Education headlines send vital messages

Recent news headlines from the past 8 weeks call attention to a number of significant issues and concerns about our nation’s educational system. Consider, if you will, the following brief looks at a few of such articles.

From Education Week of 12-15-08:  K-12 Threatened as State Spending Slumps. A new report warns that the first drop in education expenditures in a quarter-century bodes ill for states’ economic  future.  Ohio’s budget shortfall for next year is just one typical example.  A USA TODAY 12-12-08 article from the AP focuses on major cuts in after-school programs for “latch-key kids”.  With parents struggling to keep their own jobs, the loss of such quality learning-focused care for their children is a major added worry.

Science Daily (11-19-08) tells us that Sleep Helps People Learn Complicated Tasks.  We have known for years that our youth need more sleep than they now typically get if their learning is to be maximized.  This is just the most recent study to verify how essential sleep is for our minds to work most effectively.

Education Week (11-19-08) reported the failure of a major federal program backed by the administration via this headline:  No Effect on Comprehension Seen From “Reading First.”  Over $6 billion in funding has “not had an impact on reading comprehension among 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders in participating schools,” was the conclusion of one of the largest and most rigorous studies ever done for the US Dept. of Educ.  Now if only those many $$ could have been spent on workable programs rather than political favorites.

The Chicago Tribune’s Dec. 11, 2008 article headline read, “Study: College Success Starts Early:  college preparation begins in elementary and middle school, too, authors say.”  The opening paragraph sets out the problem:  “Fewer than 2 in 10 of the nation’s 8th graders are on track to be academically prepared for college, and high school may be too late to bring them up to speed,”  Parents must work with their local elementary and middle schools to help change this problem.

However, the Boston Globe’s 11-16-08 article on school district professional development time for faculty to become better was NOT favored by some parents. The headline read, “Parents lament lost time:  Middle schools add early release days.”

Asking teachers to engage in serious learning about how to help more children do better in school simply does not work well if done after a long full day of teaching.  School leaders know that early dismissal time is much more effective for such gains in teaching skills.  But not all parents see beyond their own child care needs.

I find it interesting about how much education is in the news, yet it seemed to be so hidden in the recent presidential campaign.  Perhaps we citizens need to make sure that our politicians of both parties hear our voices loud and clear!

Andrews Hall of Honor nominations
being accepted

The Oakwood City School District is now accepting written nominations for the Sam Andrews Educational Hall of Honor. Nominations must be submitted to the Superintendent, Dr. Mary Jo Scalzo, and mailed or delivered to the Board Office, 20 Rubicon Road, Dayton, OH 45409, by April 17, 2009.  

The nominee should be retired from school employment or voluntary school-related service for three years or more.

The nomination should include how the honoree has made “a distinguished and significant contribution toward the beneficial growth and education of the students in this community which shall serve to commemorate the high ideals that characterized the life and career of Sam Andrews.”

Please include adequate background information on the nominee so that he/she may receive optimum consideration by the selection committee. Once nominated, a person remains eligible during the year of nomination and for two additional years.

A nomination form and information on the background of the award is available by calling Sandy Maresh at the Board of Education at 297-5332, email at, or via the district home page at However, submissions may be made without using the form. The nominations will include a three-step process:

Nominations for the 2009 Sam Andrews Educational Hall of Honor must be submitted by April 17, 2009.

Supporting letters for these nominees should be submitted to the school district by May 22, 2009.

Seeking 2009 Distinguished Alumni nominations

After a successful inaugural ceremony, the Oakwood High School Alumni Board is again seeking nominations for the Oakwood High School Distinguished Alumni Award.  The deadline for submission of nomination forms and letters of support is Monday, Jan. 5, 2009.  

Nomination forms are available on the Alumni webpage at  You may email your nominations to Your nomination forms or letters of support may also be mailed to or dropped off at 20 Rubicon Road, Dayton,. OH  45409

The 2009 OHS Distinguished Alumni Award ceremony will be held on May 15, 2009.

If you have any questions on criteria, forms, supporting materials or other award-related inquiries, please contact OHS Alumni Director Rande Rinn Chapman ’74 at 937-298-8711 or e-mail her at



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December 23, 2008
Volume 17, No. 52

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