STEPS: Supporters of Thorough and Efficient Public Schools

Mission: Inform Ohioans of effective steps to secure a thorough and efficient system of common schools throughout the State.

About Us

STEPS, Supporters of Thorough and Efficient Public Schools, formed from a parent's group concerned with the quality of public education in Beavercreek, Ohio. We soon discovered we would need to think (and network) globally, but act locally (and at the state level).


STEPS exists to inform all constituents of Ohio's public schools of the opportunities presented by the Ohio Supreme Court's decision in the school funding case, DeRolph v. Ohio. During the process of working with our local school district, it became apparent that much more than money will be required to realize "the historical notion that the education of our youth is of utmost concern and that Ohio children should be educated adequately so that they are able to participate fully in society."

Briefing papers prepared by STEPS provide legislators, school board members, educators and all concerned Ohioans with constructive and effective steps they can take to help secure a thorough and efficient system of common schools throughout the State. The following papers have been prepared to date:

Your Money, Your Schools
Ohio Public Radio broadcast on May 15, 2000. (RealPlayer audio file.)

Ohio's Proficiency Tests Fail to Meet the Thorough and Efficient Mandate
Flaws in the Ohio's current Proficiency Testing undermine efforts to improve the performance of all students. Value-Added Assessment is necessary to correct these flaws.

The DeRolph Decision and Educational Adequacy
Highlights from the Ohio Supreme Court school funding decision which clarify the mission and goals of public education in Ohio

Testimony before the Primary and Secondary Education Subcommittee Of the Ohio House Finance and Appropriations Committee
Why legislative action is required to ensure that additional funding does not result in "underachieving and overspending" public schools

Defining Thorough and Efficient Public Schooling: A Briefing Paper Prepared for Ohio's Educational Congress October 28, 1998
A review of the mission of public education, through the words of Thomas Jefferson.

IDEA, FAPE, and Equal Protection: A Guide for School Board Members
The trial court in DeRolph has laid the groundwork for the most significant expansion of educational opportunity in the history of U.S. public schools

The reform plans, divided into Winners, Losers, Promising and Questionable
Fifteen years of school reforms spawned winners, losers and lots of other reforms that either look promising or questionable

Resources for Reflection

Commitment to our schoolchildren, our public schools and our constitution requires setting appropriate priorities. In this noble pursuit we have so much to gain, and so little to lose, it is nonetheless heartening to remember those whose commitment bore a dearer cost.

[The liberties attained through] the wisdom of our sages and the blood of our heroes [should be preserved through] civil instruction.  -- Thomas Jefferson

The Gandhi Promenade at the Martin Luther King National Historic Site
When evil men burn and bomb,
good men must build and bind.

The Gravesite of Robert Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetary
It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped.

Memorial Day at the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Dayton, Ohio
So all honor and all glory
    To those noble sons of Ham-
The gallant colored soldiers
    Who fought for Uncle Sam!

Veteran's Day in the Miami Valley
Pause you who pass beneath this flag and remember
the sacrifice of life and of treasures
that has kept it aloft
unstained and beautiful against the sky

The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it, and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.  -- John F. Kennedy

The general assembly shall make such provisions, by taxation, or otherwise, as, with the income arising from the school trust fund, will secure a thorough and efficient system of common schools throughout the State
Ohio Constitution, Section 2, Article VI

Inform Ohioans of effective steps to secure a thorough and efficient system of common schools throughout the State.