News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Greater Akron Chamber

NOCHE

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Education


OEA's Higgins says Common Core, tests and safety will dominate agenda
Largest national teachers' union gathers nearly 9,000 delegates in Denver
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
The head of the Ohio Education Association, Becky Higgins, says Common Core will take time.
Courtesy of Becky Higgins
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

The nation’s largest teachers’ union is meeting this week in Denver to focus on three main issues: Common core, standardized testing and school safety. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze spoke with the new Ohio Education Association President Becky Higgins about the impact of those issues on Ohio.

LISTEN: A Q and A with Ohio Education Association's new president

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (4:04)


Becky Higgins spent 19 years as a first-grade teacher with Copley-Fairlawn schools. She’s seen the state adopt the national Common Core standards with little controversy. And she’s seen the second-guessing begin. Overall, she says Ohio educators support the standards with an important caveat.  

“Like anything that’s new, we … need the time to get the standards right:  Time to learn them, time to collaborate with fellow teachers, getting meaningful professional development in order to be able to implement them (standards) in the best way we can with our students because our students are depending on it.”

Practical applications may reveal problems
In all, she says it should take about three years to learn, train for and implement the standards “and then see if those implementations are the correct ones.”

Time for course correction is key, Higgins says “because we come up with lesson plans, because we come up with ideas, but sometimes it (doesn’t) always meet the needs. So we need to go back and change."

Common Core – like other education reforms – will be measured in large part by standardized tests. Higgins says that’s a problem.

High-stakes testing for third-graders
“The high-stakes standardized tests have put undue pressure on teachers and schools, but especially on the students.”

And with Ohio’s third-grade reading guarantee, “I am most concerned about because we’re putting a lot of stress on a third-grader to take one test on one day that will make a decision if they’re going to go onto fourth grade.”

Supporters of the third-grade guarantee say children need to be proficient at a certain level of reading in the third grade or they have little chance of succeeding beyond. But Higgins maintains – even if the children move on, “reading does not cease to be taught after third grade. … Starting in kindergarten, all students do not come to school at the same readiness level.

“So teachers are differentiating our instruction, giving assessments that are going to help inform instruction. What people are forgetting is that there are many other factors that go into a child being able and being ready to take a test.

“Are they hungry? Are they homesless? Are their needs not being not being met? This might sound funny, but did their puppy die the night before?

“I’m a first great teacher. I can tell you all these things have a great impact. So when they come to take that one test on that day, sometimes they’re not ready to take that test.”

So how to measure?
Much of the call for more standardized testing arose about three decades ago, when national reports questioned whether grades from individual schools and teachers were consistent and valid measures of student performance.

Higgins says the system may have gone to the other extreme.

“As educators we know there are all kinds of ways to measure if a student is learning. Some of that is observation, (and) assessments do come into play. But again assessments are usually used to inform instruction, seeing what we need to do to meet the needs of that child, meeting them where they are.”

Then there's safety
A third issue Higgins expects to be a big one at the National Education Association conference is school safety. Higgins wants to see a comprehensive approach with input from parents, educators and community that focuses on “expanding mental health services, investing in infracturure and critical programs in schools and on campuses, and common sense gun safety.”

But “we believe that each school district should develop its own plan, train relevant personnel and make careful decisions on school safety and security measures.”

Becky Higgins, the new president of the Ohio Education Associationis one of nearly 9,000 unionized educators attending the National Education Association Conference in Denver this week.

 

 

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio survey shows low-income people are choosing phones over food
Where is this study published? no sign of it on google scholar. is there a cite

Head of Ohio Dems says Kasich administration is lying about Suarez contacts
when Kasich's mouth is open , he's lying. Look what he did at Lehmans brothers and then lied about it all during the campaign. If a GOP didn't lie, he or she ...

Canton's Basilica of St. John absorbs news of the pope at morning Mass
Hello Chris,Marina,and Patrice, I just read this article and you all look great. I'm on facebook Jean Dutcher in blue and white stripped blouse. I"M so glad to ...

Exploradio: Avoiding the 'acting-white' trap
Growing-up black and being black should not determine that you will not speak well or will not be a high achiever in your goals in life.But society te nds to la...

Charter-school supporters to rally at Statehouse
I am on the bus now headed to the rally. Horizon is an excellent school. My son is is 7 th grade. The teachers and administrators are top notch and spend so m...

Former Nursing Home Land Added to Parks
In addition, LED technology also plays a very important role in advertising- LED placard is very, very useful for shop owners.

Ohio Supreme Court hears arguments on school funding
That's not true. Other school districts HAVE followed this law and done this. Oakhills is one of them and how they were able to provide technology for their s...

Death and beauty at Cleveland's Museum of Contemporary Art
What a disgusting story to air at lunch time.

Ohio Supreme Court grills attorneys on flooding and million-dollar fixes
Perhaps the State of Ohio should take the lead and implement state wide water shed districts that would collect minimum fees. The funds could then be distribute...

More Ohio schools are adding STEM + arts to come up with STEAM
STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Not Education! Your first sentence and intro to this article is incorrect. Please correct this inaccuracy....

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University