Author

Denis Smith

Denis Smith

Denis Smith is a retired school administrator and served as a consultant in the Ohio Department of Education's charter school office. He has additional experience working in marketing communications with a publisher and in association management as an executive with a national professional society. Mr. Smith is a member of the board of Public Education Partners.

COMMENTARY

New state superintendent hiring raises questions about process, but the charter lobby is pleased

By: - May 25, 2022

At its May meeting, the State Board of Education voted to employ Steve Dackin as Ohio’s new Superintendent of Public Instruction. But the hiring of the veteran school administrator has raised some concerns that require further reflection. The state board’s decision occurred in the middle of National Charter Schools Week and prompted questions about the […]

COMMENTARY

The national mood used to be ‘let bygones be bygones.’ Will that sentiment work now?

By: - April 7, 2022

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Most of us are certainly familiar with that timeless advice from George Santayana. His words and the wisdom behind them have stood for more than a century. But what if an important part of the past is obscure, perhaps hidden enough to affect our […]

COMMENTARY

GOP take note: Responsible actions ensure an enduring democracy

By: - March 18, 2022

In President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, there was no surprise in how much emphasis he placed on the plight of Ukraine in fending off the unprovoked attack launched by Vladimir Putin. Biden’s theme was simple: We must protect democracy. In the closing part of his speech, the president said: As some observers […]

COMMENTARY

The whole world is watching. Democracy is under threat in Ukraine, and the U.S.

By: - February 23, 2022

Yes, the chant made memorable in 1968 at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago haunts us again. The whole word is indeed watching, as we witness the hyper aggressive actions of a certain former KGB officer who is threatening his vulnerable neighbor. After more than two months of daily reports, the video images from Eastern […]

COMMENTARY

A vandal in the White House redux

By: - February 11, 2022

The stories carry a new dateline. But then we’ve been here before. Is this another case (pun) of old wine, new bottles? In the last few days, both the New York Times and Washington Post have published stories detailing the vandalized condition of White House documents received by the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. According […]

COMMENTARY

The charter school and voucher wars continue: A tale of two cities, or maybe three

By: - January 21, 2022

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,” Charles Dickens famously wrote. But if a latter-day Dickens were writing today, the tale might be about foolishness and not wisdom in the misuse of public funds. And the setting would […]

COMMENTARY

America needs two functioning political parties to survive as a democracy

By: - December 1, 2021

What might the demise of a little-known language usage organization in the United Kingdom indicate for the future of the Republican Party? A hint might be found in the near-unanimous vote of House Republicans to support Arizona Representative and former dentist Paul Gosar for his vile conduct in posting a cartoon showing him murdering a […]

COMMENTARY

Public schools, vouchers, privatization, and educational choice: Be careful what you wish for

By: - September 16, 2021

In the last few months, Americans have witnessed a series of assaults by the political right on key parts of the bedrock principles of democracy. Those attacks include new restrictions on voting rights in more than half of the states, the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 by thousands of insurrectionists, and most […]

COMMENTARY

When it comes to public education critics, the Fordham Institute deserves closer scrutiny

By: and - February 2, 2021

If we remember the Scriptural advice that there is no new thing under the sun, we also might realize there are two things under the sun which aren’t new but are very predictable. Meet, yet again, Halley’s Comet and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. With the comet, we know when it will return and light […]