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November 04, 2010
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Just over a year ago, Ohio won $400 million in Race to the
Top grant dollars and promised to implement a number of significant reform
programs. The U.S. Department of Education just released a progress report
for the Buckeye State detailing how it has fared in year one, as well as the
work that remains.
First, it might be helpful to revisit the major commitments
Ohio made. They were to:
Ohio has more than 600 school district, 3,500 district
schools and over 300 charter schools so it had its work cut out for it when it
applied for RttT dollars and then won. The list of goals stated above is no
easy task. So how is Ohio doing a year
into the process?
Year 1 Successes
Ohio has scored some significant implementation victories in
the first year and compared with laggards like Hawaii and New York one could
argue the first year has been a real success for the Buckeye State. U.S.
Secretary of Education Duncan summed the situation up nicely when he told the Columbus Dispatch “Ohio is in really
However, everyone agrees a great deal of work remains if
Ohio is going to move from meaningful activity to increasing student
achievement. Year 2 and beyond looks to be the years when action has to start
translating into success and most importantly gains in things like test scores.
The following issues remain on the table:
Ohio should be applauded for their accomplishments thus far,
but now the tough job of beginning to implement the new policies begins.
Hopefully, the progress report for year 2 will tell a similar story of success.
This piece originally appeared on the Ohio Gadfly Daily.