Sunday, June 18, 2000

   Youngsters aged as education did

By Phillip Pina
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Education has gone through dramatic changes during the Class of 2000's 13 years in school.

        Computers have changed how they learn. And proficiency tests have changed how they are graded.

        “The world we are preparing these students for is very different from the way it was 13 years ago,” said LeeAnne Rogers, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Education. What and how children are being taught is changing to meet those demands.

        In 1987, there were 32 students for each computer in U.S. schools. Typing classes were given in high schools. Proficiency tests were a new idea in Ohio.

        Now called keyboarding, students as young as third grade are taught typing skills. Standardized tests are a part of everyday life. Now there is one computer for every seven students in Ohio. And the state's public schools have been wired to the Internet.

        It's a seismic shift.

        “Schools are reservoirs of tradition,” said Miami University education professor Douglas Brooks. Teaching concepts as well as other disciplines have stood still for centuries.

        “The teacher stands before the class and teaches the same thing repetitively from year to year,” said Sam Orth, executive director of SchoolNet, the state agency charged with wiring and providing computers to Ohio's schools.

        Technology is changing all that.

        Teachers still use chalkboards and books to teach reading but just as readily turn to computer programs that grade progress as well as pinpoint problem.

        Many rural schools rely on satellite links to offer specialized courses not otherwise available. And text books are being replaced by laptops in some districts.

        Education has also been forced to become more results oriented.

        The state of Ohio has relied on proficiency tests the past decade to monitor student progress. But the scores are also used to debate what and how students are taught.

        It is only natural to see schools adjust their curriculum to focus on improving test scores, Mr. Brooks said. What that jeopardizes is the ability to meet the needs of the students.

Breaking out of the bubble
-    Youngsters aged as education did
   Technology opened new world to students
   Kindergarten teacher shares rewards, joy

A clean sweep for Ohio River
Gas theft rising with prices
Remembering a nightmare
Dad longs for missing child
Festival celebrates slaves' freedom
The Arts Life: Wrapped up in fiber art
   Fiber arts exhibits blanket Tristate
SAMPLES: NASCAR an acquired taste
Clooney, Borgman among new inductees into Cincinnati Journalism Hall of Fame
DEMALINE: Janus Project puts emphasis on women in theater
Herald of heritage
House, park are rebuilt jewels
KENDRICK: Readers offer words of hope to man with terrible illness
Mason firefighter retires, but passion for helping still burns
Movie casting call next Saturday
Neighbors help save man's life
New maestro warms up for CCO
Newport shelter nearer opening
Opera to take Muni's direction twice
Planting seeds of knowledge
PULFER: A real lesson
Starling strings together successes
Wailers keep Marley's legacy alive
BRONSON: Death penalty
DAUGHERTY: Homearama features big mortgages, small yards
Get to it
Pig Parade: Cinsownnati 1800-Cinsownnati 2000
Tristate A.M. Report