LIMA — State School Board candidate and former Ohio State quarterback Stanley Jackson spoke and listened to community members’ concerns in Lima Thursday evening about the state of education.
A group of about 15 gathered at the Bradfield Community Center during the Black Network Meeting.
Jackson is running against district one incumbent Ann Jacobs, of Lima, for State School Board. He currently is a State Board of Education member, a position which Gov. John Kasich appointed him in June. The State Board of Education is made up of 19 members. Eleven members are elected and eight are appointed by the governor.
Jackson described himself as someone who’s transparent, who identifies himself as a Christian conservative and is concerned about the future of young people, particularly minorities.
“I’m a big believer that education does not start and stop in the school building. I think you have a direct correlation to what’s happening in the community, and when you have community members that are passionate and they’re involved and they know what’s going on, that’s the way you solve you issues,” Jackson said.
He also addressed the fact that he resigned from creating charter school before it ever opened to take a position as a State Board of Education member.
“I felt like I had an opportunity to have a much louder voice at a much bigger position,” he said.
Problems that are pervasive in socioeconomically poor schools like apathy, the culture of a non-learning environment and unequal teaching methods between urban and rural schools were discussed among Jackson and community members.
Temple Patton, an admissions councilor at Ohio State University-Lima, brought many issues to the table with Jackson.
“It starts with the parents, but the expectations are low because we do not have enough black teachers in the classroom. We do not push. We need to push more blacks to go into education. There are no guidance counselors, and I go from here to Dayton, to Leipsic. They do not care if those students don’t go to college, if they don’t learn, if they’re sagging their pants,” she said. “There’s no respect there, and I see it from teachers. The way they talk to the kids, and the way the kids talk to the teachers.”
Jackson said mentoring, educating and finding youth good jobs are essential to improving Ohio schools that are doing poorly.
“We need to make sure our young people are graduating from high school proficient in reading and comprehension, and they have options. Because at the end of the day, that’s the key. College is great, but we also need entrepueneurs. We need business owners … we need executives,” he said. “We need all of the above to take our community to the next generation.”
One part to addressing the solution is the Third Grade Reading Guarantee, which is a recently passed state legislation that will require third-graders who aren’t reading at grade level to be held back another year. The legislation goes into full effect for the 2013-2014 school year.
He wrapped up the evening meaning with community members who were all concerned about the future of the American education system, particularly how minorities are negatively and disporportionately impacted.
“You are the catalysts for change,” he said.