By Heather Anerino
Ohio University's College of Education, Athens County school districts, the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, and Hocking College will host a Watch Party for Gov. Ted Strickland's Aug. 18 Conversation on Education.
The event at Ohio University, which offers attendees the opportunity to watch a live broadcast of the governor's discussion in Washington County and participate in a facilitated discussion afterward, will be held in the Baker University Center Ballroom. Doors open at 4 p.m., and the governor speaks at 5 p.m.
Strickland is conducting a series of 12 discussions throughout the state to vet proposed ideas for creating an education system that is innovative, personalized and linked to economic prosperity. The goal is to involve parents, students, teachers, school administrators, community leaders and others in discussions about how best to achieve that transformation.
"The Watch Party is a wonderful opportunity for our university and Athens County communities to come together and collaborate on ways to improve our state's education system," President Roderick J. McDavis said. "It is important that we participate in this much-needed conversation about education in Ohio because today's students are tomorrow's leaders."
Strickland's conversation in Washington County will be broadcast live on WOUB digital channel 20.4 at 5 p.m. Because the forums are invitation-only events, the Watch Party gives other area residents the opportunity to view them as a group. To watch the governor's Conversations on Education via the Web, visit www.woub.org.
Once Strickland has finished speaking, Watch Party participants will take part in small-group discussions and propose suggestions for education reform. Proposals that, in the view of participants, rise to the top will be submitted to the governor's office immediately following the Watch Party.
The discussion following the Watch Party will be streamed live via the Internet at http://streaming.cns.ohiou.edu/COE/20080818.htm. This Web page will be available beginning at 6:30 p.m.
A number of area education officials will facilitate the Watch Party discussion, including:
- Renee A. Middleton, dean of Ohio University's College of Education
- John D. Costanzo, superintendent of the Athens-Meigs Educational Service Center
- Carl Martin, superintendent of Athens City Schools
- Jim Patsey, superintendent of Federal Hocking Local School District
- Bob Bray, superintendent of Alexander Local School District
- Ted Bayat, superintendent of Nelsonville-York City School District
- Cindy Johnston, superintendent of Trimble Local School District
- Fred Harner, executive director of Educational Technology for Southeast Ohio
"With the help of Athens County school districts and Hocking College, our region is approaching education reform from a unified standpoint," Middleton said. "This is our chance as residents of Ohio to work together and help in the development of a plan to make Ohio a leader in the global job market."
Strickland has stressed that world-class schools are vital to Ohio's economic future and can become a reality only with input from a broad representation of Ohioans. In each forum, he focuses on the six principles for education reform:
- Strengthening the commitment to public education;
- Linking education to economic prosperity;
- Identifying and building on the strengths of Ohio's schools;
- Consulting and following the lead of successful teachers;
- Developing specific, personalized education programs to meet individual students' needs;
- Using testing to understand students' capabilities, weaknesses and growth.
Strickland plans a second round of forums this fall that will focus on financing a reformed system of education. He plans to introduce an education reform proposal in 2009.
More information and live video of Strickland's forums can be found at www.ConversationOnEducation.org.
To speak with a media representative about this story, contact Heather Anerino at 740-590-6548 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated Aug. 7, 2008.