State News Roundup

September 11, 1991 2 min read

Through intergovernmental collaboration, deregulation, and a “shared educational vision,” the Ohio Department of Education could be transformed from an auditing and monitoring body to a research, support, and service leader, a high-level business report concludes.

The five business executives forming the Governor’s Task Force on Education found that 75 percent of the department’s 499 employees are “compliance driven,” spending most of their time filling out forms and ensuring that educators conform to a cumbersome web of regulations.

The task force, appointed by Gov. George V. Voinovich last May, urged the department to restructure its 12 divisions into three groups, each headed by one assistant superintendent. The three proposed divisions would oversee program services to support principals, teachers, and students; support services for program evaluation, testing, and research; and such operations as personnel, procurement, and communications.

The department should beef up its education-research efforts, and a collaborative effort by state and local education and community leaders should draft a set of educational goals and priorities by the spring of 1992, the report states.

Serving on the task force were Carl Fleming and Gary Matney, both of the B.F. Goodrich Company; Doris Holtzheimer and Bill Morgan, both of the Procter & Gamble Company; and Nike Protzik of TRW Inc.

State education officials in Arizona have warned local administrators that they must obey state regulations governing student eligibility to participate in extracurricular activities, even though the independent body that regulates high-school athletics does not plan to enforce them until next year.

The “no pass, no play” rules, adopted by the state school beard two years ago, require students to pass all courses during a previous grading period to be eligible for extracurricular activities during the following term.

Some high schools reportedly had waived the rules for incoming freshmen whose grades had not met the standard, arguing that the waiver had the blessing of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Others had created weeklong grading periods to circumvent the rules.

The athletic association, which establishes its own eligibility standards, does not intend to enforce the state policy until July 1992.

“We want to make sure that every district understands that the board’s authority supersedes the A.LA.'S,” Ray Borane, a deputy superintendent with the education department, told a special assembly of administrators from the state’s more than 200 school districts late last month.

. U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh said last month that the Justice Department will appeal a decision that permits the Virginia Military Institute to admit only men.

In June, U.S. District Judge Jackson Kiser sided with the publicly funded V.M.L, saying that the all-male school increases diversity in Virginia and is not unconstitutional.

Mr. Thornburgh, who has since resigned his Cabinet position to run for a U.S. Senate seat from Pennsylvania, said in announcing the plans to appeal that “This appeal will ensure that the important issues in this case are addressed by the appellate court.”

The appeal will be heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

A version of this article appeared in the September 11, 1991 edition of Education Week as State News Roundup