Education Action Group (formerly Catalyst for Achievement Action Group)

The purpose of the Education Action Group  is to support public school children’s achievement and  work to ensure children at risk have a fighting chance of making a success of their lives.

Sarah Gideonse chairs this action group.

Our major project has been a volunteer and funding commitment to a multi-sensory kindergarten literacy program in Winton Hills Academy and using Linda Wihl’s Making Sense of Language Arts (MSLA) curriculum. For many years, tutors worked with individual children weekly throughout the year so they could become strong readers by the end of third grade, a primary predictor of their staying in school and graduating. Over the years the program had shown to be an effective intervention.

When the schools reopened after the Covid epidemic eased in fall 2022,  the program  continued only as an after-school program, with children participating three days a week with the same MSLA curriculum. A talented volunteer, Sue Carfagna, organized and led the lessons.  The school year 2023-24  was the first without Linda’s participation as she retired at the end of the last school year, and the continuation of the MSLA tutoring program at Winton Hill Academy under WCC auspices  is now unlikely and WCC  no longer expects to support a MSLA tutoring program.

Woman’s City Club sponsors or cosponsors forums related to education.   In the fall 2023, we cosponsored the School Board School’s virtual program for school board candidates as well as an in-person program with the same school board candidates put on by Michelle Dillingham of the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers.

The Education Action Group  monitors the Ohio General Assembly’s proposed and enacted education legislation, often brought to our attention by the nonpartisan Honesty in Education nonprofit, and reports it in the Update and the Bulletin, along with possible actions members and friends can take. It works with the Program Committee to sponsor education-related forums

In 2021-22, the EAG analyzed Ohio's General Assembly's bills banning "divisive" topics, adopted by the WCC Board of Trustees. In the face of a coordinated national push in Ohio and other states to suppress discussion of racism, sexism, and gender identity, three Ohio educators, speaking at the November 2021 forum, “Teachingthe Truth: Our Kids Deserve it,” argued that schools must teach students “hard
truths” about discrimination in America.

This program year, EAG/WCC opposed the state's new universal voucher program, which subsidizes virtually all children to attend private schools, and the Governor's transferring all substantive roles from the State Board of Education that included mostly elected representatives, to his office. A November 2023 forum, “Are Ohio’s Public Schools at Risk?” on these state actions, featured local state representative Dani Isaacsohn, Ohio Board of Education elected member Katie Hofmann, and Bill Phillis, executive director for the Coalition for Equity & Adequacy in School Funding, who is leading the lawsuit against universal vouchers.

WCC members interested in analyzing policy proposals, developing and working on new projects, and planning programs about education may contact Sarah Gideonse for more information and to volunteer.  

READ MORE What committee members do

~ Sarah Gideonse