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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Speaker Husted Says Ohio Has 'Diploma Dilemma'

COLUMBUS (TDB) -- House Speaker John Husted is using the phrase "Ohio's Diploma Dilemma" to describe the state's educational conundrums. He emphasizes the fact that high school graduation rates and college admissions are higher than most states, but campus dropouts wreck the stats and harm the prospects of economic growth.

''Our K-12 test scores beat the national averages and those of our Midwestern competitors, we now have a higher high school graduation rate that most states and we outpace the national average in the number of graduates we send to college. But here is where the success story ends because we have fallen behind the rest on the nation in the numbers of students who graduate from college and in the number of college graduates that populate our state,'' Husted told lawmakers in opening the 127th General Assembly. He said lawmakers need to solve ''Ohio's Diploma Dilemma, adding,"More of our citizens must complete certification and degreed programs."

The Republican from Dayton, who faces term limits in 2008, offered three suggestions:

1) ''We must make it easier to earn college credits for students who are still in high school; doing so makes college more affordable and increases the likelihood these students will attend college in Ohio.

2) "We must emphasize science, technology, engineering and math skills, because these are the skills most in demand in the economy and create the best jobs for those who possess them." [Husted wants to create STEM academies across the state. STEM is explored in great detail here at Writes Like She Talks. In fact, it is a primer on the topic.]

3) "I believe by strengthening and investing in cooperative education programs at our 2 and 4-year institutions -- employing students in Ohio businesses while they are still in school -- we make it more likely these students will stay here and be part of Ohio's economic renewal."

Of the three tasks, the first and last sound easiest to accomplish. Husted sounded a bit of urgency, noting that by 2015, nearly 90% of Ohio's jobs will require some kind of post-high school training or certification.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you as always Bill but here's another interesting item to throw into the mix: the state report completed a few years ago regarding gifted education outlined steps to be taken by 2012 - 2012! Anyone talking about those? Anyone looking at those? Anyone figuring out where those kids are going and what percentage of the kids that do go on to colleges in Ohio are those kids OR are the ones we're losing to other states, regardless of private or public?

    Part of my bringing this up is because in some public school districts (including mine), one thing that is done is that the gifted resources folks go into ALL classes and seek to lift the experience for ALL the kids, in the hope and with the expectation that ALL kids can benefit from enrichment.

    Is STEM any different from what the gifted education report suggested be done? Or the thing about more college credits earlier?

    Finally - I raise my eyebrow at the college credit earlier thing because haven't we been told that 40% of kids entering Ohio's state schools take remedial classes?? So who exactly is going to benefit from the high school/college credit thing - shouldn't we be pushing for better skills rather than more skills, first?

    Not sure - just asking and looking for discussion before people buy what they don't even know they're getting, and may already have or even not need.