Education Works: Moving from Planning to Action to Support Learning for the 21st Century


A group of 35+ leaders from across Northeast Ohio, referred to as the Education Works Leadership Council, took a bold step in identifying three pilot programs they will support that will lead to a more effective education system focused on truly preparing our learners for success.  Guided by their self-defined purpose statement,

“The Education Works Leadership Council will transform the community’s aspirations for learning
and achievement in NEO.  We will actively partner with the regional community to identify and foster the skills necessary for all people to become thriving members of a global society.  We will communicate this vision and encourage new, innovative strategies for education.  We will know we have been successful when educational expectations and achievement in the region show continual improvement.”

The Leadership Council will turn its work in 2009 from planning to action on their three projects:

  • Exploding the Obstacles” to Inclusive Student-centric Learning:
    a Community Action Research Project
  • Develop “Critical Thinking at Work” through the Liberal Arts
  • Create the “Education Works Top Ten” – a celebration and honor
    program for the most successful and innovative school/work
    programs in the region

Check out the attached file to learn more about Education Works, an initiative sponsored and funded by the Cleveland Foundation, the Gund Foundation, the Jennings Foundation and the Fund for Our Economic Future. (You have to be logged in and registered on this site to see the file.)

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# Submitted by ECPat on Thu, 12/18/2008 – 02:40.

So many of our schools have responded to NCLB by increasingly using practice tests instead of teaching. How can we move past the fear to be ready to make positive changes, rather than negative changes?

Pat Blochowiak

# Submitted by Arnold L. Johnson (not verified) on Fri, 01/09/2009 – 16:09.

I worked at a private school where they had lots of computers and a few white-boards. These can be quite expensive for public school systems. Instead of or in addition to this, podcast and webcast could be made of class material, replayable on iPod devices and computers. If a student didn’t get it the first time, they can re-listen. The recorded lessons could be put on a web site or a school computer, burned to CD’s, put on jump drives and student iPods.

A listen anywhere/discuss in class combo might even cut down on physical classroom time.

A cottage industry to develop podcast/webcast coursework could be developed. Besides cutting the cost of having a body in a classroom, the cost of printed materials could be trimmed. And because lessons are both portable and re-playable, they can be reinforced in a students’ head. And if you are concerned about students not reading, there is always ebooks, the pdf format is an industry standard on any computer.

These things free up time that could be spent teaching kids how to find and utilize all the info they have to deal with.

Then concerning computer training, let Microsoft keep their pay through the nose software applications. Unless you are teaching kids advance programming features of MS Office, open source AbiWord or Open will do just fine to teach basic word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, database and vector art skills, transferable, guaranteed. Save the pro-ware for preparing to enter the work world.

Only the tools are industry standard not the brand-name. Schools are about learning to use the tools, not product indoctrination. If you want the kids to be open and creative and flexible, teachers and administrators must be that way first. Schools are afraid of open source ways, yet claim to be the realm of teachers and learners.

# Submitted by John Mullaney (not verified) on Sat, 01/31/2009 – 21:19.

Mr. Johnson, I agree completely with your comments and assessments. One concern I have is the lack of focused professional development in NE Ohio to explore how technology can support learning. Fear 2.0 is the rule of the day and many teachers cannot fathom the idea that students using computers can actually learn from and with each other. The potential is so enormous yet lost entirely on a public school bureaucracy that lacks both imagination and courage to explore these exciting areas. Doing so requires letting go of power – not only of monies but of knowledge. It is time for the Governor to call for a total reevaluation of how Educational Services Center across the State provide professional development. The results will not be pretty.

Author: advance759