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Ron Koehler

Ron Koehler
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Ron Koehler is the Kent ISD Assistant Superintendent and offers his commentary on issues in education. Read Ron's full bio

DPS: Equally Tragic

What if it were my child? Everyone in Michigan, and the nation, asks themselves that question as they contemplate the Flint water crisis. Long-term cognitive damage is possible for young children with elevated lead levels in their system. Everyone agrees the...

Too Much of a Good Thing

America is all about unfettered choice and free markets. Consumers daily face a tsunami of choices everywhere they turn. At some point, however, we may want to ask ourselves if it is possible to have too much choice. Can we have...

PA 269: A Wall of Silence

When it's time to vote, when are you most confident of the decisions you make? Is it A: When you're well informed and can easily explain how your vote will affect you and your family? Or is it B: When you...

It’s About Time

Good things happen to those who wait. Having not read the entire 1,016 pages of the Every Student Succeeds Act, signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 10, I'm not totally prepared to hail it as the best thing...

Schools Can’t do This Alone

Hillary Clinton said "It takes a village to raise a child." Education reformer Jamie Vollmer says "schools can't do this alone." Our community agrees. We contribute to the health of our children and their families by investing in the Kent School...

Watch this Movie, Please.

One of the enduring principles of comedy is juxtaposition. Take, for example, this joke from actress Sara Silverman: "When I was 14, I started dating my father's best friend. It was weird." "But not as weird as my father having a best...

Mass Shootings: One a Day in the USA

“Gun Free Zones are the problem. Let’s repeal them.” That’s the conclusion of Erich Pratt, communications director of the Gun Owners of America, in an op-ed piece published in USA Today in the aftermath of the Umpqua Community College massacre...

Guns in Schools: Just Say No.

Guns in school? No. Really, it should be as simple as that. Schools should be gun-free zones, just like daycare centers, athletic stadiums, bars, casinos, churches and college dormitories. With the exception of armed law enforcement officers, schools should be able...

Three Best Things About Teaching

August 18, 7:43 a.m: My shirt sticks to my back and I, like many others, hope for some rain to break the string of 90-degree days with high humidity. As I walk the incredibly clean but stifling hallways of Northview...

Who needs an early warning system? Just count students.

I have one word for those seeking insight from the new “early warning” system legislation signed into law by Gov. Snyder shortly after the July 4 holiday weekend. Enrollment. Student enrollment is the single most important element in the fiscal health...

Dear Governor & Legislature: Thank You

Superintendents: they heard you. Teachers: they heard you. Parents: they heard you, too. Gov. Snyder and Grand Rapids executive John Kennedy last week joined legislators, members of the governor’s staff and Grand Rapids Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal to announce the results of...

Don’t Increase Class Sizes to Pave Potholes

MEMO to Legislators FROM: Registered Voters RE: Our Vote on Proposal 1 DATE: May 5, 2015 SUBJECT: Don't Increase Class Sizes to Pave Potholes Many of you are now trying to figure out what we -- the voters -- said in our votes on...

Vote, Please.

Now it's on you. The decision to repair Michigan's roads, to make sure all taxes paid at the pump are invested in highway maintenance, and that sales tax revenue goes to schools and local municipalities, is in your hands this...

This Is What Compromise Looks Like

Compromise. noun. a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles,etc., by reciprocal modification of demands.   Here’s a new definition of compromise:  noun.  archaic.  A concept so far removed from...

Stop the Churn

Another day, another seismic shift in Michigan education. Educators returned from their holiday break to learn, at 10:22 a.m. on a Wednesday, that Michigan had switched its college entrance exam from the ACT to the SAT. Just a handful of...

Kent ISD Superintendent Announces Retirement

Kent ISD Superintendent Kevin A. Konarska recently announced his plan to retire at the end of the current school year. Konarska led Kent ISD through a period of change, extending student programming and business services to member districts as their...
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What are we waiting for? Time for Michigan to fully fund its schools

The research couldn’t be more clear. The Michigan School Finance at the Crossroads report by Dr. David Arsen documents a quarter-century of decline in our schools, finding Michigan last in the nation in new dollars invested in education since 1995...

You can’t fatten a hog by weighing it

There is no common sense in the the current state of politics. The most recent example iste record setting excess that recently concluded the 99th session of the Michigan Legislature...

The Definition of Insanity

Among the more overused and mis-attributed quotes in all of journalism is the old saw that proclaims the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Unfortunately, that describes our national obsession over standardized test scores...
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