Task Force on Best Academic Practice Models for Black Students: Background and Purpose

Delivering on the Promise of Brown v. Board of Education in Ohio

Task Force Background

Ohio has been honest and transparent in recognizing the need for improvement in achieving greater equity in the state’s education system. In Ohio’s Strategic Plan for Education, Each Child, Our Future, equity is called out as the first core principle. The plan states:

“Ohio’s greatest education challenge remains equity in education achievement for each child. The path to equity begins with a deep understanding of the history of discrimination and bias and how it has come to impact current society. This plan renews Ohio’s commitment to creating the learning conditions that ensure each child acquires the knowledge and skills across all four equal learning domains to be successful.”

The strategic plan defines equity as follows:

"Equity – Each child has access to relevant and challenging academic experiences and educational resources necessary for success across race, gender, ethnicity, language, disability, family background and/or income…."

Equity and equality are mutually integral concepts. Federal law and court cases require equality. Correcting educational inequities can assure equality based on the U.S. Constitution and legal precedent.

The commitment to equity in the strategic plan, as well as the noted disparities that exist, create the imperative for the creation of this task force to focus on improving educational outcomes for Ohio’s children who are Black.

Task Force Purpose

Ohio can, and must do better. There is significant evidence and research relative to what can work and be effective in correcting the academic inequities and improving outcomes for children who are Black. The work of the task force shall focus on the following:

  1. Understanding and identifying best academic and non-academic practice models, strategies and actions that are successful in schools and districts that have closed the achievement gap for Black students in Ohio schools.
  2. Recognizing that implementing change is the greatest challenge, identify schools that are demonstrating high-quality change and improvement management, and the practice models being used by these schools that result in overcoming barriers and closing the achievement gap.  
  3. Creating a template and self-assessment tools that schools and districts or others can use to gauge the level of implementation of best practice models, and to guide improvement planning and implementation.
  4. Identifying key strategies and actions that will serve to disseminate and promote the use and implementation of the identified best practice models.
  5. Defining a system of measurement and monitoring to gauge Ohio’s progress.
  6. Clarifying the expectations for academic achievement for each child, including each Black child.
  7. Affirming the academic expectations and goals for the statewide education system, including interim state and district targets for closing achievement gaps consistent with federal law and federal expectations that such targets be ambitious and attainable.

Last Modified: 4/29/2023 1:20:53 PM