Ward Advocates For City of Toledo Education Department

The National Assessment of Adult Literacy findings show that there are an estimated 30 million adults in the United States that read below a basic level. In Toledo approximately one in five adults are functionally illiterate.

People who read poorly will have a hard time finding employment, as well as helping their children with their schoolwork. This becomes a cycle that goes beyond the family, but extends to the city of Toledo as well.

Ward asserts, “The greatest economic advancement for Toledo should begin with education. We must take the necessary steps to ensure that the citizens of Toledo are prepared, so that they may obtain the jobs of the future here in our city.”

When elected to City Council, Ward would advocate for a city of Toledo Education Department. This department would collaborate with the TPS Board of Education, United Way, and other organizations to raise the awareness among Toledo citizens and to encourage parents about the positive impact they can have on child development and reading readiness.

Stephen Ward is the City Council candidate who believes in taking a Servant Leadership approach to government. He is the only council candidate that has been consistent with giving the citizens of Toledo a voice, and believes that government should serve all people.

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I am a firm believer in reading as the key to success...so, I agree with Ward's goal. However, the means to reaching that goal--creating another government oversight office--will not solve Toledo's literacy problem.

First of all, "raising awareness" in the public isn't going to have an effect. Those people you need to reach are those with low literacies...and by that I mean low language, computer/technology, and economic literacies. These are the parents and future parents who live in low literacy households. It's hard to convince people who don't value or enjoy reading that they need to raise their children to be readers. Further, if the parent themselves cannot read well, then they certainly cannot create a home environment that is text rich.

Some are already aware of their difficulties, and you cannot make them care about it by "raising awareness." Society drills into us at an early age that education is the vehicle to our future, yet many young people dismiss those lectures and live for the day.

This is where the school comes in...our schools ARE charged with teaching reading and writing, yet look how many kids are passed on to the next grade, where their success in every academic subject is hampered by their inability to read and comprehend text at or above grade level. And look at the drop out rates, which I suspect are to blame for our stunning illiteracy rate. Here is where the changes must be made...in a government institution that already exists for the purpose of educating. Any literacy intervention needs to be made at the school-level, and it may mean holding kids back until they an read at level. (I am aware that currently state proficiency tests require students to read at level by 4th grade. I am not convinced that these tests and their results accurately reflect reading skill). It may mean extra tutoring, more time devoted to reading and reading instruction, alternative approaches to reaching emerging readers, and it definitely may mean educating the parents who, for whatever reason, cannot read and express their thoughts at 12th grade level and beyond.

Recently, the non-profit, READ FOR LITERACY, announced a new program to intervene in low-literacy level homes.


This is the closest that Ive seen anyone come to attempting to tackle the problem at its core.

I live across from Whitmer HS.

Every day I pass the sign telling about the adult literacy programs that are already in place.

Billy--we are neighbors!

I see the same sign...

and all the kids skipping school every morning who will eventually be eligible for the adult literacy programs and GED classes.

I guess of course if you cant read, putting a sign by the road isnt going to do a lot of good...

Sure, just what we need, MORE government. How about we advocate parents, (note plural) who teach and mentor their children? Today we have far too many single parent families, many with multiple kids.
The single parent can't wait to dump the kids off at school where their lack of upbringing hinders not only their ability to learn but that of their classmates.

"We're all riding on the Hindenburg, no sense fighting over the window seats"-Richard Jenni

That's just it--the problem has to be taken care of at its root to stop the cycle of illiteracy, which would have a residual effect in improving other areas of society. But if the parent is a lackey who quit school and doesn't see the value in schooling/education/enriching ones life through learning, then he/she is going to pass that down (by action and example, or in the case of the absentee parent, by lack of action and example) to the children who just continue the cycle.

This just increases exponentially and will only continue to get worse. Teachers are our interventionalists. They need more help--I think the way to approach it is through a revamp in curriculum which would put more of an emphasis on a combined reading, writing( in every subject, or across the curriculum), and critical thinking in ALL course work. More work for teachers, higher standards for kids. BUT in the long run, this will produce the kinds of students who have the tools to succeed in high school and college courses.

more than half of the 30 million who can't read have earned college degrees.

More than half who can't read are U.S. Senators or U.S. Representaives.

Correction:more than half who DON'T read are US Senators and US Representatives!

What they don't read is legislation that they sign into law!

Which in and of itself should be a criminal act.

Or at least reason to step down. Instead they laugh about hiring speed readers to tell them what they're signing into law that could effect us and our children for decades.

I believe that Mr. Ward is sincere in his proposal, but why does the City of Toledo need another job to do? As others have already written in this thread, there are adlut education programs through the public schools, both TPS and Washington Local.

When a person becomes a candidate for office, he/she can propose many good programs, but once elected, the reality of fiscal restraint bares its ugly teeth. The last thing the City of Toledo needs is a new Department in times of a financial crisis. Who will staff it? How many people will be needed? Let's say, it's only two. Will that mean that two less police officers will be on the city payroll? Or two less fire fighters? What gets cut to create a new Department?

It's utterly disgusting that when a Liberal looks at a problem, all they can conclude is that another layer or agency of government needs to be created to tackle it. Ward need to literally pull the head out of his arsh and stop fooling Toledoans with crap like this. The city has a number of educational institutions which are ALREADY CHARGED with educating the populace. The TPS itself is within compliance with the Ohio constitution to provide education. There's literally nothing for the Toledo government to do in this area.

Ward needs to firmly remember that taxpayers are his bosses, and our money is mis-spent to an extreme degree already. The Council position he's competing for needs a fiscal conservative, not a fiscal liberal.

Guest Zero! I am with you!

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