We’re all responsible for students’ success

success My efforts alone are not enough to help my students be successful—everyone must work together for this to occur. In fact, all of us—teachers, students, parents and our elected officials should be held accountable for our students’ success. I could be the greatest teacher in the world, but if a student in my class chooses not to take my class seriously, if their parent can’t guarantee that their child attends school regularly or if our elected officials don’t consider students’ needs when making education policy decisions, the impact I have on my students could be neutralized. Continue reading →

What the latest revelations on test cheating really mean

test-cheating The resulting news story appears to be intended to be alarmist, implying that cheating is rampant in our schools. It is fortunate that the journalists in Ohio at least have restrained from reporting the names of the specific schools flagged, since suspicions would have been unfairly cast on hundreds of improperly flagged schools. The irregularities in such schools likely arose simply because there was a large change in the actual students taking the test from year to year. Continue reading →

Invest to help meet the needs of students

invest With the current funding crisis in mind, it’s hard for me to think about where, specifically, I’d like to see more money allocated for schools, because every facet of public schools is in need of more funding. We could use more teachers, newer computers, improved facilities, more supplies….the list is endless. Despite this long list, if I had to prioritize, there are a few integral areas where I would like schools to invest to help meet the needs of students. Continue reading →

The Foundation for Student Learning

foundation School finance reform might not be an ideal topic for party conversation, but it is a very real concern for Ohio’s more than 600 traditional school districts. Ohio is the only state in the nation without a permanent school funding plan, and recent news reports indicate we won’t see a new one proposed until next year. Whatever plan is proposed must put students at the forefront and invest in classroom priorities that build the foundation for learning. Continue reading →

Spotlight on Women’s Health

President Obama expands women’s access to preventative services. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), most health insurance plans will cover women’s preventive services – including well women visits, and domestic violence screenings – without charging a co-pay or deductible.[1] This new law will save money for millions of Americans and [...] Continue Reading… Continue reading →

We deserve to be at the table, not on the menu

The governor’s yet-to-be-unveiled education overhaul plan actually doesn’t belong to the governor so much as it belongs to Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. Sen. Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering acknowledged that Jackson’s plan contains many provisions that were “also in Senate Bill 5.” Jackson’s plan, says Lehner, “…takes the best of Senate Bill 5.” Rather than speak with the Cleveland Teachers Union about his transformation plan, Mayor Jackson held back-door conversations with city’s business community. Instead of putting teachers at the table, Jackson’s plan puts them on the menu. Continue reading →

Early Literacy: Making It Happen

There is no doubt that literacy is important in today’s world, yet we still live in a nation where more than 20 percent of adults read below a fifth grade level. The statistics in our correctional institutions are eye opening. Almost 85 percent of the children who enter the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate, while 60 percent of the adults in prison are considered illiterate (Ellis, 2011). We cannot allow this to continue to happen in our nation. Illiteracy is a viscous cycle and we as a nation need to stop the cycle. The question is where do we begin? It is because of statistics like these that programs like Reach Out and Read are so important. Reach out and Read is a program that promotes early literacy and school readiness. Continue reading →
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