Submitted by the Office of the Governor

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio Governor Ted Strickland announced in his 2010 State of the State address that the Education Commission of the States (ECS) will honor Ohio as the winner of the 2010 Frank Newman Award for State Innovation.

According to ECS, Ohio's enactment of House Bill 1 in 2009 demonstrates the state's commitment to informed, bold and courageous reform. H.B. 1 overhauls nearly every major component of the education system, from early learning through postsecondary.

"In Ohio, we recognize that a superior education for each and every young person is the strongest path to long-term economic success," Strickland said. "We believe that providing every Ohio child with high-quality educational opportunities will better prepare them for their careers and life. So we committed to an education system that draws upon quality teachers and modern learning opportunities to help our students become innovative, creative thinkers."

Governor Strickland and the state legislature made an unprecedented commitment to Ohio's schools in 2009, ensuring they will be funded through a constitutional system and provide Ohio's students with modern, quality learning opportunities.

Additionally, Ohio's education reforms will transform Ohio classrooms and strengthen the teaching profession to prepare students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the jobs of the future. The governor's plan revolutionizes teacher training through developing a statewide residency program and career ladder for teachers, and better recognizes the development of a teacher's skills and accomplishments.

The Governor's education reform plan established the Ohio Evidence Based Model, a funding mechanism that utilizes research to determine what components are critical to determine student success. It also increases the level of transparency and accountability for school districts to produce results for Ohio's children. At a time when other states are dramatically reducing education funding, Ohio's governor and legislature made an unmatched commitment to education.

"Governor Strickland's comprehensive efforts to review, align and improve Ohio's educational system deserve commendation. ECS recognizes the promise and potential of the sweeping reforms contained in Ohio 2009 H.B. 1. We are pleased to honor Ohio's commitment to improving teaching quality, mentoring and evaluation along with efforts to close the achievement gap, improve high school graduation rates, study funding mechanisms and better allocate resources," states ECS President Roger Sampson. "This is an excellent example of strong leadership and a shared vision that looks not only across the education system but at the integration points with other state agencies. I believe these are key elements to the long-term success of this measure."

The ECS Frank Newman Award for State Innovation was established in 1998 and has recognized states and U.S. territories for demonstrated excellence in shaping education policy. Criteria for this award include policies that are bold, courageous and nonpartisan; include the potential for large-scale impact; show evidence of continued support; and are replicable and hold valuable lessons for other states. ECS named its State Innovation Award in honor of the late Frank Newman, who served as ECS president for 14 years.

Recent winners include Tennessee, the North Dakota Commission on Education Improvement, Alaska and Kentucky.