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Published: Tuesday, 2/24/2009

Boards of UT, Owens, TPS vow increased collaboration


The leadership of some of Toledo's top education institutions gathered around the table together Tuesday morning to discuss how to make the city a lifelong learning community.

The boards of trustees of the University of Toledo and Owens Community College and members of the Toledo Board of Education reviewed the partnerships and collaborations already in place and discussed how to expand them during the meeting at Libbey Hall on UT's main campus.

"It's a clear understanding that our students at TPS don't disappear at age 18 and the students at UT and Owens aren't born at age 18," said Steve Steel, president of the school board for Toledo Public Schools. "There has to be a transition for the students from one to the other."

The group committed to continuing their collaboration with subcommittees focused on education issues in the area such as high school graduation rates, college retention issues, and curriculum integration between high school and college.

The consensus at the table was that education needs to be instilled as a priority in Toledo's students and they must be told at a young age that they have the opportunity to attend college. Free tuition programs through Owens and UT help make that a possibility.

The group even discussed the possibility of a person being appointed a chancellor of education in Toledo or an education czar who can see the big picture and keep everybody focused.

The subcommittees of each institution plan to meet together as a group in March and then the full boards will meet again in April to keep the discussions going.

"Education is a lifelong experience," said Rick Stansley, chairman of the UT board of trustees. "We have to start to pursue the thought that it doesn't ever end."

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