OHIO SCHOOLS Looking for ways to attract teachers
Trumbull and Mahoning counties are represented on the governor's new commission.
By AMANDA C. DAVIS
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
Janine Harrison is worried that a large turnover in the teaching profession will leave Ohio schools with a critical shortage in the next 10 years.
To head that off, she and 45 other Ohio educators are meeting to discuss methods to attract and retain teachers.
Harrison, a 28-year educator with Liberty schools and a part-time instructor of African literature at Youngstown State University, has been named to Gov. Bob Taft's Commission on Teaching Success, along with Dr. Roan Craig, superintendent of Mahoning County Career and Technical Center in Canfield.
Taft has charged the commission with recommending policies to ensure a caring, competent teacher for every Ohio student.
Harrison, who teaches at Liberty High School, said that education is not a high-paying field and that trends indicate college students are choosing other areas of study.
"It's not the best-paid job out there," she said. "I think we're going to see a big change in the next five to 10 years."
About the panel: The commission is an offshoot of the Governor's Commission for Student Success, which provided the foundation for Senate Bill 1, which Taft signed into law June 12.
The law creates a system of high academic standards, common-sense assessments and accountability for results, including a process for persistently failing schools.
It also established the Governor's Commission on Teaching Success.
"I'm very excited about this," said Craig, who is in her second year as superintendent. Before that, she served as the vocational school's director.
"I represent career and technical schools," she said, "and I'm concerned about the lack of qualified teachers coming into this profession."
The commission will meet every other month in Columbus and during off months will meet in smaller communities to discuss tasks and goals.
Knowledgeable: Taft said teachers are on the front lines of "the defining challenge of our generation enabling every child to succeed."
He said the commission consists of an accomplished, broad-based team of educators, business and community leaders, parents and students.
The commission will advise the governor, the Ohio General Assembly, the state Board of Education and the Ohio Board of Regents, which governs the state's colleges, on issues including teacher recruitment and preparation, professional development, support and retention.
It will report its findings and make recommendations by Dec. 31, 2002.
The commission's first meeting will be Friday at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, 400 N. High St.