Independence from influence defines Martire

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

March 19th, 2019 4:29 PM

A recent letter to the editor of this paper tried to question the independence of Ralph Martire — who is a candidate for the OPRF High school District 200 school board — and the think tank he works for, the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability (CTBA) because CTBA receives some funding from unions. 

Nothing could be further from the truth. I know firsthand that funders of CTBA — which, by the way, include the management side of education that negotiates across the table from unions, as well as universities and good government foundations — have no say in the organization's work product or policy recommendations. 

Indeed Ralph himself and the CTBA are valued by decision-makers in both the Republican and Democratic parties for their independence from influence and credibility on substance. Ralph's credibility, independence and focus on using evidence-based best practices to craft policy reforms are, in fact, why he was appointed to serve on Republican Governor Rauner's School Funding Reform Commission and the federal Excellence and Equity in Education Commission under Democratic President Obama. 

This is why I hope you will join me in supporting Ralph Martire for the D200 board. His independence and valuable expertise in designing evidence-based approaches to education reforms will help D200 create a truly excellent and equitable experience for all students.

David Orr 

Former Cook County clerk