STATEMENT: School Report Card Data Underscores Importance of Investing in Quality Early Childhood Education
Ohio’s Latest School Report Cards Illustrate the Urgent Need for Policymakers to Invest in Quality Early Childhood Education to Prepare Kids for School, Career, and Life
COLUMBUS, OH – On Thursday, the Ohio Department of Education released K-12 report card data for the 2020-2021 school year. The report cards show that in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, enrollment, attendance, and student performance have dropped statewide. This concerning data projects broader concerns down the road over the academic performance and attainment of Ohio’s students, future workforce preparedness, and the long-term economic success of the state.
Shannon Jones, President and CEO of Groundwork Ohio, issued the following statement in response to the state’s latest report card data:
“The pandemic has been incredibly disruptive to Ohio families, especially to our children. As the state focuses on pandemic recovery efforts, it is imperative that policymakers address the needs of Ohio’s youngest kids – our infants and toddlers. These children have spent their earliest and most impressionable years experiencing the stress and trauma of the pandemic, which deeply impacts their development as they prepare to enter the K-12 school system.
“All roads to recovery in Ohio will require a strong quality early learning system. Without increased investments in Ohio’s early learning programs, including quality child care and preschool, Ohio’s kids, families, and workforce will continue to fall behind.”
Even before the pandemic, only 41% of Ohio kids entered kindergarten ready to learn. Kindergarten readiness is a strong predictor of how well a child will do in school, as well as in their future career and in life. With fewer than half of Ohio students coming to kindergarten ready to learn, it’s no surprise that only 43% of Ohio’s workforce has a degree or credential for the jobs that are available today.
Groundwork Ohio is a committed, nonpartisan public-policy research and advocacy organization formed in 2004 that champions high-quality early learning and healthy development strategies from the prenatal period to age five, that lay a strong foundation for Ohio kids, families and communities. Learn more about Groundwork Ohio at groundworkohio.org and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.