I don’t know Dr. David Estrop. He’s been a superintendent in three different school districts, with his last stop in Springfield, before he became a city commissioner.
Now, that’s he’s not involved in the schools, he’s publishing his prescription for urban districts on the Dayton Daily news editorial page. The only problem? It reads like he just discovered Esrati.com and ideas I was talking about as far back as 1993. Here’s his mini-plan:
In Ohio, we have largely been unable to change this relationship between poverty and achievement.
So, since we cannot make every student, school and/or school district wealthy, what can we do? Well, here is my recommended list of educational reforms: 1. All-day kindergarten: I suspect most think we have all-day kindergarten, and we do in most communities. However, the state only financially supports kindergarten for a half of day. We need to fix this.
2. Public pre-school programs: Early intervention will ultimately pay off for everyone. However, I would also suggest that public pre-school programs funded by the state be mandatory for any school or district that is not achieving at the desired level.
3. Extended school year: When students are provided with the time and resources they need, they can catch up and stay with their peers. I would recommend mandatory extended school year programs for all schools and districts that are not achieving at the desired level.
4. Extended school day: Extended school days should not be more of the same of the regular school day, but should provide our children with safe environments where they can have skills reinforced and opportunities explored.
Some will argue these recommendations would not treat all schools and school districts the same, and they would be correct.
But not all students, schools and/or districts are the same. Some have greater needs and left unaddressed, the results for students, schools and communities facing substantial poverty will remain unchanged. It is time to recognize and address the need for additional time and opportunities for some districts.
As someone once noted, “Nothing is so unequal as the equal treatment of unequals.” One size does not fit all, and that would be true for these reforms.
Friends of mine who have superintendents licenses aren’t impressed. PhD’s are supposed to cite their references. But, since Estrop didn’t- we’ll go back and look at where some of his ideas came from.
When I first ran for Mayor and City Commission back in 1993, I proposed year round schools and 24 hour subsidized public daycare. Year round, because working parents can’t magically stop working to take care of kids- and the “summer slide” is real. And, subsidized daycare because if you can’t provide enough high paying jobs- the choice between working and spending most of your income on child care while you work just doesn’t work. I figured it would help bring jobs to the community- for call centers, and low skill manufacturing and distribution warehouse work (to go with Emery Air Freight which was still a thing). I talked about subsidized day care many other times, like in 2007: City-run day care as an economic development essential? and 2008 Should Dayton be investing in child care?
But, the good Dr. only thinks pre-school and kindergarten matter.
Then we come to a longer school day and a longer school year. I put both of those in the video “There ain’t no “F” in Dayton” as well as in this post: A plan for the Dayton Public Schools and the post with the video: There ain’t no “F” in Dayton: Time for DPS to get serious
Of course, since half the people read (like you) and the rest watch TV- I made this video:
Which has about 1200 views on YouTube and double that on Facebook (2700). Of course, since the Dayton Day-old newsless refuses to publish my name or mention me unless absolutely unavoidable, you’d never see my ideas shared.
The reality is, the State Superintendent, the State Legislature, the Governor all don’t want to really deal with the problems at DPS which is why they won’t be taking it over despite the performance drops under this board of education and their less than super superintendent.
There is no easy way to undo poverty other than to lift people out of it through support systems that actually work. Removing costs of child care, providing safe environments for kids to be nurtured instead of drilled on test taking skills and even making RTA free- to make our workforce mobile, will start to allow poor people to have a chance at escaping poverty and for their kids to actually want to go to school.
Dr. Estrop may have a plan, but it wasn’t his, nor was it as comprehensive as mine.
Where’s my doctorate please?