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Ohio Teachers Talk Education Policy in D.C.

300 Ohio educators join thousands from around the nation in Washington, D.C., to talk education this week. (Pixabay)
300 Ohio educators join thousands from around the nation in Washington, D.C., to talk education this week. (Pixabay)
June 29, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- While Ohio's kids are enjoying a break from the books during the summer, educators are still on the job. Some teachers are getting more training or developing lesson plans and others are working to improve education policies.

Becky Higgins, president of the Ohio Education Association, is among 300 educators who are in the nation's capital this week for the National Education Association's Representative Assembly.

Implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which recently replaced No Child Left Behind, will be a hot topic at the meeting, Higgins said. The measure gives states more control in establishing criteria for student achievement, she said.

"That gives us an opportunity here in Ohio for not only educators and those at the Statehouse but parents and students to have a voice in what education looks like here in Ohio," Higgins said.

Representatives from every state are expected at the annual assembly, and will develop a budget and set legislative priorities for education for the year. Higgins said they'll also discuss this year's national elections and how they may impact education. Elected leaders at the local, state and national level need to listen to teachers, she said, because they are the experts when it comes to education.

"We know what makes for the high-quality education," she said, "so I would just hope that they would continue to listen to us and listen to our voice because the students are truly at the center of everything we do."

The National Education Association has nearly 3 million members, and Higgins said they have a powerful voice. In the 2012 presidential election, one out of every 58 votes was cast by an NEA member.

More information is online at

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH