Saturday, February 5, 2011

Congressional Visit

Yesterday, the Worthington School District and Liberty Elementary School were blessed to host a visit by United States Congressman Steve Stivers (OH-15). Never let it be said that Congressman Stivers is afraid to roll up his sleeves and get his hands dirty as you can see from this short clip.

As the Congressman walked into the classroom, Liberty Elementary School first graders and fifth graders were engaged in a project on how to keep earthworms from escaping into the classroom, a vexing problem on the way to solving the broader problem of cafeteria waste presented by our district's superintendent. The theory is that the earthworms would eat the waste, but the earthworms instead chose to flee. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from our congressional visit, but I didn't expect to see a member of the United States Congress with earthworms crawling all over his hands, but as our guest  put it "My 17 month old daughter would LOVE this". Congressman Stivers spent about an hour with the kids, talking about how a bill because a law (Sorry Congressman, you'll never explain it better than this), what's it like to be in Congress and everything in between.

I think it's important for legislators to see what goes on in a modern elementary school. No longer do we always see 5 rows of 5 kids each listening (or not)  to a teacher in the front for hours at a time. Kids are engaged with smartboards, project(problem) based learning and are expected to demonstrate skills other than the mere regurgitation of facts. Liberty Elementary School, through its renewal proposal, is at the forefront of this mini-revolution. Sometime this year, "No Child Left Behind" will be up for reauthorization. Hopefully, through school visits such as this one, Congressman Stivers and his colleagues in Congress will see that each school has a unique personality and culture, each school can approach the standards differently and trying to force thousands of schools into a federal mold is problematic at best. 

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