Focusing on the whole child, not just academics.

I recently posted the performance results for Ohio over the last 15 years.  They showed no real gains in performance.  I  made the case we need to accept the failures of our current reforms and embrace a next round of efforts to help students succeed.  SB216, the education deregulation bill, is a great start on the legislative front.  The OhioMeansJobs-Readiness Seal from the Ohio Department of Education is another!

Finally, Ohio is beginning to recognize the disastrous impact of sterilizing the K-12 educational experience to only math and reading.  Both math and reading are necessary, but they are not sufficient for student success over the long term.  The OhioMeansJobs-Readiness Seal is a bold first step to expand graduation expectations to include critical non-academic skill sets.  Details of the program are located here:

The most important feature of this new effort is the focus on WHAT students need to know, not HOW schools should prepare students to know.  The latter is an opportunity and challenge for Ohio’s education professionals.

The program is weak in the area of validation and the skill sets are not as well developed as the My Ways initiative (NGLC), but this is a tremendous advancement in state policy and thinking.  Congratulations to the ODE and their efforts to move forward!

Robert Sommers