Updated Sun, Jul 8, 2012 7:16 am
The Ohio Appalachian Collaborative - President Obama has praised this group but there's a good chance you may not know about it.
The Collaborative is populated by 21 school districts in the region, including Wolf Creek Local in Washington County, where Robert Caldwell is the superintendent.
"The Ohio Appalachian Collaborative is made up of...74 schools, approximately 2000 teachers and about 34,000 students," he says.
Caldwell says Wolf Creek and the other districts pay nothing for membership in the Ohio Appalachian Collaborative.
He says banding together allows the districts to attract funding to pay for education programs that students otherwise might not get.
"It allows us to apply for grant opportunities that otherwise an Appalachian school might not be able to qualify for," says Caldwell. "In order to be in the Collaborative you must be a Race To the Top school district."
A few weeks ago, the U. S. Department of Education hosted a conference in Cincinnati.
More than 500 state and district education leaders from 41 states attended.
Caldwell and four others from the Ohio Appalachian Collaborative made the trip to give a presentation about the good things that are happening in schools in the region.
US Education "Secretary Arnie Duncan...requested that the Ohio Appalachian Collaborative be sitting on a panel to present," says Caldwell.
"Secretary Duncan has (referred to our work) in a couple of his speeches," and the President has, too, says Caldwell.
While school districts in the Appalachian counties of Ohio continue to have their problems, as do all Ohio schools, Caldwell says there are positives to report here, too.