Ohio’s Work to Support Children from Marginalized Groups
The Ohio Deans Compact on Exceptional Children has a mission to act collectively in support of improved learning and results for all children, but especially those from marginalized groups. Compact serves as a forum for shared learning and collective action. Due to its efforts, critical connections have been made within and outside the state through representation from key stakeholder groups, including the members of Ohio Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and AACTE.
The 30-member organization meets quarterly and is comprised of leaders from the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE). Compact members participate on one of four standing committees (Dissemination, Impact Evaluation, Low Incidence, Policy). Institutions that are awarded incentive grants through the Compact participate in a facilitated community of practice (CoP), which serves as a peer-to-peer network for representatives from public and private institutions.
Recognizing that marginalization and exclusion are common practices in American schools, Compact is organized around a commitment to social justice, equity, and inclusivity. Together, members of the Compact seek to
- Improve the capacity of Ohio teacher, administrator, and related services personnel preparation programs to better prepare professional educators to work together to more effectively teach and support every child;
- Promote higher education – school district partnerships that support diversification of the educator workforce;
- Support efforts that improve the capacity of all educators to teach all children to read well using evidence-based practices aligned with Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement; and
- Increase the level of collaborative inquiry among Ohio’s institutions of higher education (IHE)—and between higher education, PK12 school districts, professional associations, and regional and state agencies—to foster improvement in the preparation and ongoing professional development of educators skilled in meeting the instructional needs of all children.
The activities of Compact, which are intended to eliminate silos and broaden the notion of inclusiveness beyond a GE-SE conversation, focus on incentivizing the development of more inclusive models of educator preparation. In addition to the standing committees, three additional groups focus on specific areas of the Compact’s work.
The P20 Literacy Collaborative functions as a peer-to-peer learning group or community of practice, is to support authentic, meaningful, and sustainable university-school district partnerships to strengthen core reading course content offered through Ohio IHEs, improve equitable access to high-quality literacy instruction and equitable literacy outcomes for struggling learners. Additionally, the group funds development efforts that support collective inquiry into common problems of practice related to improving literacy results for all learners.
The Diversifying the Educator Workforce (DEW) Committee, which is supported through the Compact’s partnership with the national CEEDAR Center, identifies strategies to affect state policy and practice in actualizing the Compact’s position statement against social and racial injustice.
The Low Incidence Sensory Disability (LISD) Collaborative—established in 2015 through the Compact’s Low Incidence Committee, has developed multi-IHE collaborative preparation to address longstanding severe shortages in personnel available to meet the needs of children with LISD, particularly in hard-to-staff areas of the state.
To learn more, visit ohiodeanscompact.org