Since I started with OAIS in 2011, I have reminded folks (sometimes ad nauseam, I imagine) that Ohio is the most regulated state in America when it comes to independent and other private schools. No other state imposes the cumulative number of curriculum, testing and graduation restrictions on private school students that Ohio does. Despite the level of state aid that is directed to Ohio schools from state government, which is also one of the highest, if not highest, levels in America, there is no relationship between the restrictions and mandates and the aid received from the state. Aside from those schools with religious objections to state government involvement in education, there is no option for a private school, or even a traditional Catholic school, to opt out of funding and opt out of restrictions. The most intrusive requirement, for the past 20 years, has been the mandatory passage of the Ohio Graduation Test in order for a student to receive a diploma.
In the process of doing some research for a project, I was going through some of the old documents on file with OAIS and I ran across an article prepared by my predecessor, Karin O’Neill. She pointed out, with accuracy, that part of the creation of the charter school and voucher movement was to create schools and situations where students could benefit from environments that were less regulated and less one-size-fits-all. She later noted that the practical effect of regulation in Ohio has been to make nonpublic schools more regulated than even the charter/community schools that were supposed to look like nonpublic schools.
The Ohio Association of Independent Schools consists of 44 member schools throughout the state of Ohio, all committed to the quality education that independent schools provide to students from diverse backgrounds. Each school is governed by an independent board with a focus on the school and education itself, not other issues that may affect the quality of a school’s curriculum or teaching.
Ohio Association of Independent Schools
Dan Dodd, Executive Director
PO Box 400
Hebron, Ohio 43025