After holding a series of town halls and forums on Ohio’s proposed education model under the new federal ESSA standards, State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) today applauded the state for reversing course on a tight deadline for submission to the federal government— something Fedor says kept public input out of the Ohio plan.
“After tens of thousands of stakeholders asked for their voice to be heard, today we are one step closer to making this reality. I applaud the decision by Superintendent DeMaria to utilize the US Department of Education’s September 18, 2017 deadline for the technical submission of Ohio’s Every Student Succeeds Act state plan. The Draft Plan should be redrafted and developed with ongoing meaningful consultation and stakeholder feedback. By utilizing the September 18th deadline, Ohioans across the stakeholder spectrum will be able to engage deeply in the process of working transparently to draft a plan that supports a North Star vision for the education of our state’s children. This is a great first step toward working on a plan that will truly work for all of Ohio’s children.
“For 13 months, the Ohio Department of Education has heard from thousands of stakeholders— in community forums, letters, online surveys and first person communication. Legislators have also heard from our constituents by similar means. Now, it’s time to come together to ensure that the information collected has not been a futile exercise, but the beginning of a process that will explore the full constellation of the public response and commitment.
“ESSA represents a departure from the prescriptive measures utilized by No Child Left Behind. The bipartisan framers of ESSA, Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray, recognized that, like learners themselves, education systems perform better by aspiring, not punishing, and ESSA contains the tools to provide the pathways and onramps to reach aspirational goals. They also designed ESSA as civil rights legislation.
“Pathways out of poverty can be found in education. Developing and implementing a North Star vision for Ohio and a plan to implement it will allow new generations to follow pathways to freedom out of poverty and other barriers to reaching their potential. Today, education is at the nexus of the modern civil rights movement.
“Ohioans historically value local control and the opportunity to think for ourselves. Ohio’s plan for education will only be as successful as the public’s confidence in it. Rather than rely on a technical outline written by bureaucrats, we should embrace the whole constellation of possibilities for our children. We shouldn’t miss this opportunity to develop Ohio’s plan together. On behalf of the many stakeholders who contacted me during this first phase of the ESSA process, I look forward to the deep, transparent engagement required to finish building the pathway for education in Ohio.”