State Senator Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) testified today before the Constitutional Modernization Commission to discuss observations and recommendations on aligning Ohio's education sector with the work of the Commission.

Lehner provided recommendations for the need to improve education in a purposeful, strategic manner to ensure Ohio children a top quality education. A report recently released by Education Week regarding state educational performance showed Ohio ranked 23rd.

Lehner noted that in an international comparison, last year, the US high school graduation rate was 81%, while most of the nations that higher performing nations on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) have graduation rates of above 90%.

"In the 21st century, education is the backbone of our economy," said Lehner. "From pre-school to graduate school we need clear policies, aligned to a changing workforce and technologies that are appropriately funded if we are to indeed compete with our international peers."

Lehner advocated for a more streamlined state policy-making process to remove hurdles to efficient implementation, including changes to the purpose and composition of the State Board of Education.

"These suggestions are intended to be conversation-starters," said Lehner. "I hope we can agree that the current structures are outdated and not designed for the complex challenges we now have. Our children deserve better."

Lehner serves as Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, ex officio member of Ohio’s state school board and member of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Study group on International Comparisons in Education.

Senator Lehner's testimony from today's meeting can be read in full here.

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