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Ohioans Proclaim January 26 – February 1, 2020 as Public Education Week

December 17, 2019

Public Education Partners (PEP) is a statewide nonprofit that was created to connect and unite advocates that support public school districts and the children and families they serve. The Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding (OCEASF) was organized to challenge the constitutionality of the Ohio school funding system and to secure high quality educational opportunities for all Ohio school children.

Public Education Partners and the Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School  Funding respectfully request that all Ohioans consider joining state, county, city, and school district leaders across the state in officially recognizing January 26 – February 1, 2020 as PUBLIC EDUCATION WEEK.

Issuing proclamations provides an opportunity for all to shine a positive spotlight on the K-12 public education available for children and families in Ohio. Participants should then GO PUBLIC, and proclaim this celebration of public education with the traditional, as well as social, media!

For everyone’s convenience, PEP and OCEASF have provided some suggested proclamation language found below.

GO PUBLIC, and share the following template with state, county, city, township, and school district leaders:

Public Education Week

WHEREAS, traditional public school districts in Ohio serve more than 1.8 million students and employ more than 245,000 Ohioans; and

WHEREAS, all children in Ohio should have access to the highest-quality education possible; and

WHEREAS, Ohio citizens recognize the important role that an effective education plays in preparing all students to be successful adults; and

WHEREAS, quality education is critically important to the economic vitality of the Buckeye State; and

WHEREAS, public education not only helps to diversify our economy, but also enhances the vibrancy of our community; and

WHEREAS, Ohio has many high-quality school administrators, teaching professionals, and support staff who are committed to educating our children; and

WHEREAS, public education is celebrated across the country by millions of students, parents, educators, schools, and organizations to raise awareness of the need for effective public schools;

THEREFORE, I (or WE), ______________, do hereby recognize January 26 – February 1, 2020 as PUBLIC EDUCATION WEEK and call this observance to the attention of all Ohioans.

 

On Wednesday,  January 29th, 2020, all are welcome to attend the 3rd annual “CELEBRATE PUBLIC EDUCATION” event in the Ohio Statehouse Atrium from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm!

It “takes a village” to create strong schools, and we know our PUBLIC SCHOOLS are our children’s second homes. Elementary, middle school, high school teachers and students have been invited to present their talents and receive the PEP award as the audience celebrates teams of teachers and students and their dedication to teaching and learning in Ohio’s Public Schools.

Please feel free to check out the highlights of last year’s “Celebrate Public Education” Ceremony – it was incredible!

“Celebrate Public Education” 2020 promises to be wonderful experience with talented, hard-working students and teachers sharing their music, drama, literature, poetry and videos “LIVE!” from all around our state of Ohio!

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Upcoming Events

Our partners are hosting events all across Ohio. Attending an event is a great way to find out what’s happening in your community to protect public education.

Select an event on the map or search below.

Voices

Dawn’s Story

I am a public school teacher in Oberlin, Ohio. As I do year after year, I had my fifth-graders write editorials for the Newspaper in Education contest sponsored by our local Chronicle-Telegram newspaper. And as I always do, I gave the students free choice to choose their topics and to come up with their own polished submissions.

When so many of them started writing about testing, I freaked out a little because prior to this month’s AIR testing, I had rarely even mentioned the topic to them, refusing to stress them out about the upcoming three weeks of testing. I sent some of their work to our principal with a note that said, in so many words, “Holy smokes, look at what these kids are saying. I promise that I haven’t been stressing them out about these tests!” She wrote back saying she thought their submissions sounded just fine.

I’m so thankful to have a principal who values our students’ feelings.

When I talked to the kids about the testing, I told them how surprised I was by their topic choices and asked why they were feeling so worried. After all, I told them, I had barely mentioned the topic and told them I’d be the last person to put pressure on them or try to stress them out. One student told me, “You are working with the wrong kids, Mrs. Randall. You don’t have to stress us out. We stress ourselves out enough for all of us.”

They then started sharing stories about last year’s PARCC test, when they tested on and off from February through May when they were in 4th-grade. They shared about how scared they were that they wouldn’t pass the Third-Grade Reading Guarantee reading test the year before that and then fail the entire year. Ohio legislation is insane.

But worst of all, one student said, “This is the third new kind of test we’ve had in three years. When will Ohio get this right?”

This same student was the one who took it upon himself to go to the Ohio Department of Education website on his Chromebook and research his topic and find out that some schools were able to still do paper/pencil tests, and he was pretty upset that he couldn’t.

I sent a note to the newspaper staff member about all their submissions and she told me to please not censor their writing, but to send it all in. She wanted to see it all.

Today, I opened the newspaper supplement to these two student submissions ruling a whole spread. Apparently, the judges heard them loud and clear and felt their words needed to be heard by our community.

All this high-stakes testing is really starting to take a toll on kids. When will our legislature hear and care about their voices?

Each child in my class is the SAME child who has been forced to sit through high-stakes testing year after year after year. When will enough be enough?

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