Educators Applaud State Superintendent for Hearing Input, Committing to Fix ESSA Plan

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Statement by Ohio Federation of Teachers President Melissa Cropper

(March 13, 2017) "We are pleased by Superintendent Paulo DeMaria's announcement today that the Ohio Department of Education, in response to stakeholder feedback, is delaying submission of the ESSA plan until September in order to address the concerns that have been raised. This continues DeMaria’s commitment to engaging stakeholders and involving them in shaping a plan for Ohio’s children. This extra time will allow ODE, educators, parents and other stakeholders to craft more meaningful public education goals for our children.

"Missing from the draft ESSA plan as it stands is a vision for reshaping our current education system to be more reflective of what students truly need. We are committed to working with Superintendent DeMaria to craft a plan that changes our education culture from one that currently focuses on testing, sorting, labeling and punishing to a culture that focuses on student well-being, promotes powerful learning, builds teacher capacity, and fosters collaboration.

"We are proud that thousands of our members spoke up to provide their professional input to ODE during meetings across Ohio last year and during the department's online public comment period. It is critical that the professional voice of those working in our classrooms every day is reflected in Ohio's ESSA plan."