Understanding Each Child, Our Future: Vision and One Goal

1/2/2019

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 fourth in an 11-part series that walks EdConnection readers through the plan. Last week’s installment discussed the three core principles that lay the foundation of Each Child, Our Future. This week’s article covers the vision and one goal on pages 9-10 of the plan, which can be found in its entirety by clicking here.

VISION

A plan that involves many partners calls for a vision, or desired state, so everyone knows what they are working toward. Here is Ohio’s vision for education, explained in the light of the plan’s three core principles: Equity, Partnerships and Quality Schools.

In Ohio, each child is challenged to discover and learn, prepared to pursue a fulfilling post-high school path and empowered to become a resilient, lifelong learner who contributes to society.

The use of the phrase each child is intentional, emphasizing the importance of giving each child equitable educational opportunities.

Challenging, preparing and empowering students is a community-wide effort. Partnerships represent the collective action needed to support each child and increase the likelihood of student success.

This state-level vision is realized locally in each school, which is critical to another of the plan’s three core principles: Quality Schools. Many schools and districts have completed local strategic plans that seek a similar aim. The state plan can help amplify the good work already underway across many districts.

ONE GOAL

The singular, overarching goal of Each Child, Our Future states what we want to see in every graduate one year after completing preK-12 education in Ohio:

Ohio will increase annually the percentage of its high school graduates who, one year after graduation, are:

  • Enrolled and succeeding in a post-high school learning experience, including an adult career-technical education program, an apprenticeship and/or a two-year or four-year college program;
  • Serving in a military branch;
  • Earning a living wage; or
  • Engaged in a meaningful, self-sustaining vocation.

There are many paths to success, and each child can succeed on one or more pathways. Ohio must provide the supports each child needs so personal and social circumstances do not prevent that child from reaching his or her greatest aspiration and potential. Again, that’s educational equity.

Partners will share the responsibility of helping students explore and imagine their futures. Given challenges like our state’s opioid crisis and other social stressors — innovative partnerships can provide supports, both in and out of school, that we need to create hope for students and their families.

Every school must commit to educating and supporting students so they gain the knowledge and skills they need for future success. Adults working inside and outside of schools should have a shared definition of future success. A shared understanding will help each child reach his or her goal.

In next week’s EdConnection, watch for details on what Each Child, Our Future calls four equal learning “domains” (areas) in which we want our students to build knowledge and skills.