Share Your Opinion
A letter to the editor is an easy way to generate community discussion about important education issues in Ohio, including building awareness for Ohio’s Learning Standards. Letters to the editor can take a position for or against an issue, or simply inform readers on a topic. They can convince readers by using emotions, stories, and facts related to your position on a specific issue.
As a supporter of Ohio’s Learning Standards, we encourage you to write and submit letters to the editor of your local newspapers that highlight how these new standards and the education, business, and community leaders who support them are making the future brighter for all Ohioans.
While newspapers do not publish every letter, they do pay attention to letters that are written well and connected to a recently published article. Since education issues receive a lot of coverage in Ohio publications there are often opportunities to share your opinion.
- Make the letter relevant by relating it to an issue recently discussed in the publication.
- Be clear and concise. The first sentence should summarize your position, and the rest should support that statement. Don’t spend a lot of time building your point. Most editors only read the first 2–3 sentences before deciding to continue reading.
- Check the guidelines for the paper you are targeting (see below). Most news publications have a word limit of about 250 words.
- Pay close attention to spelling and grammar. Letters are not usually edited, so make sure yours is well-written and meets guidelines to increase your chances of publication.
- Email your letter to the editor to ensure timeliness. You can do this by pasting the letter into the body of an email. Don’t send it as an attachment as it may go into an editor’s SPAM folder.
Sample Letter to the Editor
While letters to the editor should be customized by the author, here is a sample letter in support of Ohio’s Learning Standards for your reference:
Over the last few months there has been much debate over the state’s decision to implement New Learning Standards, including the positions expressed in (NAME OF ARTICLE) on (DATE).
I am proud to live in a state where we have worked hard to better prepare our children for success in college, career, and life. The Common Core State Standards, incorporated into Ohio’s Learning Standards by Ohio’s State Board of Education in 2010, establish clear expectations about what students should know and be able to do when completing each grade, K–12, in mathematics and English Language Arts. For Science and Social Studies, educators from across Ohio worked to develop standards specific to our state.
Why do I support the standards? They focus on developing students’ critical thinking, problem-solving, and writing–real-world skills that they need to be successful in today’s workforce. They also provide a deeper understanding of concepts, not just basic memorization and test-taking skills. They are clear and focused, allowing teachers to explore fewer topics in more depth with students, rather than skimming the surface of numerous topics to prepare students for tests. And, best of all, they are a set of expectations–local schools determine their own curricula, lesson plans, and textbooks.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. As a (INSERT YOUR ROLE AS STUDENT, PARENT, EDUCATOR, OR BUSINESSPERSON) I support Ohio’s Learning Standards because I believe that our students deserve to be ready for their futures.
Where to Mail Your Letter
Once you have completed your letter, you can submit to Ohio’s major daily news publications by following directions in the links below. Or, look for your town's local paper and make sure to follow their guidelines.