Whipping Boys

            Two articles appeared in today’s Newark Advocate (1-19-14) that Analysis finds complimentary. “State Medicaid hotline can’t keep up with consumer calls: Misses benchmarks despite additional resources” by Russ Zimmer (CentralOhio.com) and “New teacher evaluation system concerns schools” by Hannah Sparling for The Advocate. Mr. Zimmer’s article reveals that all is not hanky dory with the state’s Medicaid hotline, established to assist Medicaid recipients, applicants as well as answer questions/provide help with discrepancies found with the online site. The hotline is what is provided when an online inquiry results in clicking “help/contact us”. In spite of the fact that the funding (both federal and state), the contracting and the projected load of the site were established well prior to the start-up of healthcare.gov, Sam Rossi, Ohio Medicaid department spokesman, made a lame attempt at linking the department’s own inadequacy with that of the official ACA site (““What we could not see at that point in time is that December would roll around and that HealthCare.gov would not be working yet,””). Analysis finds that since the Mediciad hotline was not newly originated but operating continuous well prior the healthcare.gov start up, any link is truly spurious. Even if healthcare.gov’s start-up had been ideal (flawless), it still would only have been a supplementary assistance to what were Ohio Medicaid’s responsibility (as Zimmer points out with his citing that Ohio Medicaid’s “call center took 124,620 consumer calls in December” while “the additional money approved in September was in anticipation of monthly call volume rising to as high as 180,000, far above what was handled in December.”). Hannah Sparling’s local response to the State’s mandate of teacher evaluation compliments Zimmer’s piece in that it also exposes a lame, political excuse for performance inadequacy. Teaching professionals in Ohio’s public schools now fall under legislated scrutiny, as opposed to medical professionals, legal professionals as well as private school or charter school teaching professionals, or any other “professionals” (those granted accreditation to practice their expertise within the State of Ohio). Analysis finds that the inference is made, without challenge, that somehow or other these singular professionals are “out of control” and failing. Within the other professional applications, evaluation and expectancy (based on applicable circumstances) is done in house (JobsOhio’s house is located in a gated community). Recently a medical professional residing in Pataskala was convicted of rape, murder, etc. resultant of a history of ongoing unethical behavior. Would his abhorrent behavior have been detected/anticipated through “evaluation” at his place of public employment? The answer is irrelevant as Analysis finds any such testing/evaluating is done in house and for the most part remains confidential within house. Private practice (medical, legal, engineering, etc.) is even more guarded and unreported. Negligence and liability concerns maintain the status quo. Yet public school teachers are singled out. Why is that? Two immediate online commentaries to Sparling’s article contribute context. One likened school administration to business management, so time consumed is miniscule on a 40 hour a week, 50 week schedule (though most work more like 60 hours). And the second scoffed at those employed within the public schools having three months off. Teaching or school related work (like administration) is not really considered “work” by these folks, or it needs to prove itself as such. Analysis finds that akin to Sam Rossi’s lame excuse, there is likewise a lame attempt to exploit a vulnerability that is politically inviting and accessible – namely the correlation of most public school teaching jobs with organized representation. Individualizing teachers, within the teaching profession, fragments solidarity and renders structured organization ineffective. Does this expenditure of time and money consumed by the administrators and public school teachers for evaluation purposes contribute to what and how children learn? Or is it rather more like the voting laws and regulations meant to weed out voter fraud? The professionals themselves have voiced that it does not contribute substantially to educating students (funding resources and parental involvement would be much more effective). Analysis reveals that teacher evaluation is a mandate created by the legislature because it could. It could not do likewise with other state professionals, such as emergency responders, law enforcement or health professionals. Like the legislation to counter voter fraud, it addresses a problem which is not the “problem” with a solution that is not the solution. The legislature’s mandate is a lame attempt at linking their own inadequacy of guaranteeing quality education equally to all of Ohio’s students with that of the organized representation of Ohio’s professional public school teachers.

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One Response to “Whipping Boys”

  1. Christian Inspirational Says:

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