COLUMBUS—State Representative Bob Cupp (R- Lima) today announced the release of the Ohio Speaker’s Task Force on Education and Poverty report, which met from July 2017 through November 2017, to examine the issue of poverty and education, as well as the achievement gap related to those circumstances. The task force focused on five areas: community and health education prevention and awareness in high-poverty areas, national perspectives on education and poverty, state policies and data collection currently in place, dropout prevention and recovery programs, career technical education, and early childhood education.
The task force concluded with nine recommendations:
1. Examine methods for school districts and schools to provide or expand the offering of wraparound health and social services to students where poverty has a substantial presence;
2. Continue to expand the availability of quality early childhood education to families in all areas of the state;
3. Work closely with healthcare stakeholders to create public policies that will create and maintain positive school climates, culture, and needed supports for students;
4. Encourage school districts and schools to create or maintain partnerships with community-based organizations and use creative tools for behavior management (e.g. Ohio’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports framework);
5. Ensure equitable access to career-technical education for all students across the state, including for students who attend a dropout prevention and recovery school;
6. Continue efforts to reduce the achievement gap by emphasizing training and holding districts accountable for recruiting and developing teachers professionally who have an understanding of the barriers poverty can create;
7. Maintain high-level curricular and standards expectations for all students;
8. Convene key stakeholders from state agencies to study which evidence-based programs are effective in helping to close the achievement gap for Ohio’s students;
9. Conduct an impact study to measure the return on investment (ROI) of programs and interventions, supported by state dollars, which show evidence of success in measurably helping to close achievement gaps in schools in the state of Ohio.
“The information compiled, as a result of the work of the task force, will give the legislature a greater understanding of the effects that growing up in poverty has on student achievement. Going forward, these insights will be helpful as policy-makers work on effective ways to lift the academic achievements of all students, and thereby help provide a pathway out of poverty and toward economic and personal success” said Representative Cupp, who chaired the task force.
Members of the task force included: Representative Cupp, Representative Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights), State Representative Darrell Kick (R-Loudonville), and former State Representative Margy Conditt, along with experts in education –Karen Boch, Superintendent, Wellston School District, Anthony Knickerbocker, CTE Director, Lancaster City Schools, Dr. Thomas Maridada, CEO and President, BRIGHT New Leaders for Ohio Schools (now Senior Advisor for BRIGHT), Dr. Bob Mengerink, Superintendent, Cuyahoga County ESC , Hannah Powell, Executive Director, KIPP Columbus, John Stack, President and CEO of Cambridge Education (now President and CEO of Oakmont Education) who led the task force to a better understanding of the effects of poverty on the student achievement gap.
The report is available at the following link: https://ohiohouse.gov/assets/press-releases/98776/files/7347.pdf