Tackling Ohio’s toughest education challenges

Creating smart, coherent education policy is painstaking work; there are technical, budgetary, and political challenges at almost every turn. But it is some of the most important work that state leaders can undertake. As Ohioans prepare to elect a new governor this November, and as state leaders look to build upon past education successes, we at the Fordham Institute are developing a set of policy proposals that we believe can lead to increased achievement and greater opportunities for Ohio students.

Over the coming months, we’ll post a series of policy proposals on our blog and compile them on this page. These proposals aim to ensure that Ohio can thrive well into the future in a global economy where knowledge, talent, and technical skills are at a premium. Ohio has a long proud history as one of the nation’s engines of growth, but today faces challenges such as a large “talent gap.” To better understand this gap, only 43 percent of working age Ohioans have postsecondary certifications today. By 2025, it is estimated that 64 percent of in-demand jobs will require such credentials. A strong K-12 education system is a key to closing this enormous gap.

We believe that if Ohio policy leaders adopt and implement the education policy proposals outlined here, more Ohio students will be on a surer track for success in school—and in life.


Our policy proposals are divided into five categories. They are listed here, along with individual blogs describing specific proposals:

Goal 1: Maintain high expectations for all students

Provide clear information to parents about college readiness (posted October 15, 2018)

Tackling Ohio’s toughest education challenges: Fine-tune state assessment policies (posted November 26, 2018)

Goal 2: Empower Ohio’s families

Develop a statewide course-access program (posted October 22, 2018)

Remove geographic restrictions on brick-and-mortar charter schools (posted November 12, 2018)

Goal 3: Support great educators

Create a curriculum-review committee (posted October 8, 2018)

Create an incentive program to attract and develop high-performing teachers (posted November 5, 2018)

Goal 4: Create transparent and equitable funding systems

Use direct certification for economically disadvantaged funding (posted September 10, 2018)

Pay schools of choice directly from the state (posted November 19, 2018)

Goal 5: Ensure seamless transitions to college or career

Create a data system that links K–12 and workforce outcomes (posted September 24, 2018)

Provide tax benefits to employers that train apprentices (posted October 29, 2018)

All images sourced via Getty Images under license.

Image credits (from L to R, above): Gunay Aliyeva (high expectations), leremy (empowering families), leremy (supporting great educators), bananajazz (funding), raufaliyev (college/career).