Week in Review - 10/04/2019

Week in Review - 10/04/2019

CHILDREN/FAMILIES

The sponsors of a bill to educate children on preventing childhood sexual abuse sought to distinguish their measure from other sex education efforts at a Tuesday meeting of the House Health Committee. 


Reps. Scott Lipps (R-Franklin) and Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati) said their bill, HB321, would require age-appropriate instruction in child sexual abuse prevention for kids in kindergarten through sixth grade and age-appropriate instruction in sexual violence prevention education for seventh through 12th grades.


EDUCATION

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recently recognized 362 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2019. A total of 14 of those schools are in Ohio. The recognition is based on a school's overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.


Schools serving disadvantaged and minority children teach as much to their students as those serving more advantaged kids, according to a nationwide study released recently by Ohio State University (OSU). The results might seem surprising, given that student test scores are normally higher in suburban and wealthier school districts than they are in urban districts serving mostly disadvantaged and minority children. But those test scores speak more to what happens outside the classroom than to how schools themselves are performing, said Douglas Downey, lead author and professor of sociology at OSU.


Counselors, teachers, local school leadership and health care organizations urged lawmakers Tuesday to institute health education standards in Ohio, saying the measure can pay dividends in academic achievement as well as help to address other concerns like increased childhood obesity and Ohio's addiction crisis. Proponents testified in the Senate Education Committee in support of SB121 (Sykes-Kunze), which would require the State Board of Education adopt such standards. Some committee members appeared skeptical, questioning why local schools can't address the issue themselves and whether statewide standards would be relevant to the varying health concerns of communities.


A group of senators will visit Massachusetts on Monday, Oct. 7 in search of lessons from that state's experience with school turnaround efforts in the city of Springfield, as part of continued work to change Ohio's academic distress law via HB154 (Jones-J. Miller). "We're going to see if we can get some fresh ideas here that can infuse some life into 154," Sen. Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering), chair of the Senate Education Committee, told Hannah News.


GENERAL ASSEMBLY/STATEHOUSE

The family of an 11-year-old Columbus girl who was killed after being struck by two vehicles while crossing the street to catch her bus testified before the Senate Transportation, Commerce and Workforce Committee on Wednesday in support of SB134 (Gavarone) to increase penalties against drivers who go around stopped buses with flashing lights. They said they don't want any family to have to go through what they are going through now. Elizabeth Robertson-Rutland was killed in Columbus on Sept. 18 early in the morning when she was struck while crossing the street to catch her bus.