State school board candidates

State school board candidates tackle testing and guns

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   State school board candidates were quizzed Sunday about their feelings on state grade cards, teachers being armed with guns, and collaborating with people they disagree with. Six of the seven candidates running for the one open seat in the 2nd District showed up for the forum hosted by the League of Women Voters from Bowling Green and Perrysburg. They are: Jeanine P. Donaldson has been the director of the YWCA in Elyria for 30 years, was an elementary teacher, and a member of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. Charles Froehlich currently serves on the state school board. He is a retired manufacturing executive with 44 years in manufacturing employee education. W. Roger Knight has more than 40 years of experience in teaching and school administration. Sue Larimer, who has a degree in education, serves on the Perrysburg Board of Education. Vicki Donovan Lyle, who is a member of the Sylvania Board of Education, has a small business advising people on health insurance. Annette Dudek Shine, who has degrees from Washington University, Case Western and MIT, is a university professor and researcher. The first question posed to the candidates was about state report cards. Larimer said the report cards are “terribly flawed.” Perrysburg schools scored 119 out of 120 on criteria for gifted students, but yet failed to meet the state’s indicator in that category. However, Larimer said she would not like to see the state tests discarded, since Perrysburg’s high scores help with real estate sales in the community. Lyle said previous state testing was more meaningful, but the current system treats districts unfairly. “It’s not good for attracting business to Ohio,” she said. The system gives districts unexplainable grades. “I think it’s unfair,” Lyle said. Shine agreed the system is flawed. “Clearly it’s not good for attracting business to the state of Ohio.” The testing is stacked against poor districts and results are based on statistically unreliable data, she said. Donaldson said a decade ago Ohio schools were ranked fifth in the nation, but have now slipped to 23rd. The current administration is focused on more career-based education. “It pits communities against each other,” she said about the testing. But it will take Ohio voters to stop the state testing system. Froehlich said the state testing has “evolved into a monster over the years.” “What’s going on in the schools is…