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Ohio: Working in Education in Ohio

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Educational Management in Ohio

The Ohio Department of Education partners with five Ohio school districts and five universities on Ohio's State Action for Education Leadership (SAELP), a state education leadership initiative. The purpose of SAELP is to strengthen the ability of education leaders in Ohio to improve student achievement.

Ohio SAELP uses the Ohio Leadership Development Framework as a guide for leadership development and educational improvement in the state. The Framework presents practices that are essential for unifying and advancing education leadership. The Wallace Foundation awarded the Ohio Department of Education $3.4 million for 2008-2010 to build a cohesive leadership system. In addition, Ohio is working to create an urban principal training program and endorsement that delineates standards specific to urban leadership.

In 2006-2007 Ohio developed a state model for the evaluation of principals. The Ohio Principal Evaluation System (OPES) aligns with Ohio Standards for Principals and Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium. In 2008-2009, OPES was piloted in 13 districts statewide with more than 110 principals, with statewide implementation planned for 2009-2010. A resource manual provides training and guidance for implementation.

Teacher's Aides

Ohio is one of eleven states that have professional development programs for paraprofessionals. Ohio is one of only ten states that require certification for instructional paraprofessionals.

Ohio teacher's aides and aspiring educators have the opportunity to take associate's degree programs in paraprofessional studies. Participants develop the skills to work with teachers in classrooms.

School boards can issue a one-year educational aide permit for an individual with a high school diploma or equivalent who is willing and able to participate in in-service training. The one-year permit can be renewed; satisfactory performance can lead to a four-year educational aide permit.

The mean annual salary for teacher assistants in Ohio was $26,240 in May 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The nationwide mean was $23,560.

Technology Education

The Center for Digital Education surveyed states and ranked the 44 participating states according to their policies for creating favorable online learning environments and successful initiatives; Ohio ranked 11th.

Ohio elementary and secondary school students can take online public school courses for free at a number of schools with government-funded virtual programs. The Reynoldsburg City School District, for example, offers web-based courses for grades 1-12. Another online school within the public school system is Ohio Virtual Academy, which offers classes for grades K-12. A number of charter schools also provide online K-12 classes.

To satisfy the need for face-to-face learning experiences for students who attend school online, educational and cultural leaders in Dayton are organizing visits to museums and providing tutoring opportunities.

Curriculum and Instruction

Ohio is in the midst of revising its education standards so they cover fewer subjects in greater depth than the current standards, which were adopted in 2001-2002. The new standards will focus more on 21st century skills such as reasoning and critical-thinking skills and will become the new foundation for curriculum and instruction. Ohio's effort is consistent with strict new national curriculum standards.

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