Education Issues and Professional Development Update - March, 2021

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Please read below for information on AFT TEACH, the Ohio Dyslexia Committee, and College Credit Plus, along with recaps of recent meetings of the State Board of Education and the Educator Standards Board.

State Board of Education Meeting

The State Board of Education met on Monday and Tuesday, March 9 and 10, 2021.

Much of the meeting was spent in discussing coming action items. One issue that will be taking center stage soon is the role of remote learning post pandemic. The discussion will center around whether/how it can be used effectively in schools in the future. There is also an interest in mental health and suicide prevention as it applies to schools. Equity is another general topic being discussed each month.

Beginning last month and coming in successive months, the board will hear from districts that are embarking on making equity a focus. The featured districts so far have been Hilliard in February and Gahanna-Jefferson this month.

The operating standards for Students with Disabilities is an ongoing discussion item. Read about it in the Hannah Report.

There was also a testy conversation around the vote to approve the rules for pre-schools given that the rules focused on changes made to accommodate for the pandemic environment. Read about the discussion here.

Educator Standards Board

The Educator Standards Board met on Friday, March 12, 2021. The board discussed developing a letter of support for the State Board of Education’s Equity resolution. This will be an ongoing discussion. The board approved recommending that the State Board of Education accept the Proposed Revised Standards-Based State Framework for the Evaluation of Principals (OPES 2.0). The framework will go on to the State Board for approval in the coming months.

College Credit Plus – Rules Revision

For our locals that participate in College Credit Plus, The Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE), in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Education, will conduct a public hearing on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 beginning at 11:00 a.m.

This public hearing is a required step for the review of the College Credit Plus rules (Ohio Administrative Code 3333-1-65 through 3333-1-65.13). Rules must be reviewed every five years. The proposed revisions, posted here on the ODHE website, were created with feedback from stakeholders from secondary schools, colleges/universities, and associations.

The public hearing will be held via Webex. Click here for the link to attend the hearing.

If an individual would like to speak at the public hearing, please register via this link no later than March 23, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.

If you would prefer to send an email with your comments, please send those to

If you have issues with your program that you feel should be addressed in the revision of rules process, you can make your feelings known by either testifying at the meeting on March 30th or submitting written testimony for that meeting.

There will also be an opportunity to access the rules during the Public Comment process which should be announced soon.

Dyslexia Committee

The ODE is seeking nominations for volunteer membership on the Ohio Dyslexia Committee, which was established by recent legislation. Among other duties, the committee will be responsible for creating guidance for universal dyslexia screening and intervention and prescribing the number of clock hours for dyslexia-related professional development for educators.

Access the nomination form through this link. The Ohio Departments of Education and Higher Education are accepting nominations for committee membership through March 31.

OFT is submitting a nomination to represent the organization on the committee, but educators are welcome to self-nominate. If you are interested in participating and nominate yourself, please let Deb Tully at OFT know if you are doing so. (

AFT TEACH Calling for Proposals for the July Conference

AFT’s biennial AFT TEACH (Together Educating America’s Children) conference will be held July 6-10.

The AFT TEACH team is hard at work planning a robust, engaging professional learning conference in a virtual setting, and we hope you will consider submitting a conference proposal!

This unique professional learning conference will celebrate, inspire and support educators in the work that lies ahead. From listening to our members around the country, we know that educators want in-depth, worthwhile experiences that provide them with concrete strategies, tools and materials they can use to meet students where they are.

AFT TEACH will be held virtually July 6-10. TEACH 2021 will focus on ensuring students’ freedom to thrive. All sessions should address one of the five key areas for this year’s conference:

  • Recovering and rebuilding academically from the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Social emotional learning

  • Student and educator well-being

  • Creating anti-racist classrooms, schools and districts

  • Civics throughout the curriculum

AFT is accepting proposals for TEACH 2021 until Friday April 9th. Click here to submit proposals.

Please use this template as a guide to help you develop your presentation idea.

If selected, presenters will receive complimentary registration to the conference. AFT members submitting proposals to present at TEACH should have their proposal approved by their local union president. If a member’s proposal is accepted, or if any of the presenters are members, we will require approval from their local union president for them to present at TEACH 2021.

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