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Bill Would Require Ohio Governor to Shadow Teachers

twet.jpgLast month in this blog, I wrote about an item in Ohio Governor John Kasich's budget proposal that would require teachers to job shadow at a local business in order to renew their licenses. Now two House Democrats are saying he should have to do some job shadowing of his own—inside Ohio public school classrooms, reports The Columbus Dispatch.

The bill would require the governor to spend 40 hours each year observing the work of teachers, administrators, cafeteria workers, and custodians in public schools with varying report card scores. After each school visit, he would have to submit a report to the legislature entitled "How to Make All Ohio Schools A-Rated Institutions."

Rep. Kent Smith and Rep. Brigid Kelly, both Democrats, introduced the bill. "The governor has a blind spot when it comes to local communities," Smith told The Columbus Dispatch, referring to Kasich's experience in state and federal government, as well as in the private sector. "The idea of the legislation is to send the governor back to school."

Kelly argued that job shadowing in schools would give the governor an opportunity to see first-hand the challenges teachers and staff face. "It's a much different experience to be in a situation and be talking to people impacted by policy that you promote or oppose," Kelly told The Columbus Dispatch.

Teachers balked at the governor's proposal to pin license renewal on the completion of a business externship. While some, including Ohio Federation of Teachers president Melissa Cropper, acknowledged the idea's merits, but preferred that the idea come as a recommendation and not a requirement.

Local business leaders sitting on the governor's workforce board first suggested the idea. The overall goal of the externship is to help familiarize teachers with the jobs available to their students in the hope that teachers might better prepare students for future careers.

Kasich's spokeswoman, Emmalee Kalmbach, did not take kindly to what she saw as legislators playing tit for tat with an idea the governor hopes will ultimately help young people land the high-paying jobs available in the state. "While the governor is focused on ensuring that Ohio students are prepared for the rapidly changing workforce of the digital economy, it's more than disappointing that some look first to play partisan politics," she said.  

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