Judicial Governance - Educational Reform
National Plot in 40 States for Court Ordered Educational Reform
Ohio resists court order - students score above national average
Kentucky's scores decline after their rush to comply with Supreme Court
New York City schools are failing, says state court
The above headline in blue is the title of an article that details the court decision in New York that should sound very similar to Arkansas and a majority of other states in the nation.
The article goes on to say: "In 40 states, parents and education advocates have brought cases challenging the fairness of funding systems. The plaintiffs have been successful in more than two-thirds of them..." [T]he State Court of Appeals found that "tens of thousands of students are placed in overcrowded classrooms, taught by unqualified teachers, and provided with inadequate facilities and equipment" and that was enough to consider there is a "systemic failure. ...Governor Pataki ... called it a "historic opportunity" to reform the states education system. [Huckabee's exact words]...The court gave the city and the state until July 2004 to come up with a new funding formula. [Longer than Court gave Arkansas] Christian Science Monitor, June 27 Full HTML version of this story which may include photos, graphics, and related links
The following quote comes from a New York Times article discussing the New York ruling, "Sometimes that works, as it did in Kentucky in 1989. A ruling by the state Supreme Court led to a complete restructuring of Kentucky's education system and provided a model for education advocates in other states — including New York — for what it takes to provide an adequate education. [See link below about Kentucky's failures.] But sometimes such rulings don't work. In a series of decisions dating back to 1997, the Ohio Supreme Court ordered the Legislature to undertake "a complete systematic overhaul" of the way the state financed its schools. While the state made fixes and raised spending, the overhaul — essentially a reduction of the schools' dependence on local revenue — never occurred. Earlier this year, the court in effect gave up. In Alabama last year, after a new set of conservative judges was elected, the state Supreme Court reversed its previous position supporting court-ordered education reforms." New York Times, "Adequacy in Education: Why Is Clear. But How?" June 28, 03
Ohio's average score on ACT Test this past year, 2002, was 21.4, several tenths of a point higher than the national average. The Lakeview Supreme Court in Arkansas measured ACT scores in terms of tenths. The average ACT scores in Ohio was 21.4 while Kentucky's was just 20.0, so Ohio was 14 tenths higher than Kentucky. Kentucky jumped on their court case back in 1989 as an "historic opportunity" to reform the states education system. Ohio fought the Court decision and prevailed, saving its educational system as well as saving taxpayers a great deal of money. A former Ohio State Board Member and present legislator had already told us how Ohio had fought the Supreme Court and prevailed, but this is the first time we have seen it written in an article.
Surely there is a lesson here for Arkansas!!! Since these court cases are springing up all over the United States, there has to be a massive movement behind them. These cases are not about education but about who is going to control education - the courts or the legislatures which represent the people. Judicial governance puts the control of everything in a few hands and will lead to an elitist government-controlled society. Legislatures, of necessity, are more receptive to the people's wishes. Kentucky is continually held up as a lighthouse because it was chosen as a model state to set the example for other states. Educational reform has been a dismal failure there, but the bureaucracy will not admit it because it will show their model for judicial governance has failed. There is also a national movement, that we will show you later, to remove the local elected school board members. Of course by consolidating, a number of school boards could be eliminated in one stroke. In Kentucky, the Court overruled the local school board decisions in favor of decisions by the school site - based management committee.
For another look at Kentucky's dismal failures, follow this link. Kentucky No Model For Education or go to www.afaar.org and choose that title from home page or educational page.
by Debbie Pelley
Educational Issues in Arkansas