Dates: May 1-3, 2015
Location: Embassy Suites Hotel, 5100 Upper Metro Place, Dublin, Ohio, just off I-270. Phone: 1-614-790-9000
Hosts: Central District Branches of AAUW Ohio
News: The branch with the highest percentage of members attending will receive a new award.
Deadlines: Deadline for the pre-event rate is May 1. Deadline for hotel reservations is April 10.
Links to more:
A Tech Savvy Conference will be held at Stark State College on Saturday, April 25, in conjunction with Alcoa. Tech Savvy is a daylong science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) career conference, powered by AAUW, designed to attract girls in sixth through ninth grade to these fields and to inform families about STEM education and careers.
Click here to register for and obtain additional information about the April 25 Tech Savvy Conference at Stark State.
The fee is $5 per person. Alcoa provided a grant to further expand Tech Savvy to the Barberton, Ohio, area.
AAUW and members across the country are grateful for Alcoa’s generous contribution of these funds to expand this program.
Download the Tech Savvy flyer for the April 25 event and spread the word.
Find out more
- Position papers and “Quick Facts” one-pagers that provide a solid primer on AAUW priority issues (hint: these are great items to give to lawmakers during your legislative advocacy days and in-district meetings!)
- State-specific fact sheets on the gender pay gap by congressional district
- Official AAUW letters sent to Congress and the administration, which can provide guidance for your own state or branch letters to state or local officials
- How-to guides for advocacy activities such as cake deliveries, rallies, letters to the editor, tabling, petitions, house meetings, voter registration, and more!
- Sample proclamations to mark key days of action in your state and community
- “Leadership Essentials” for public policy chairs to help orient new state and branch public policy chairs (and give prospective public policy chairs a sense of what the role entails!)
- Printable sign-up sheets for AAUW Action Network that you can use at branch meetings and events to help grow our e-advocacy network of Two-Minute Activists (the sign-up sheets also contain an option for people to sign up for Washington Update!)
- An online system that enables AAUW state leaders to set up state-specific “Two-Minute Activist” alerts on their own so that you can contact state elected officials with just a few clicks! (Some states are already doing awesome work with this tool, and we’re excited to roll out our plan later this spring to bring training and implementation to more states.)
- Free stickers, posters, and other “AAUW swag” available for order through the upcoming policy events form
- And, of course, this weekly Washington Update newsletter is your top resource for the latest public policy information and updates from the AAUW policy shop.
Questions about any of these resources? Got an idea for a new resource? Want to let AAUW know about your latest and greatest public policy idea? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the fab public policy team AAAUW by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 202.785.7793.
Testimony on H.B. 2
Presented to the House Education Committee
The Hon. Bill Hayes, Chair
By Jennifer M. Dillard, Public Policy Advocate
American Association of University Women of Ohio
March 11, 2015
Chairman Hayes, Vice Chair Brenner, and members of the committee: My name is Jennifer Dillard, and I am speaking for the American Association of University Women of Ohio, representing 1,500 members in 44 branches throughout the state. Since 1881, AAUW has been a leading voice promoting education and equity for women and girls.
AAUW Ohio strongly supports innovative educational methods that promote a strong system of public education. While community schools can provide an opportunity for such innovation, we believe that the flexibility granted to community schools must still come with clear responsibilities; all publically funded schools-including community schools – must be accountable to the public for academic achievement, health and safety standards, the civil rights of students, and fiscal transparency. Therefore, we applaud the efforts of HB 2 to improve oversight of Ohio’s community schools. However, there are areas where the bill could be strengthened.
House Bill 2 must include a provision that would require community schools to make their finances open to the public. If community schools receive taxpayer money, then they should be required by law to make transparent how that money is being spent. Such a provision in the law would bring community schools on par with traditional public schools in the areas of fiscal transparency and accountability to the public.
House Bill 2 must include a provision that would prevent failing community schools from continuing to receive public monies at the same level as local public schools that are doing well. A community school receives approximately $5,745 from the state per student whereas the average public school district receives $4,149 per student. Public school districts are forced to make up the difference in state funding though local revenue or by cutting their budgets.
It is not fair for poor performing charters schools to receive more state money than public schools that are doing well. House Bill 2 as written, addresses the issue of poor performing schools by giving power to the Ohio Department of Education to not renew sponsorships to failing schools. Let’s further strengthen this provision by granting the Ohio Department of Education the authority to close poor performing community schools more quickly.
AAUW Ohio believes that quality public education is the foundation of a democratic society and we urge the committee to strengthen House Bill 2 by requiring community schools to make their finances open to the public and by granting the Ohio Department of Education the authority to close poor performing community schools more quickly.
Thank you for your time.
House Education Committee
Interested Party Testimony on HB 2
March 9, 2015
Presented by Ohio Association of Public School Employees, Ohio Parent Teacher Association, League of Women Voters, Ohio Federation of Teachers and American Association of University Women of Ohio
Chairman Hayes, Vice Chair Brenner and Ranking Member Fedor, I am Darold Johnson, Legislative Director for the Ohio Federation of Teachers, and this testimony is supported by the Ohio Association of Public School Employees, the Ohio Parent Teacher Association, the League of Women Voters of Ohio, the Ohio Federation of Teachers and the American Association of University Women.
Each of these organizations participate in a coalition that has been monitoring charter school performance in Ohio for more than 14 years; however, the concept of charter schools began even earlier.
American Federation of Teachers President Albert Shanker first proposed the concept of charter schools in a 1988 speech to the National Press Club. His idea for charter schools was modeled after a concept he observed in German schools. He wanted charters to be a new kind of public school, a school within a school that would allow teachers to experiment with innovative approaches to educating students. Publicly funded but independently managed, these schools would be given a charter to try their fresh approaches for a set period of time and be renewed only if they succeeded. According to Richard Kahlenberg’s biography of Shanker, Tough Liberal, charters were to be educational laboratories where teachers would be empowered to draw on their expertise to create breakthrough strategies which could be applied broadly to public schools. As the state affiliate of the AFT, OFT is very proud of Shanker’s inventive new approach to education.
Before his death in 1997, Shanker, according to Kahlenberg, watched with growing dismay as opportunists morphed his idea into something quite different. Shanker was disturbed that the market-driven charter school rationale led some states to allow private, for-profit corporations to enter the charter school business. For-profit companies, he warned, would inevitably put shareholder interests before educating children.
But Shanker wasn’t willing to throw in the towel entirely. In a 1996 AFT Executive Council meeting, he suggested it was time to separate the wheat from the chaff. He suggested that AFT put out a careful analysis of types of charter schools to highlight successes and failures of the various charter school models. Such an analysis “could have a tremendous impact on influencing good legislation and getting rid of lousy legislation.”
Ten years after Shanker originally proposed the charter idea, the charter school movement started in Ohio. It has grown from a pilot to impact almost every district in the state. Unfortunately, the concept has been co-opted, and, instead of being incubators for innovation that could be spread across the system, charters have become a competing force that has produced far more failure and financial waste for taxpayers and children in this state. According to Ohio Department of Education report card data, too many charter schools fail to meet the academic needs of children in Ohio.
ODE’s 2012-2013 Annual Report on Ohio Community Schools shows that almost six in 10 charter schools earned a C or below on Ohio’s measure of student growth and nearly nine in 10 charter schools produced student performance at a C or below.
We appreciate the recognition of this fact by Representatives Dovilla and Roegner. HB 2 is a first and long needed step toward separating the wheat from the chaff.
It’s time for Ohio to take the steps necessary to shed the label of being the “wild, wild west of charter schools” and instead become a model for ensuring quality in the system. One of the first and most needed steps toward this goal is increasing transparency and accountability. We offer the following amendments that will both increase public accountability and give parents more information so that they can make well-informed choices. These amendments are based on recommendations suggested by the Columbus Dispatch, the Fordham Bellwether Report, and the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University.
Each of these organizations has long advocated for high quality charter schools. High quality charter schools can be a pathway to new innovation as long as they remain associated with public schools and their operations are open to full disclosure.
Thank you for your time and attention. This concludes our testimony and I welcome any questions.
See more testimony on the Statewide Public Policy Advocacy page.
Do you know an outstanding young woman with leadership potential? Tell her to apply for an AAUW Ohio scholarship to attend the 2015 National Conference for College Women Student Leaders by submitting the AAUW Ohio NCCWSL Scholarship Application by March 29.
The 30th anniversary conference will be held May 28-30 at the University of Maryland in College Park. Regular registration runs April 2–May 7.
AAUW Ohio will support the conference by underwriting two students to attend it. Each student will receive $400 toward their registration. Interested students may apply by downloading, completing and submitting the AAUW Ohio NCCWSL Scholarship Application by March 29.
When wage equality received national attention last week following the Oscars, news media across the country quickly turned to AAUW’s equal pay research and sought out AAUW’s policy expert for commentary. National news outlets including CBS News, Huffington Post, and MSN.com cited AAUW’s research, and Variety interviewed AAUW Vice President of Government Relations Lisa M. Maatz. At the local level, Phoenix affiliate ABC15 interviewed AAUW member Jodi Liggett about the gender pay gap, AAUW’s work on equal pay, and what individuals can do to close the pay gap.
Along those same lines comes AAUW’s “Jeer of the Week.” A recent study by Ernst & Young found that of all the members of corporate boards in the S&P 1500 in 2014, there were more men named John, Robert, William, or James than there were women overall. As Karyn Twaronite, Ernst & Young’s global diversity and inclusion officer put it, “The idea that we can essentially pick out four common men’s names, at random, and find this shows there’s a long way to go.”
- AAUW Ohio Equity Day and Convention 2015 highlights, as well as registration and accommodation details. We have gone modern: Our registration is now online, and you can register for members who don’t have internet access! Be sure to register by March 20 to get the Early Bird Registration Rate.
- A fun and inspiring message from President Christine Siebeneck that talks about pantries and objectives.
- News about branch awards. Make sure your branch applies!
- Public policy update
- Ohio Century Fund news: We have met our goal!
- News from our branches and AAUW National.
Download more issues issues of Ohio Orbit.
Make sure your branch receives the recognition it deserves by applying for AAUW Ohio awards that will be given out at AAUW Ohio Equity Day and Convention 2015. Here are the details.
Criteria will include the Diversity Goals for branches. Branches must meet at least three of the goals. To apply for recognition, branches must send a written statement on their accomplishments, with documentation, to the Ohio Diversity Chair, 157 Third St., Cardington, OH 43315. Statements should include branch name, name and signature of president, telephone number, e-mail for contact and name of diversity chair. Material must be received before April 2. Press clippings, news articles in branch publications, listings form branch yearbook, photographs from events or meetings constitute documentation.
Send your Branch Program Booklets for the 2014-2015 Mission-Based Programming Awards to Jo Dye, Program Vice President, at 645 North Court St., Circleville, OH 43113 by April 2.
Download the Starz Award Application Form as a PDF and get award details online. Starz applications should be completed and mailed to JoAnn Benseler, 147 Sandstone Loop East, Westerville OH 43081, by March 16.
Communication Star Award
Get recognition for your branch as a 2015 Communication Star for its use of print and online communications and social media. Get the guidelines and entry form online. Entries must be received by April 2.
Zanesville Branch will sponsor a Women’s History Month presentation — “The Remarkable Women Who Flew Military Aircraft in World War II” — at 2 p.m., Saturday, March 28, at the John McIntire Library, lower level auditorium, 220 North Fifth St., Zanesville.
The program will be presented by Betty Darst who is known for her living history portrayals. She has traveled extensively and conducted intense personal study of history and drama to bring life to some of Ohio’s most extraordinary women. She will share the story of the unsung heroines of World War II – the first American women to fly military aircraft. Betty is vice president of the National Aviation Hall of Fame and works with mentoring programs, encouraging high school girls to reach for the sky.
This event is sponsored by a grant from the Ohio Humanities, and is part of the Zanesville Branch celebration of Women’s History Month, hosted by the Muskingum County Library System, in conjunction with the John and Annie Glenn Historic Site, New Concord.
The event is free and open to the public. Reservations are required. For reservations, call 740-453-0391, Ext. 116 or 132.
AAUW received a $100,000 grant from Symantec Corporation to develop a cybersecurity core class for middle school girls interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
The grant will expand the curriculum for the AAUW National Tech Trek Program, a highly successful, weeklong STEM summer camp program that will serve more than 1,600 girls at 21 sites around the nation in 2015. The cybersecurity course will be piloted at camps at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, Stanford University, and the University of California, Irvine. Stanford, the site of the first-ever Tech Trek, will also host an upcoming summit on cybersecurity and consumer protection.
“Providing STEM and literacy education to young adults, particularly women and minorities, is a business imperative at Symantec in order to build a diversified and innovative workforce for the future,” said Cecily Joseph, vice president of corporate responsibility at Symantec.
“We seek to help bridge the skills gap, looking at how to create a pipeline of STEM-trained and educated future leaders ready to address and help solve problems related to cybersecurity. This grant will help build the pipeline of qualified girls to enter the in-demand field of cybersecurity.”
Next month, AAUW is set to release a new research report, Solving the Equation: The Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing, that examines the factors behind women’s persistent underrepresentation in those fields. The report makes evidence-based recommendations for change so that girls who want to invent the next Facebook or build the next Mars rover will feel empowered to do what inspires them.
“Women make up just 26 percent of the computing workforce, but AAUW is working hard to increase that number. We’re glad to have Symantec Corporation supporting our efforts to encourage girls to consider the full range of STEM studies and career options, including becoming cybersecurity experts,” said AAUW Executive Director and CEO Linda D. Hallman, CAE.
AAUW of California founded Tech Trek in 1998, and in 2012 the AAUW national organization started the National Tech Trek Pilot Program to give girls across the country access to this rich learning experience. AAUW’s STEM camps and conferences focus on girls in middle school because those years are a crucial time to maintain and build on girls’ interest in STEM.
Read more on the AAUW blog: 3 Reasons We Want to Introduce Girls to Cybersecurity