Eye on Education

Ohio Superintendent Stan Heffner Says State’s School System Fosters the “Illusion of Progress”

Molly Bloom / StateImpact Ohio

State superintendent Stan Heffner spoke to the Akron Chamber of Commerce on Nov. 28, 2011.

Ohio state superintendent Stan Heffner has started a statewide tour to push out the message that the work that Ohio schools are doing now isn’t good enough for the future.

On Monday, he told the Akron Chamber of Commerce that in 10 years, nearly all of the highest-demand jobs in Ohio will require some kind of education beyond high school. Heffner said the state’s current school system is not up to preparing students for those jobs.

The majority of Ohio school districts get an “A” on their state report cards. But Heffner says that doesn’t mean that they’re doing a great job:

“The one thing we know for sure is that what we’re doing right now is only giving us the illusion of progress. It is not really helping us get to where we need to be, which means we’re shortchanging our kids and ourselves.”

Heffner says nearly half of Ohio high school graduates are not ready to take college-level English and math courses.

But by 2014, Ohio schools will move to a new, more difficult curriculum and a new, online testing system, too. Those tests will allow Ohio to compare its students’ performance to other states. Heffner says schools need to start preparing for those standards, and community leaders need to hold schools accountable for working toward them.


  • Anngift

    In the meantime, is the state superintendent going to continue to hand out excellent banners to the districts he says are short-changing our students? Kind of mixed message, isn’t it?

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