Understanding Each Child, Our Future: An introduction to our upcoming series
Each Child, Our Future is Ohio’s five-year strategic plan to ensure each student enjoys a bright future thanks to an excellent preK-12 education experience. More than 150 Ohio-based partners helped develop Each Child, Our Future, along with feedback from 1,200 Ohio parents, caregivers, preK-12 and postsecondary educators, employers, business leaders, community members, state legislators and students.
This is the first in an 11-part series of articles that will walk EdConnection readers through the plan. This week’s article covers pages 4-6 of the plan, which can be found in its entirety by clicking here.
Each Child, Our Future is designed to inspire and excite educators and students, guide upcoming state-level education policies and promote high-quality educational practices in Ohio’s classrooms. The plan responds to the changing needs of students, schools and employers.
- Jobs are rapidly changing and require different skill sets — A recent study predicts that nearly half of Ohio’s workers are in jobs that will be automated in the coming years. Future workers (our students) will change jobs more often, use technology more regularly and need to learn new, more sophisticated skills to get or keep jobs. More preK-12 students will need technical training or postsecondary education to compete.
- More diverse student body with nuanced learning needs — In the last 10 years, Ohio’s Hispanic student population has doubled, and the number of English learners has risen 85 percent. Gifted students and students with disabilities each make up about 15 percent of the student population. These groups bring different learning needs to the classroom. Moreover, thousands of students face learning inequities because of limited access to critical education opportunities such as quality preschools, effective teachers and career exploration. You can dive deeper into Ohio’s education landscape by clicking here.
- Increased student exposure to poverty and social stressors, such as homelessness and personal or family drug abuse — Today, more Ohio students than ever suffer the effects of poverty and other adverse childhood experiences. Almost 51 percent of Ohio students are economically disadvantaged. The percentage of homeless students has doubled, while the percentage of students in foster care has risen more than 50 percent. Ohio leads the nation in heroin and synthetic drug overdoses, and the crisis is straining children’s services and education delivery systems.
Each Child, Our Future acknowledges these Ohio-specific trends, which make a compelling case for why the plan is needed now.
Next week, we will learn about the components of Each Child, Our Future that address the physical, social, emotional and academic needs of the whole child.