could only defend his status quo tunnel vision with his severely misguided reply that our high school students were just so happy loving their high school experience and favorite teachers, they just had no desire to leave the high school campus for a higher achievement college course.
Now there's the real loser of "higher principles."
#23523 Feb 19, 2013
Education in Springboro is All About Being Informed; and Staying Engaged in doing what's right for our school children and community. Our current board and district leadership is providing more transparency in our school district's finances and opening direct communication from our children's classrooms into the homes of parents and community members than ever before.
This really is an exciting time for our school board, district leadership, parents and students, and all community members to work together supporting our district's new philosophy of "children first budgeting."
If you are new to the "blogging" scene, don't be taken in by the paid bowman bloggers badmouthing our good neighbors and board representatives (whose accomplishments since 2010 have been greater for our kids' education than previous "status quo" board leadership). If you want real, unbiased answers to your questions about education in Springboro, then you can go to this website and ask a board member and learn the truth:
#23525 Feb 19, 2013
Here's something to forward to friends and neighbors around the Boro...
Springboro schools is in good company. Last year, Ohio graded close to 2/3 of it's public school districts either "Excellent" or "Excellent with Distinction".
If (the majority) of Ohio's schools are that good, why do the best jobs continue to leave Ohio?
Looking at the entire U.S., what kind of changes must be implemented so that America's children can successfully compete with other nations around the globe?
#23526 Feb 19, 2013
Why? It's nonsense.
#23527 Feb 19, 2013
You betcha it's nonsense that our Ohio workers have to leave the state to get the best jobs. And WHY? Because Right-To-Work States
encourage great business to come to their state to provide the best jobs for workers; while workers in forced-unionization states
like Ohio are left behind; stuck in an outdated collective bargaining system maintaining unionized status quo for over 25 years.
#23528 Feb 19, 2013
If you will, or are able to, please expand upon that thought.
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