Give students tools to keep improving

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 27, 2003

Tribune editorial staff

The news Ohio students are doing better on the national yardstick of proficiency is encouraging.

According to the "Nation's Report Card: Reading 2002," of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Ohio eighth-graders ranked eight overall out of the 41 states that took part in the evaluation while fourth-graders placed 12th among 43 states. While the state is not quite where it needs to be, Ohio students are doing better than most other states.

Email newsletter signup

What is important is that Ohio students continue to improve. While accountability and test scores are necessary for this to happen, our legislators must make sure the funding is available so our schools can compete with those of other states.

In a year in which the Legislature has snipped at the state budget in an attempt to balance it, just about every area will likely sustain a hit. We just hope when the final two-year budget is signed into law by July 1, appropriate funding will be available to our schools.

While we should always strive to keep pace with our counterparts, the No Child Left Behind Act has put additional pressure on our public schools. The No Child Left Behind Act requires schools across the country to bring all test scores up to the state and federal index by 2014. It also demands that schools continually raise test scores on a yearly basis.

While Ohio has won early approval

by the U.S. Department of Education for an accountability plan that will measure how well Ohio schools are complying with the plan, funding has to be in place to make sure we continue to make progress.

Money for primary and secondary education should not be put on the chopping block. While actually creating an education system that leaves no child behind -as implied by the No Child Left Behind Act - is a far stretch, trying to do so with a thin wallet will be virtually impossible.

We are proud of the progress of Ohio's students. We just ask the Ohio Legislature to give them the funding to keep improving and, hopefully, one day move to No. 1 on the list.