Written by Patricia Hawke for www.schoolsk-12.com

The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act has triggered nationwide changes. In Ohio Schools there is an ongoing effort to update the system in four basic ways. The reform process in Ohio Schools has worked to set standards in assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation. Schools that need improvement to meet the No Child Left Behind Standards have received aid from the state to achieve their goals.  
Ohio Schools first built models based on student test scores. The demographics helped the state to see where improvements needed to be made. Ohio Schools wanted to find the root of failure in their teaching methods and procedures. Teachers and administrators used the information to set new standards, planning, and implementation methods for teachers and classrooms. The program’s success is evident. Since the initiative began seven years ago, average students test scores have increased 20 points on the grading scale. Ohio Schools continue to experience success. There are no longer any Ohio Schools in a state of academic emergency and the graduation rates are still on the rise.
Ohio Schools more recently undertook a Literacy Specialist project. In an attempt to advance reading comprehension, the group has taken over a project that began with the Reading Excellence Act in 2000. Members of the board include state-level educators and university faculty. These leaders of the Ohio Schools are collaborating on teaching methods that can connect with students and correct any misunderstandings. Ohio Schools are also undergoing a makeover in the core content of their English Programs. The Literacy Specialist Project meets regularly with the English teachers at Ohio Schools to discuss new plans and classroom techniques.  Follow up visits are made to ensure that teachers implement the skills in their classrooms.
Standards based education, such as the Literacy Specialist Project, is prominent in Ohio Schools. Teachers on Loan is a program that raises awareness about standards based education in mathematics, reading, science and social studies. Ohio Schools have driven home the point that goals must be set and met in order for students to succeed in the classroom. Teachers on Loan recruits experienced teachers to be trained in new methods that they take back to their classrooms. Some of the instructional methods include proper distribution of diagnostic tests, proper collection and scoring of tests, and classroom academic assessment. With teachers better able to gauge the ability of students, Ohio Schools will have a more accurate mapping of where each of the Ohio Schools stands. So far, Teachers on Loan has been limited to the six lowest scoring Ohio Schools, but if its success rate is high, the program could spread to all schools in the region.