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.
Democracy and constitutional government is under assault in Ohio. What are we going to do about it?
By: Denis Smith - November 15, 2023
If you’re worried about the state of the nation, welcome to the club. For at least a decade, a number of troubling signs have emerged which raise questions about the health of the American republic. Make no mistake. The warning indicator sensor light is indeed flashing red. The most telling indicators of stress on the […]
On education vouchers and faith-based leadership, Ohio might learn something from Texas
By: Denis Smith - September 29, 2023
You read that headline correctly. It may come as a shock to readers to know that with all the issues confronting Ohio, it hasn’t been listed in recent surveys as the worst place to live and work. That honor, according to a new CNBC survey, goes to Texas. The survey methodology targeted a range of […]
A warning told again: Politics and religion don’t mix
By: Denis Smith - August 16, 2023
In a special election on Aug. 8 scheduled by a gerrymandered, authoritarian legislature intent on manipulating low voter turnout during a hot summer, Ohio citizens went to the polls and did something extraordinary in these fractious times. They upheld democracy. The election was to approve a ballot issue that made it nearly impossible to amend […]
Vouchers aren’t about education and freedom, but they are about disunion
By: Denis Smith - May 1, 2023
In 2011, on the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of the Civil War, the New York Times initiated a series of essays entitled “Disunion“ about a conflict the newspaper described as the time when “Americans went to war with themselves.” The series ran periodically for four years as an attempt to mirror what the paper […]
Extremists embracing The Big Lie present enormous danger to democracy
By: Denis Smith - September 28, 2022
As the nation prepares in just a few short weeks for yet another pivotal election, the answers and non-answers that many candidates are providing to questions asked of them about the results of the 2020 presidential election raise concerns about the future viability of our democracy. In that regard, one would think that of all […]
In these strange times, there’s something else to remember from Field of Dreams
By: Denis Smith - September 7, 2022
President Joe Biden’s recent address about the threat to our democracy posed by Donald Trump and his MAGA followers affirmed what many Americans have felt for years. He identified the problem in the most direct way. “Too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal,” the president told the nation as he […]
ECOT owes Ohio $117 Million. What are we going to do about it?
By: Denis Smith - July 7, 2022
Like the famed Casablanca police captain Louis Renault, Ohio taxpayers were shocked, shocked to learn recently from the state auditor’s office that the notorious online charter school ECOT, which closed in 2018, owes the state $117 million. A “Finding for Recovery” posted last week on the auditor’s website provided the details. The announcement by Auditor […]
New state superintendent hiring raises questions about process, but the charter lobby is pleased
By: Denis Smith - 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 […]
The national mood used to be ‘let bygones be bygones.’ Will that sentiment work now?
By: Denis Smith - 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 […]
GOP take note: Responsible actions ensure an enduring democracy
By: Denis Smith - 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 […]
The whole world is watching. Democracy is under threat in Ukraine, and the U.S.
By: Denis Smith - 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 […]
A vandal in the White House redux
By: Denis Smith - 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 […]