ACHIEVEMENT EVERYWHERE: WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Rusty Clifford, Superintendent of West Carrollton City Schools, Buckeye Association of School Administrators 2013 Ohio Superintendent of the Year: Governor Kasich’s Achievement Everywhere Plan is a ‘game changer’ and a ‘life changer.’ Implementation of the plan will mean that student success will not depend on the local community’s ability to pay but on the local school districts ability to deliver. The plan has operationally defined success for every student, teacher, and administrator in Ohio. The plan will encourage, support, and fund innovation, best practice benchmarking, and process improvement. This sustainable vision and focus for the future of education in Ohio is forward thinking, comprehensive, innovative, flexible, and "what's best for kids." Achievement Everywhere will provide the “adequate” resources needed for ALL students to succeed and achieve EVERYWHERE. At his meeting with superintendents on January 31 Governor Kasich said to us "I want you to win" – full deployment and integration of the Achievement Everywhere Plan will mean that every student in Ohio will be a winner!”
Charla Evans, Superintendent of Gallia County Local: “As an experienced educator and superintendent, I am very gratified with the Governor's commitment to education as evidenced in the Achievement Everywhere Plan. I see opportunities for all school districts to better serve their students in more equitable ways. I am also pleased to see the opportunity given to schools to craft creative plans that can change education in ways that will impact future generations exponentially. The incentive fund will support educators in providing new school experiences that will not be bounded by district lines or zip codes but only by interests and imagination of students and educators.”
Stan Jennings, Superintendent of Scioto County Career Technical Center: “I am encouraged and actively seeking more information on the Governor’s proposed budget. I was enthused by the Governor’s mention of Career Tech Education in the budget and further encouraged by the potential for the "Straight A" grant for innovative practice.”
Mary Ronan, Superintendent, Cincinnati Public Schools: “The Governor and his staff really thought about how can we make things equitable and it appears at first blush that this may help Cincinnati Public Schools”
Paolo DeMaria, former state budget director and school funding expert: “The Straight A Fund will prove to be a very powerful tool that will motivate districts and schools to implement strategies that will allow even greater opportunities for students to learn and succeed. Additionally, it will help districts identify and implement efficiencies that will allow them to operate more cost-effectively. These are both win-win propositions. Providing more robust data to districts and schools that allow them to compare themselves with similar districts will also spark a lot of action and attention to cost savings.”
Susan Bodary, Education First: “Achieve Everywhere focuses on the needs of individual children and recognizes that students with challenges need more support to achieve. When combined with the Straight A Fund, new comparative tools and the ability to remove unnecessary regulation it puts the power of innovation squarely in the hands of the people who know our students best: teachers, principals and superintendents. This innovation will be critical as schools work together with families, community members, postsecondary education and employers to prepare students to succeed in careers of the future here in Ohio and beyond.”
Ron Adler, President of the Ohio Coalition for Quality Education: “Governor Kasich showed strong leadership in presenting an education reform plan that rethinks K-12 education in Ohio and correctly puts the emphasis on funding student achievement rather than funding institutions. He has sent a strong message that he is committed to ensuring all students receive a quality education that will allow them to compete with their counterparts across Ohio and throughout the world, regardless of their ZIP Code, their circumstances, how they learn or the type of school they choose to attend. We look forward to reviewing the details of the governor’s plan.”
John Zitzner, President of Friends of Breakthrough Schools, Cleveland: "Any education plan that emphasizes what is best for ALL children in our state, regardless of their zip code, holds adults accountable for results, and more fairly funds successful and innovative schools sounds great to me. A lot of those elements appear to be in this plan."
Keith Brown, Superintendent of Washington Court House City Schools: “It is clear to me, and many others in education, that we cannot continue to do the things in the same way we have always done them in Ohio. Governor Kasich's plan is a new beginning and I, for one, welcome that.”
Eric Gordon, CEO of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District: “It’s too early to tell what the details mean for Cleveland, but at first glance, there are several strong indications the State is addressing long-standing problems with school funding in Ohio. There’s an effort here to treat people in a fair and equitable manner. It appears to be a thoughtful process and an attempt to address tax issues without simply taking from rich districts to give money to poorer ones.”
Terry Ryan, Vice-President for Ohio Programs and Policy at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute: “Governor Kasich's budget plan for K-12 education is exciting and indeed long overdue. Especially important are education dollars following students, support for innovation, more and smarter (and more quality-conscious) school choices, and greater flexibility for districts and schools. The Governor's plan, as crafted, looks to empower the professionals closest to kids - teachers and building level administrators - to make decisions that are in their students' best interests academically, while also expanding the power of parents to decide what type of school works best for their children. The Governor's plan moves Ohio's schools, families and students away from the idea of education being a one-size-fits-all enterprise to something closer to customized schooling for every child.”
Jan Osborn, Putnam County Superintendent: “The first question to ask about any plan for education: Is this good for the student? It’s obvious that the Governor gets it. This plan puts the student front and center, right where the focus needs to be. Do what’s good for the student and make the dollars follow!”
Matthew Petersen, former Ohio Upper Arlington principal and Fellow at Harvard University: “It is exciting to see the state of Ohio creating space for innovation in its new budget with its Straight A initiative. There has been a lot of recent rhetoric about the need for reform in education, yet the funding for research and development of new solutions and ideas has been sorely lacking. Educators all over Ohio have innovative ideas to increase student learning and transform their classrooms and schools. This fund will allow them to translate those ideas into practice. It is exciting to see Ohio taking the lead in empowering educators to create the learning opportunities of tomorrow. It will also support educators by taking advantage of more divergent thinking. Currently, there is little to no incentive for those outside our field to enter the education space, and this fund is a step towards more collaborative problem solving with new partners.”
David James, Superintendent, Akron City Schools: “I definitely want to be a partner in finding more ways to build a world class education system. Whether you are a large, medium, or small district – the focus must be on the child. Prioritizing funding for their particular needs is the right approach. For those students with special circumstances, whether they are living in poverty, are disabled, or gifted, or are learning to speak English, we must ensure these students get the extra help they need. The Governor's proposal seems to include these themes and I look forward to confirming that upon review of the actual language. I also applaud Governor Kasich for addressing issues around standardizing the fees associated with dual enrollment programs across the state. Helping students obtain college credit while still in high school lowers the overall cost of a post-secondary education and better prepares students for the rigors of college-level work. Helping foster innovation through one-time grants is a great way to assist districts in the transition to more efficient and effective models of schooling. At the same time, there is a realization that some of the rules that schools must operate under, need to be re-evaluated in order to foster success. I am looking forward to this review of school operating standards. All of Ohio’s children deserve equal opportunities to succeed in school. As school superintendents, Boards of Education, parents, and citizens we must re-imagine our education systems so that our students graduate college and career ready.”
Hannah Powell, Executive Director of KIPP Central Ohio: "The plan appears to be student-centered, encourage innovation, focus on results, and embrace the importance of the power to lead as we ensure Ohio delivers on the promise that all children in our state can and will learn."
Chris Burrows, Superintendent, Georgetown City Schools: “I am extremely excited for the boys and girls of Ohio. This budget provides flexibility for local districts to address unique needs of their students without all of the ball and chains that have held us down in the past. It is my hope that the leaders of Ohio embrace this budget and move our educational system in Ohio into the globally competitive grid.”
John Marschausen, Superintendent, Loveland Schools: “We need to do a better job preparing today's students to be tomorrow's leaders. This budget proposal encourages school leaders to step-up, take risks, and push our education system to the next level. Ohio needs to shift from an industrial aged education model to an information/digital age education model. The Governor clearly recognizes the challenges facing educators and the importance of funding the education system. Governor Kasich's budget plan provides much needed funding to Ohio's school, holds district accountable for results, and encourages innovation and creativity. It is a fair proposal that provides for equity, quality, creativity, and transparency."
Tim Williams, Superintendent, Logan Elm Local Schools: “The Straight A Fund will provide districts with extra funds to develop innovative and sustainable programs to advance education in the State of Ohio. The Governors’ funding plan focuses on improving the quality of education for students in the State.”
Diana Savage, Superintendent, Bryan City Schools: “I am excited to know that the new education funding plan focuses on student needs and sending more money into the classrooms. Districts who have higher percentages of specific student populations, such as special education, ELL, gifted, and students in poverty, will see additional funding directed to those specific areas of need.”
Diane Mankins, Superintendent, Marysville Exempted Village School District: “It appears that a significant amount of time, research and energy went into designing a funding model that represents the needs of the students in the State of Ohio. Equity has been a long- standing problem and I applaud the efforts of Governor Kasich to tackle this important issue. The notion of an innovation fund is exciting. It provides districts the opportunity to “dream big” and create unique and challenging opportunities for all students to learn and grow. It really becomes the impetuous for change, creating a focus for innovation and reform. These funds would provide the foundation for districts to be creative around what education should look like to appropriately prepare our students for the demands of the 21st century global workforce in which they will live.”
Eric Hanushek, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University: “Governor Kasich has proposed a significant improvement in the financing of Ohio schools. He has targeted extra funding toward achievement and has set the stage for unleashing local innovation to boost student outcomes. These proposals go far beyond cosmetic changes in schools and push local districts to move forward in the important task of improving results and closing long standing achievement gaps.”
Paul Craft, Superintendent of the Delaware City Schools: “The parts of the plan that most excite me are the Innovation Fund and the fact that targeted funds for students with special needs, Limited English Proficiency, or other factors that call for additional resources are directed right to those students.”
Greg Harris, StudentsFirst Ohio Director: “StudentsFirst is encouraged that Gov. Kasich’s school funding plan aims to improve educational opportunities for all children. It’s a step in the right direction and appears to provide additional resources to students who bring unique challenges to the classroom and for districts to support the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. The plan also proposes facilities support for charter schools and expansion of school choice, which will give parents living in poverty more options for their children. The proposed Innovation Fund to seed better use of technology and new classroom practices should further enhance educational opportunity. As details emerge about the changes to mill rates and the “equal yield formula,” StudentsFirst looks forward to working with Gov. Kasich and the Ohio General Assembly to ensure these changes have their intended effect of helping disadvantaged communities. Gov. Kasich should also be commended for his commitment to improving flexibility by removing state-driven education mandates and empowering those who work closest with children – teachers and principals. StudentsFirst believes this new flexibility for school districts should be tied to improved fiscal accountability and transparency measures that track district spending and its impact on student performance."
Steve Dackin, Superintendent of Reynoldsburg City Schools: “I fundamentally believe that every child can be successful in school. The governor’s proposal emphasizes results over inputs. That means providing schools with the flexibility they need to meet the needs and interests of their students and their communities, while setting high expectations for results - and holding schools accountable for getting those results. The Straight A fund is a cost-effective way to accelerate and amplify game-changing initiatives that will help us meet our educational and economic development goals.”