From My Friends at Ohio Alliance for Arts Education…

Dear Friends of Public Education!

I listened to the February 14 HB 512 Press Conference outlining the new Department of Learning and Achievement (DLC) as introduced by Rep. Reineke that will supposedly address critical gaps in workforce development skills urgently needed and EFFECTIVELY ELIMINATE the Ohio Department of Education and the State Board of Education as it has existed since the 1950’s!

I find it ironic that the the current State Board of Education, working in concert with Superintendent DeMaria’s leadership, has spent the last nine months crafting a Strategic Plan that, in very significant ways, addresses the very issues this bill is supposed to fix!

This is my 4th year on the SBOE and I believe we have done a 360 from previous board leadership and it is because of, and not in spite of, the structure of the board.

In March, we rolled out a 5-Year Strategic Plan, an evidence-based research plan created with direct participation of over 150 pre-K-12 educators, higher education representatives, employers, business officials, philanthropic organizations, community and association leaders and state legislators.

A Strategic Plan built on the belief that nurturing student aspirations means Ohio must ignite in students an understanding of what their future holds and the knowledge and skills they will need to be truly prepared for success beyond graduation. We know that an emphasis on so called 21stC skills includes creative and critical thinking, collaboration and effective communication which are essential for success in the workplace.

There is a big difference between pre-K 12 education policies that focuses on creating an education system that gives ALL children opportunities to pursue their dreams and in higher education and workforce policies which encompass a much wider audience.

In a democracy, Ohioans deserve a transparent and accountable preK-12 Public Education system that encourages active participation in the policies that affect all school-age children, not one that is designed behind closed doors and controlled by a few hand picked members.

Pat Bruns



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