Justin Jeffre: From 98 Degrees to education activist


Justin Jeffre's gone from kiddie crooner to incomprehensible activist
Stunning news out of Cincinnati: Justin Jeffre, a former star of teeny-bop crooners 98 Degrees, is questioning the ethics of the Ohio Board of Regents. Jeffre’s outrage, akin to when Drew Lachey missed a harmony, is that the Regents are training teachers in illegal, underhanded methods. "According to Ohio law,” he writes in a recent press release, “it is unethical for teachers to prepare students in terms of the 'format' of the Ohio Graduation Test. But it looks like the Ohio Board of Regents has spent tens of thousands of dollars training high school teachers in just such techniques, which might bring those teachers unwittingly into conflict with the law." ... God, does he sound good, or what? Sing to us some more outrage, Justy-boy: "It seems clear Ohio's law is trying to hide the fact that the OGTs measure something other than content. Should we really withhold diplomas from people who don't master a testing format?" Ohh, yeaaahhh. That’s the power of Beacon blog, baby. Social justice and advocacy written like a steam bath of sultry calve muscles. Flex those cantaloupe biceps of prose: "I have serious concerns about the fairness of this test. This is just another example of how Ohio's high school students are abused by bad legislation." Jeffre, you’ve always had a way with words. Like that duet you and the boys sang with Stevie Wonder on Disney’s Mulan… it moved us. It really did. But you were once singing in freaking CBS Christmas specials with Amy Grant, and now you’re bothered by a state agency acting like a state agency? I wouldn’t have pinned a shirtless poster of you over my bed when I was 17 if I knew someday I’d have to read about educational ethics. Jeffre, it’s time for an intervention. You failed to become the mayor of Cincinnati in 2005. People gave you one and a half percent of the total vote. It’s not because they think you’d be a poor mayor. It’s because they wanted to send you a message: Go back to L.A., become a Hollywood Square and record a duet with Seal. – Bradley Campbell


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.