Redefining public education
ESSA must truly be a reset of education policies, not a repeat of failed ones. This reset must address that teachers, students and parents have lost trust in the current system, for good reason. A redefinition must focus on creating a system where students want to learn, teachers want to work and are recognized as the instructional leaders, parents are enthusiastic about sending their children and of which the community is proud.
One key element in making this reset a reality is an end to the culture of excessive testing. Standardized testing punishes students and teachers and is intimidating and threatening. Testing should inform instruction to help teachers meet student needs and help students improve academically.
Redefining education by making improvements through ESSA should include (click on a link to see suggestions for changes that can be made under ESSA as well as sample questions that should be put to state and district decision makers in each subject area):
- Ending the culture of excessive testing
- Providing a well-rounded education
- Honoring input from parents, students, teachers and paraprofessionals
- Recognizing teachers as instructional leaders
- Resourcing our public schools to meet the academic and non-academic needs of all students
- Building learning environments that foster creativity and develop critical thinking skills
- Supporting early childhood education for all as the best foundation for future learning
These documents offer a starting point for conversations we hope will occur around the opportunities for significantly improving education in Ohio and the specific changes needed to accomplish improvements. We welcome your input. Provide feedback to OFT.