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Our guests for this episode are Dr. Margaret Kasten and Dr. James Bishop. They both give a better insight into what CAPE-Ohio is about and how we can do better with our public schools.
A free public education is a founding principle of the U.S., and the platform for our children to grow, excel, and succeed in a chosen career for decades. However, children spend too much of their class time studying for high-stakes state exams.
Our guests for this episode are Dr. Margaret Kasten and Dr. James Bishop. They both give us a better insight into what CAPE-Ohio is about and how we can do better with our public schools.
Parents and concerned citizens should demand the following things from every school. Consider it a Bill of Educational Rights. Turn this list into a petition and circulate it among all the families in your child’s school. Send it to the school board, the principal, local legislators.
The undersigned insist that our school(s) and all teachers:
- Recognize the broad consensus that early childhood education should be primarily dedicated to free, imaginative play;
- Provide arts programming, recognizing that the arts are critical to all learning and to understanding the human experience;
- Provide ample physical movement, both in physical education classes and in other ways, recognizing that exercise enhances learning for all children;
- Exhibit, in structure and practice, awareness that children develop at different rates and in different ways; that strict age- or grade-level standards and expectations are meaningless and damaging;
- Acknowledge the large body of evidence that long hours of homework are unnecessary and detract from children’s (and families’) quality of life;
- Exhibit genuine affection and respect for all children;
- Honor a wide range of personalities and temperaments;
- Encourage curiosity, risk-taking and creativity;
- Cultivate and sustain intrinsic motivation rather than relying on elaborate extrinsic systems of rewards and punishment;
- Understand that brain research supports active learning, engaging all the senses;
- Understand that children are intelligent in multiple ways and that all these intelligences should be honored and developed;
- Listen to each child’s voice, give them real experience in democratic processes, and allow them to express their individuality;
- Know each child well, appreciate the unique mix of qualities each child brings, and never demean, discourage or humiliate any child.
Trent Bowers is the superintendent of the Worthington, Ohio, Public Schools. This column was adapted from a recent blog post.
One day this month I watched first graders race down a giant slide as we opened a new school playground. The pure joy on their faces was priceless.
It was a great moment in a difficult time. Because, if I’m being honest, for educators like me, going to school right now is just plain hard.
This is an impressive study on the effectiveness of a well-designed high school course (9th grade) that contains this content:
“The units in this course focused on themes of social justice, anti-racism, stereotypes, and social movements led by people of color from US history spanning the late eighteenth century until the 1970s. The curriculum incorporated elements of histories and political struggles of multiple racial and ethnic groups, many of which are not traditionally represented in US social-studies content. For example, students in this course examined the genocide of Native Americans in California, community resis- tance in Chinese and Latinx neighborhoods in California, and labor organizing during the Great Depression and World War II among African Americans and Filipino Americans. The course also encouraged students to explore how social constructions of race, ethnicity, and culture shaped their individual identity, their family and community histories, and required students to design and implement participatory-action projects based on their study of racialized and ethnic relations in their local communities. The learning objectives of the course included student knowledge of and ability to combat racism and other forms of oppression, in- creased student commitment to social justice, and improvement of student pride in their own identities and communities. In addition to the civic and psychological goals of the ES program, the pilot’s stated intent was to close achievement gaps and re- duce dropout rates (15, 16).”
The summaries of chapters 1-14 for The Testing Charade are available for your use as you prepare for the book study, co-hosted by CAPEOhio and PEP. You might find it helpful to bring a copy with you on December 3, 2019 at 6:30 PM. The event will take place at the Bethel International Methodist Church, 1220 Bethel Road, Columbus, OH 43220. Click the link here to see the summaries.
CAPE Members created the chapter summaries for you to use as you review your reading of the book. https://wp.me/a4EAfC-kg
Column: How Gov. DeWine should truly thank teachers
Posted Mar 12, 2019 at 4:15 AM
After eight years of, at best, benign neglect, it was a pleasure to hear the governor of Ohio speak kindly of teachers. In his first State of the State address, Gov. Mike DeWine paused in his prepared remarks “to thank all the teachers of Ohio.” The line even garnered applause from legislators who seem not to have noticed who does all the heavy lifting when it comes to the education of our state’s children.
Since actions speak louder than words, here are some suggestions on what DeWine could do now.
As the governor’s party holds all statewide offices, both houses of the legislature and a majority on the Ohio Supreme Court, he could help the General Assembly carry out its constitutional duty to fund a “thorough and efficient system of common schools throughout the state.”
The team of Reps. Bob Cupp, R-Lima, and John Patterson, D-Jefferson, has come forward with a bipartisan proposal for a new way of funding our schools. While not perfect, it provides a starting point for getting at the core issues of equity, funding tied to genuine programming needs and reducing the reliance on property tax. DeWine should work with them to push this proposal into law.
The next item to take on is the over-testing of our children. Again and again it has been pointed out that these tests have never been linked to anything — not success in college, success on the job or even the ability to write a letter to the editor. But we keep on giving them and measuring the success of schools based on the results.
In his campaign, the governor called for reducing the number of tests. Ohio students take nearly two dozen more than are required in federal law.
Virtually all of them could be eliminated. A state Board of Education task force is calling for reducing high-school tests and replacing them with performance standards such as major projects and portfolios. DeWine needs to be a champion of these reforms.
Social and emotional learning received a shout-out in the State of the State speech. This refers to helping students develop the skills that make them successful in life in general — skills such as reflective thinking, teamwork, public engagement and often simply doing the right thing.
For decades, employers have been calling for such a focus on what are often called “soft skills,” knowing they make all the difference in the workplace. If the governor means what he says when he calls for “a much-needed focus on social-emotional learning,” his budget should reflect increased funding for such programs in public schools. That includes adequate counseling and guidance services for all school children.
Finally, the governor talked about the value of home-visitation programs for Ohio’s youngest residents — those from birth through age 5. In my school district, we agree. In fact, utilizing our own funds for the past seven years, we have carried out exactly such a program. An outreach teacher goes to the homes of preschool children, taking books, educational games, parent information and school-themed gifts (love those Federal Hocking Lancer onesies!) to families.
On their birthdays, children get a visit from the outreach worker with more learning materials and resources. Between visits we keep in touch with families about resources and opportunities via text and email. During the summer our mobile food bus, a free grocery-shopping experience with fresh produce and shelf-stable foods, heads out to these, and all district families, to provide an oft-needed supplement to their food budget.
We do this on our own, without help from the state, because we know it improves the chances of children in our community to live healthy, productive lives and come to school ready to learn. There is no need for the state to invent new programs here. Rather, the governor should direct funding to programs like ours and incentivize other school districts to start similar home-visit programs.
Saying thanks is nice; in fact, it was more than nice to be recognized.
I hope the governor follows up that thank you note with some action.
By the way, Gov. DeWine: You’re welcome.
George Wood is the superintendent of Federal Hocking Local Schools in Stewart, Ohio.