Looking at the Issues Header
February 6, 2009
Looking at the Week Header
Lorain Presentation
Dr. Adrienne O'Neill made a presentation at Lorain County Community College about developing strategic goals for your P-16 on Tuesday, February 3, 2009.
 
Education Discussion on WHBC Radio
On Thursday, February 4, 2009, Dr. O'Neill spoke about the Governor's school reform and funding plan on Ron Ponder's WHBC radio program. Later in that program Governor Strickland called in to talk about his proposals.
 
Regional Funders Meeting
Dr. Joseph Rochford attended a regional meeting for education funders at the Third Federal Foundation on February 4, 2009.

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A Proposal for High School
Girl Taking TestCredit Flexibility

Senate Bill 311 which passed in the 127th General Assembly (2007), mandated that the State Board of Education, in consultation with the Ohio Board of Regents and the Partnership for Continued Learning, adopt a plan to implement methods for students to earn units of high school credit based on a demonstration of subject area competency, instead of, or in combination with, completing hours of classroom instruction.

The State Board is to adopt that plan not later than March 31, 2009, and commence phasing it in during this school year.

Since 1908, when colleges and universities began to require students to have a certain number of credits in particular subjects for admission, high schools have relied on the "Carnegie Unit." These credit hours, or "Carnegie units," represent from 120-180 hours of instruction, or the number of hours a student sits in a class.

The intent of S.B. 311 is that students will be able to:
  • Show what they know when they are ready to move on to higher order content; and;
  • Learn subject matter or earn course credit in ways not limited solely to seat time or within the walls of a school building.
In doing so, students may:
  • Complete coursework;
  • Test out of or demonstrate mastery of course content; or
  • Pursue one or more "educational options" (for example, distance learning, educational travel, independent study, an internship, music, arts, after-school/tutorial program, community service or other engagement projects and sports).
The proposed plan encourages regional entities (e.g. P-16 councils, Education Service Centers, Business Advisory Councils) to help identify  learning opportunities that are ideally tied to local economic development. Local school boards are to adopt their own policies aligned with the state plan.

Ohio already has five provisions that allow for alternatives to the Carnegie Unit but these are used by less than 5% of all students. The intent of S.B. 311 is to extend these options to all qualified students, based on individual learning plans. One such provision lays in what Stark County terms College Opportunity Credits (COCs) such as dual credit courses and College Tech Prep that allow students to earn or bank college credit while in high school. Stark's rapid growth in COCs, should help position the county when Ohio's High School Credit Flexibility Plan is adopted.*

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* For more information, see: Ohio proposes plan for high school credit flexibility at http://education.ohio.gov/
About the Partnership Long Header
The Stark Education Partnership, Inc., is a 501(c)-3 non-profit education reform support organization in Stark County, Ohio crossing the lines of 17 public school districts. The Partnership collaborates with educators, business, community and civic leaders to create and respond to opportunities that will add substantial and measurable value to education.

 
Questions or comments? Email aoneill@edpartner.org or call 330-452-0829. Visit our website at http://www.edpartner.org
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