Tribute to Teachers and Mr. Paul Harvey – K. Griffin

From my opening day speech.  Thanks to Dr. Hoadley, the Dublin School Board, and all of you “in-the-trenches” making the world a better place everyday.

“My Tribute to Teachers and Mr. Paul Harvey”

 …And on the 9th day, God looked down at His paradise and caretakers and said, “To have a just world you will need to be educated.”  So God made a Teacher.

God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, greet the children at the door, be positive role models, be entertaining, creative, innovative, and inspirational.  Somebody willing to offer extra help, sponsor a club, attend a basketball game then eat dinner, then grade and plan for the next day well into the night.”  So God made a teacher.

He said, “I need someone who understands that education is for bettering lives, not just test scores.”  So God made a teacher.

“Teachers will need to have a sense of humor about snotty noses, soiled pants, classroom interruptions, bubble-sheet tests, eternally-changing curriculums, meeting upon meeting, crazy helicopter parents, and being asked again-and-again at the most inopportune times, ‘Can I go to the bathroom?’”

God said, “I need somebody who will have a profound impact on the world around them and be OK knowing they will never know exactly what that impact is.  Somebody who won’t make a fortune, but who will make a difference.  Somebody whose only special interest are the children sitting in front of them.”

God said, “I need somebody willing to put the needs of others’ families ahead of their own, willing spend their own money for another child’s supplies, willing to go hungry in the afternoon so someone else’s child won’t.”   So God made a teacher.

God had to have somebody to help students deal with divorce, unemployment, homelessness, hunger, loneliness, addictions, depression, sexuality, anxiety, disabilities, bullies, and language barriers and then be able to teach, and challenge, and motivate, and inspire.

God said, ”I need somebody who never dreamed their choice of profession could cost them their life but if confronted not hesitate to protect the ones they call their children.”

And so on the 9th day, God made a teacher.


2013 Retirees and the DEA Teacher Appreciation Event

Teachers are the O-Line. – K. Griffin

Teacher Appreciation Day

Common Core, assessments, assessments, assessments, data, data, data, just do-more-with-less, monitor this, document that, evaluations, RTTT, IEPs, 3rd Grade Reading, student growth measures, and aaaaaaaah!

Feeling appreciated is tough.

My high school football coach called the quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers the “glory boys”. These were the players who scored the touchdowns, would get all the praise, and have their names printed in the papers. But if the offensive line broke down, if the blocks weren’t made, the touchdowns would be non-existent.

Teachers are the offensive line of life. We build lives. We begin with basic reading and socialization skills and continue all the way through advanced physics, health, computer science, foreign language and the arts.

Teachers are responsible for giving every person the basic skills necessary to be part of our society and providing opportunities to allow them to be more than that. We take a human being and make them a person.

Your students will remember that you challenged and encouraged them. That you gave them extra help, made them laugh, and were there when they needed you. They will remember that other than their own parents, no one cared more about them than you.

Most great offensive linemen rarely get their names in the paper, but as sports buffs look back at the great teams the importance of the O-line stands out more and more. Without an offensive line the quarterback gets crushed. Without you, well, one can only imagine.

DEA collects and delivers 10,000 books.

Many thanks to Dawn Boerger of Indian Run Elementary for coordinating our 2013 book drive.  Five skids or over 10,000 books were delivered to the Champion Avenue Food Pantry in Columbus.  Thanks also to Ryan Walton and the students at West Bridge Academy for their help and all the Read Across America and ROR teachers across the district for their hard work.

Dawn & John Boerger

My letter to Superintendent Elam. – K. Griffin

Dear Superintendent Elam,

I thank you for your courage in standing up for students and communities.  I know other school leaders are scared to publicly disagree with elected officials for fear of being labeled partisan and possibly even threatened with a politically motivated investigation, as you were.

If only everyone would understand, as you have, that bad policy is bad policy, regardless of who proposes it.  As Americans we have the right to question policy, especially when it infringes on the basic civil right of providing a quality education to children.

We should not accept, TEA Party policy, created by ALEC, that weakens our schools by taking locally voted tax dollars and giving them to secretive, corporate backed charter schools whose owners are more interested in turning a profit than in educating students.

Thank you again for your courage, leadership, and foresight in our quest to provide a better education to our children.


Kevin Griffin
Dublin, OH

Letter to Senator Hughes re: Value-Added and Evaluations. – K. Griffin

Senator Hughes,

This afternoon, February 2, I received a letter from you in response to an email I sent you in early December. The email related to HB 555 and a then rumored amendment mandating that value-added become 50% of a teacher’s evaluation for certain teachers.

Your two page letter addressed the sections of HB 555 relating to the new school report cards, PARCC assessments and the implementation of the common core curriculum, but makes no reference to teacher evaluations and value-added, which was my only concern mentioned in my email.

The rumored amendment was added to the bill, at the 11th hour with no hearings or time to public input. This amendment goes against recommendations from the Ohio Department of Education, Battelle for Kids, the Ohio Education Association, and even against a recent study by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on student data and teacher evaluation.

I’d like to again point out the glaring contradiction between telling teachers to be creative and innovative but then basing 50% of their evaluation on a single standardized test score.

I hope, for what is in the best interest of students and teachers, that this ill-conceived amendment is reversed quickly.

I thank you for your time and service to the people of Ohio.


Kevin Griffin
Dublin, OH

Less Testing, More Learning. – K. Griffin

I sent the following letter into the Dublin Villager in response to an article they published on new tests in DCS.

I write this in response to the December 5 article titled “New Graduation Tests Don’t Worry Educators.”  The Dublin City School District has a strong background of providing an outstanding education to our students.  Our ratings of “Excellent with Distinction”, Blue Ribbon Schools, nationally ranked high schools, and number of students receiving awards and scholarships are proof that the Dublin City School District is one of the best in the country.

To be clear, teachers are not concerned about how Dublin students will perform on the new tests.  We know they will be prepared and we know they will perform well.  However these corporate created tests assume all children learn and think exactly the same way.  High-stakes tests, which can prevent students from advancing, are also are being used to evaluate teachers and are all but forcing teachers to teach to the test.

Instead of emphasizing one-size-fits-all bubblesheet tests our legislators should focus on instruction and allow teachers to teach the skills which will help our students flourish in a worldwide economy.  Less time spent testing and preparing for tests means more time for actual instruction and student learning.