Ohio Department of Education Launches a Strategic Plan Developed by Ohioans for Ohioans
Children in Ohio are increasingly facing poverty and social stressors that strain social services and education delivery systems. As Ohio's new five-year strategic plan for education - Each Child, Our Future - so poignantly states, these conditions are worsening.
"Approximately 51% of Ohio's total student population is considered economically disadvantaged, an increase of 37% in ten years. The percentage of students considered homeless has more than doubled, and the percentage of students in foster care has increased by more than 50%."
Further, an increasingly diverse student body with varied learning needs face
a rapidly changing job market - one that requires new skill sets. This shift compels Ohioans to look at education differently than ever before.
Due to these reasons, the new plan recognizes that education in Ohio has become a "complex business." The Board and State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Paolo DeMaria, crafted the plan involving 150 partners from education, business and philanthropy as well as 1,200 Ohioans across a series of regional meetings including the one held in Stark County. Each Child, Our Future is meant to provide "an aspirational guide for students, parents, partners and the education system" to reach the following goal:
"Ohio will increase annually the percentage of its high school graduates who, one year after graduation, are:
- Enrolled and succeeding in a post-high school learning experience, including an adult career-technical education program, an apprenticeship and/or a two-year or four-year college program;
- Serving in a military branch;
- Earning a living wage; or
- Engaged in a meaningful, self-sustaining vocation.
According to ODE, "this plan is the first step in a journey. The real work, and the biggest challenge, is to follow through with meaningful implementation."
Another key point is stressed - a point that Stark County educators and community leaders understand well." Success relies on leadership of local schools and districts." (Continued next week...)