News Archive 2008 - 2009
The Jeffersonville (Indiana) Evening News
and Tribune reported Monday that the Indiana Governor is
reducing kindergarten through 12th-grade funding by $297 million, beginning with
the January 2010 payment. This means 3.5 percent less state money for
school districts, the newspaper said. The governor previously ordered 20
percent spending cuts at state agencies and 6 percent from higher education.
"We reduced everything else first, and much more deeply, but K-12 education
is half the entire budget, and it became unavoidable for it to become part of
the solution," the Indiana Governor said in a press release.
As all know, there was a different result in Ohio. Following
a long struggle in the Senate, Governor Strickland's commitment to public
education prevailed saving Ohio school districts from drastic funding cuts.
The Associated Press reported Saturday that Ohio
lawmakers approved a bill linking student performance data from
kindergarten through high school with information from college. The bill,
according to AP, will improve the state's application for extra federal
education stimulus money by allowing the state to gauge how well the K-12
curriculum is preparing students for college, and will give students and
teachers a year-by-year look at student progress from the first year in school
through the last.
The AP article said additional changes pushed by
State Senator Jon Husted to enable student performance measures, including
test scores, to play a significant role in teacher evaluations and pay, and
another change that would loosen some of the state's restrictions on new
charter schools were not included in the bill. Teachers unions opposed
both of these changes, AP said.
Read the AP article. Click: Ohio
changes student tracking for chance of federal money
"Research is clarifying when young brains are best
able to grasp fundamental concepts, turning conventional wisdom on its
head." ...New York Times,
December 21, 2009
Read the New York Times article. Click: Studying
Young Minds, and How to Teach Them
. The answer to the question:
voted in favor of Substitute House Bill Number 318? House:
54 yeas and 42 nays; Senate: 17 yeas and 15 nays. The following members of the
Ohio General Assembly voted in favor of
Sub. HB 318:
All House Democrats and Senate Democrats present, plus Senate Republicans Bill
Harris, Ashland; John Carey, Wellston; David Goodman, Bexley; Mark Wagoner,
Toledo; and Tom Niehaus, New Richmond; and House Republicans Matt Dolan,
Novelty; and Ross McGregor, of Springfield.
The Campaign for Educational Equity, Teacher College,
Columbia University, released yesterday the report, Substantial
and Yet Not Sufficient: Kentucky's Effort to Build Proficiency for Each and
Every Child. The following provides a summary of the report.
"Substantial and Yet Not Sufficient: Kentucky's
Effort to Build Proficiency for Each and Every Child provides an
analytic overview of the origins, impact and implications of Kentucky's
landmark educational adequacy litigation, Rose v. Council for Better
Education. It provides important new material and insights regarding the
political mobilization for school reform, legislative action, statewide
implementation, and recent fiscal difficulties that have occurred over the
past 20 years since the case was decided. The authors make their case that
Kentucky's 1989 court ruling and 1990 legislation unquestionably led to
substantive improvement for all students in the state. Based on their
experience, they also share a set of thoughts about what counts as successful
work to build school systems that serve all students well." ....Campaign for Educational Equity, Teachers
College, Columbia University
The report concludes with the statement, "Our
experience illustrates that a restrained judicial ruling, at least in the
context of lasting political mobilization, can yield quite major legislative
steps forward. Kentucky efforts also shed light on the later challenges of
administrative implementation and suggest that independent advocates are
needed for each initiative woven into a systemic approach to reform. Finally,
we submit that establishing lasting change and what we have termed a
“muscular determination” to deliver for all students requires broad based
understanding and lasting coalitions. The full, complex effort is surely
worthy of the best wisdom and energy of a generation determined to create a
stronger future for all our children."
RURAL APPALACHIAN REGION
AND STATE BOARD REGION 9 EXPRESSES GRATITUDE FOR SUPPORT OF FULL FUNDING FOR
On December 17th of 2009 many of
our State elected officials rose above the political fray and recognized their
responsibility by doing what was best for Ohio's citizenry...they completed
the '10-‘11 Biennium Budgeting process. This budget reconciliation
maintained the integrity, vitality, and viability of HB1 for the remainder of
Furthermore, this budget
reconciliation kept the Education Reform Plan and the Evidence Based Model for
educational success intact and moving forward. This incredibly responsible
action will not only give continual light to the growth and development of our
young people, it will continue to provide the roadmap for Ohio's economic
This time, the majority of
legislators worked together and did what was right for the future of our young
people and our state. Additionally, Ohio kept its access to two (2) to four
(4) times the $851 million by preserving Ohio's opportunities to receive
(approximately) $2 billion to $4 billion dollars in federal support during the
next 18-36 months. Thanks for being responsible and doing your job!
The Coalition of Rural and
Appalachian Schools and the region's elected member to the State Board of
Education join thousands of educators and hundreds of thousands of citizens in
voicing our gratitude for maintaining the full funding of HB1 by doing the
right thing for the children of Ohio and our collective economic future.
Member, 9th District
State Board of Education
Phone: (614) 296-5118
Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools
Phone: (740) 407-6525
"After negotiations that stretched late into
the night, both the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and the spokesman
for House Speaker Armond Budish say a deal to fix an $851 million hole in the
state budget will be completed today." ...Columbus
Dispatch, December 17, 2009
"Supporters for public schools and libraries
also started blitzing legislators with phone calls and e-mails urging them to
preserve their funding." ...Columbus
Dispatch, December 17, 2009
APPALACHIAN REGION AND STATE BOARD REGION 9 URGES SUPPORT OF FULL-FUNDING FOR
districts across the state are facing funding cuts that will affect millions
of Ohio school children unless the legislative representatives pass HB 318 or
offer a viable alternative. School leaders and Ohio citizens are becoming
increasingly concerned; and we believe the concern is legitimate. Many
area school districts are already operating on bare-bones, working hard to
serve our children with reduced teaching staff, support staff, gifted
services, art, physical education, music and other programs. School-sponsored
field trips and extracurricular activities have faced similar reductions and
the loss of these experiences is regrettable. Further cuts, if the budget
impasse is not resolved, would mean drastic reductions in educational
opportunities available to Ohio students and prove to be a detriment to Ohio's
economic future. In addition, if funding cuts are applied across-the-board,
low-property wealth school districts will bear an even greater burden since a
major portion of their funding comes from the state.
time is now for all legislators to check their political egos at the door and
do what is right for the future of our young people and our state. To one and
all, responsible for this decision, you are not only engaging in political
posturing, you are taking away
Ohio's access to (approx.) $2 billion to $4 billion dollars in federal support
(which will be lost by this inaction). It is time for all of us who have cast
a ballot for, and all of you who have received a vote from our collective
audiences, to build the bridges necessary to jettison our children and the
state's future forward. IT IS
TIME TO BE RESPONSIBLE AND DO YOUR JOB!!
Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools and the region's elected member to
the State Board of Education call on educators and citizens to voice support
for full-funding of HB1 by contacting all our state elected officials
immediately. In addition, we urge
all legislators and government leaders to put aside partisan politics and do
the right thing for the children of Ohio. Fully fund HB1 by passing the
essence of HB 318!
Member, 9th District
State Board of Education
Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools
The Columbus Dispatch reported today that Governor
Strickland said cutting funding to primary and secondary schools is the only
option to fill the budget hole. "I don't think we can cut further than
what we've already cut. The only thing left is education, all levels of
education," the Governor said. The Dispatch said the
Governor was referring to primary and secondary schools as well as
colleges and universities. "If the legislature wants to spare education,
then they should identify what should be cut," he said. "I have not
heard a suggestion of what they would cut."
The Dispatch also reported that Senator John Carey
Jr., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said his office was flooded
this weekend with 7,000 e-mails, mostly from library supporters. "I
can't say that anyone doesn't have anything to worry about at this
point," Senator Carey said. The Dispatch reported that Senator Carey
said if the budget fix doesn't pass by the end of the year schools are
"at risk" for cuts. Perhaps Lori Snyder-Lowe, superintendent of
Morgan Local Schools, said it best in a letter to Senator Jimmy Stewart.
She said, "The issue is not about political-party affiliation. It is not
about the next election. It is about Ohio's students."
The Senate Finance Committee needs to hear from parents
of school children, educators and others interested in the future of public
education in Ohio. You may contact Senator Carey at:
1 Capitol Square, 1st Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: (614) 466-8156
Read the Dispatch article. Click: Strickland:
School cuts only option to fill budget hole
According to an Education Trust report, value-added data provide useful information on student and teacher
performance. The November 2009 report, "The Value of
Value-Added Data," shows how to put numbers to work for your
classroom, school district, or state education system. The report draws
on real-life examples from classrooms across the country. It presents a wide
array of ways in which teachers, principals, and district officials can use
data to make better choices. The information, which tracks growth in student
learning, can assist school and system leaders in assessing everything from
teacher impact to student placement to professional development programs,
the Education Trust report said.
The report said,
"Researchers demonstrated a quarter century ago that schools could
effectively employ value-added statistical methods. At the time, only a few
states and districts had accumulated the necessary annual assessment data to
take advantage of the breakthrough. Today, every state has the capacity to
provide educators with value-added data. Yet most American teachers and
administrators still lack access to such information."
The report concludes
with, "In its proposed regulations for the Race to the Top program, the
U.S. Department of Education has signaled that it wants to change this.
Educators should welcome the push. Principals, teachers, and parents will
gain valuable information about students’ past and predicted performance.
School and district administrators will have more information about teachers
and the programs intended to hone teachers’ skills. Last but certainly not
least, teachers will have more information about the effectiveness of their
own classroom instruction. If used wisely, such information can lead to
better informed decisions that benefit everyone with a stake in improving
teaching and learning."
Read the Education Trust
11, 2009- "...Ohioans are Sick of Statehouse Games - - And the People Who
A school funding crisis in the making: Read excerpts from today's news reports.
"A dark cloud hangs over Ohio's 613 school districts as a Statehouse showdown over how to plug an $851 million hole in education funding drags on. Gov. Ted Strickland's administration has estimated that a worst-case scenario could result in cuts of 10 percent this school year and 15 percent in the next." ...Toledo Blade
"Gov. Ted Strickland stopped short of saying he would force lawmakers into a special session over the holidays if they don’t quickly address an $851 million budget shortfall. But Strickland told Statehouse reporters Thursday that the issue must be dealt with before the end of the year to avoid cuts to public school funding. No compromise on the legislation has been reached — and that does not bode well for school funding, Strickland said." ...Youngstown Vindicator
“If this budget is not resolved by the end of the year, I believe it will be necessary to almost immediately begin making cuts to our public schools. And if this $851 million shortfall is not dealt with before the end of this year, the consequences could be catastrophic for our schools.” ...Governor Strickland, Youngstown Vindicator
"Gov. Ted Strickland said Thursday failure to deal with an $851 million budget shortfall before Dec. 31 could have "catastrophic" consequences for Ohio schools through the loss of a "massive" amount of resources." ...Gongwer News Service
"If Ohio cuts $851 million from schools, it also risks losing nearly $1 billion in federal stimulus funding, because the money comes with requirements that the state continue spending a certain amount on schools." ...Columbus Dispatch
"Most Ohioans recognize these theatrics for what they are. And virtually all Ohioans are sick of Statehouse games -- and the people who play them." ...Cleveland Plain Dealer
The Associated Press (AP) reported this morning that Ohio school districts are becoming increasingly concerned about the lack of a state budget fix, as they face potential deep cuts in funding in 2010. With the end of the year approaching, AP warned that lawmakers can't change tax rates for the 2009 tax year once 2010 begins. "The closer we get to December 31, the greater the instability and uncertainty there is for school districts," Governor Strickland's spokeswoman Amanda Wurst said.
"Those repercussions might include larger classes because of teacher cuts, fewer administrators, fewer textbooks and supplies -- and potential deficits that would require borrowing money. The districts in the worst spots are those with a low property tax base and high state funding, which includes many city districts and poorer rural areas." .....Associated Press, December 10, 2009
shows full-day kindergarten benefits kids. As a result of the research, beginning
in the fall of 2010, full-day kindergarten for every public school
student becomes the first initiative of the evidenced-based education
reform plan for Ohio schools. But many school districts across the
state can't afford to add the teachers and/or have the classroom space to
meet the mandate. Ohio's solution: A waiver and/or a proposed bill
that would delay the requirement. Sound familiar? School districts that have the
money and facilities will provide all-day kindergarten for their children. Those
districts lacking the money and/or facilities will not provide the
program for their children. Will other evidenced-based reform
initiatives be implemented in the same manner? If so, what has really changed?
"On the one hand, we've been through a trying eight years of the failed No Child Left Behind Act. On the other hand, the promise of what targeted, serious federal funds can do is tantalizing to those of us faced with daily decisions of which services we may have to cut and which we are mandated to carry out." ....George Wood, Principal of Federal Hocking High & Middle School and executive director of The Forum for Education and Democracy.
Education coverage of any type barely registered in newspapers and on news Web sites, on television news broadcasts, or on the radio airwaves in the first nine months of this year, according to the report, "Invisible: 1.4 Percent Coverage for Education is Not Enough" released December 2, 2009 by the Brookings Institution. Between January and September 2009, education stories made up just 1.4 percent of all top national news, the study found. That number was even worse in the previous two years. Substantive stories about the main enterprise of K-12 school, teaching and learning, were even more rare. And coverage of higher education, especially community colleges, was virtually nonexistent.
“Education, in terms of important stories, has a
low place in the hierarchy,” a Brookings senior fellow said. "The
schools beat, never a marquee assignment in most newsrooms, has been a casualty,
not only in the national media, but at local outlets as well," Education
Sources: Brookings Institution and Education Week
December 4, 2009- Several States Curb Government 'Double Dippers'
USA Today reported yesterday that States are moving to bar government employees from "double dipping," the practice of collecting a pension and a paycheck at the same time. The new rules are meant to curb employees from retiring only to return to their old jobs. Changes are occurring, the article said, because States are pummeled by the recession and heavy job losses with unemployment having climbed to its highest level in 25 years. USA Today said Utah, New Mexico, South Dakota, Florida and Arkansas have made changes, or are considering changes, placing limits on "double dipping.".
The nation's state and local retirement systems lost about $800 billion in 2008, according to the research director for the National Association of State Retirement Administrators (NASRA). Employees who double dip tend to collect benefits sooner, though the NASRA research director says it has a "relatively small" impact on the overall cost of pension plans. South Dakota's planned changes will save only about $5 million a year, says the system's executive director. New Mexico's proposed changes would save about $7 million. "Elsewhere, the bill is bigger," USA Today said. "An audit this year for Utah lawmakers suggested that double dipping by employees there could cost the state as much as $900 million over the next decade."
Read the USA Today article. Click: States curb pension, paycheck 'double dippers'
A new report, "Fighting for Quality and Equality, Too," released in November 2009 by the Education Trust, challenges states to focus on bold reforms to increase teacher effectiveness. The report outlines ten steps state policymakers and school district leaders can take to make a difference in teacher quality and equitable access to the best teachers for low-income and minority students. The Education Trust report comes as the Department of Education issued final regulations for the Race to the Top grant program and as states begin to apply for the funds. Education Trust said, "If state leaders invest resources and energy wisely, they don’t have to choose between excellence and equity."
An addition to the final version of Race to the Top selection criterion includes a requirement for equitable funding for high need school districts and equitable funding for schools within districts. On the down side, “making education funding a priority” counts for only 10 points out of a total of 500 points in the scoring rubric. The following is part of the Race to the Top selection criterion.
"Making education funding a priority: The extent to which - (i) The percentage of total revenue available to the States that were used to support elementary, secondary and public higher education for FY 2009 was greater than or equal to the percentage of the total revenues available to the State that were used to support elementary, secondary and public higher education for FY 2008: and (ii) The States policies lead to equitable funding (a) between high-need LEA's and other LEA's, and (b) within LEA's, between high-poverty schools and other schools." .... Federal Register, Department of Education, 34 CFR Subtitle B, Chapter II Race to the Top Fund; Final Rule
Education Secretary Arne Duncan said yesterday the U.S. Department of Education is considering proposals that would offer increased autonomy, recognition, and resources for states that commit to adopting college and career readiness standards, and for schools and districts that make significant progress in student achievement. “Under the No Child Left Behind Act there are basically no incentives. There was nothing. There are 50 ways to fail, and if you succeeded there was nothing there for you,” Secretary Duncan said in an interview with Education Week reporters.
A new study, by Gerber Analytics LLC in Columbus, uses the results from the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT) to rank Ohio's public and private high schools. Gerber Analytics is really one individual, Scott Gerber, a semi-retired investor who follows high school athletics, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. The Enquirer said Gerber wants to compel "friendly competition" among schools in academics, as there is for sports. Gerber Analytics analyzed sophomores' test results (OGT), creating a weighted "performance index" for each subject and for the overall test. Public and private schools are listed together by name, region and sports league.
The study is the first of its kind to compare public and private high schools using results from the OGT, a measure of 10th-grade course work, the Enquirer said. The ACT, a series of end-of-course exams and a senior project are slated to replace the OGT in a few years.
Senate Bill173 was introduced in September 2009 and is currently in the Senate Education Committee. The bill delays for one year, until the 2011-2012 school year, the requirement that each school district provide all-day kindergarten for all kindergarten students. If a district does not offer all-day kindergarten in the school year before the requirement takes effect, the district must submit to the Superintendent of Public Instruction a plan describing how it will meet the requirement in the following year. The Columbus Dispatch reported yesterday that the State Board of Education, at its monthly meeting two weeks ago, voted 15-1 for a resolution to support Senate Bill 173.
Ohio's charter schools get a head start on public schools, according to new study by Policy Matters Ohio. Policy Matters studied 100 charter schools in seven urban districts which had kindergarten scores. It used 2008 scores from a state-mandated kindergarten readiness test that measures language, rhyming, letter identification and alliteration, skills students need to learn to read. The study said kindergartners at charter schools scored 10 percent higher than students at regular public schools. These students then lose ground in later years, scoring no better, and often worse, than students at regular public schools, according to the report.
However, test scores for charter school students appears to have little impact on charter school enrollment in Ohio or across the nation. A report by the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) said about 1.4 million students currently attend public charter schools nationwide, and demand remains strongest in urban areas. According to the NAPCS report, Dayton (27%) and Youngstown (26%) are among the “Top 10” largest market share public charter school communities in the country.
Read Policy Matters, "Ready To Learn," report. Click: Press Release Executive Summary Full Report
Read a Cleveland Examiner article. Click: Charter schools enroll 1.4 million students nationwide while demand rises
The No Child Left Behind NCLB) Act has significantly boosted mathematics achievement, but no evidence exists that it has done the same for reading, concludes a new study, "The Impact of No Child Left Behind on Student Achievement." The study was released last week by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Researchers at the University of Michigan and Swarthmore College examined the effects of NCLB on scores for 4th and 8th graders on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. They found large increases in the math scores for 4th graders and moderate ones in that subject for 8th graders. The gains in math were concentrated among white and Hispanic students, students eligible for free- or reduced-price lunches, and students at all levels of performance. However, the researchers did not find evidence of a similar impact on reading scores.
The Columbus Dispatch reported today that a national report, Who Pays?, issued by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, said Ohio's tax overhaul approved in 2005, which includes the 2009 tax-rate cut that is currently under debate, increased the disparity between what Ohio's poorest and wealthiest citizens pay in taxes. The poor are paying a higher percentage of their income, the report said, with Ohio ranking 28th in "fairness," compared with 14th in 2002.
Who pays? is a comprehensive analysis of state and local tax systems in all fifty states. The study released yesterday, November 18, 2009, shows that on average, state and local tax systems require the poorest taxpayers to pay the highest effective taxes. The report provided a list of the ten states with the highest taxes on the poor.
THE TEN STATES WITH THE HIGHEST TAXES ON THE POOR
The report said, "The bottom line is that many so-called 'low-tax' states are 'high-tax' states for the poor, and most of them do not offer a good deal to middle-income families either. Only the wealthy in such states pay relatively little."
Sources: Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy and Columbus Dispatch
Test scores on state assessments for students with disabilities have increased in recent years, according to a new study released this week by the Washington-based Center on Education Policy. The study examined state mathematics and reading test results for the 2005-06 through the 2007-08 school years. Those are the state tests used to determine whether schools and school districts are making adequate yearly progress (AYP) under the No Child Left Behind Act. The study found that students with disabilities showed progress at all levels of proficiency in 4th grade, where the median percentage scoring at the basic level or above was 71 percent. Most states showed more gains than declines among students with disabilities over the three-year period.
Read the report and news release. Click: View Materials
Sources: Center on Education Policy and Education Week
More than 607,000 Ohio households had trouble feeding themselves last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Columbus Dispatch said this represented 13.3 percent of Ohio households and is the highest since the federal government started the hunger survey in 1995. This figure is similar to Ohio's 13.1 percent poverty rate.
Ohio ranked 12th in the nation in percentage of households not having enough food in the three-year period from 2006 to 2008. Nationwide, 17 million households, or 14.6 percent, were food insecure last year. That's also an all-time high, the Dispatch said.
Read the U.S. Department of Agriculture report. Click: USDA Report Reveals Highest Rate of Food Insecurity Since Report Was Initiated in 1995
Sources: U.S. Department of Agriculture and Columbus Dispatch
“On a small scale, retirements can make room for a new generation of teachers who have the potential to bring fresh ideas and practices to our schools, (but) the impact of such a large scale exodus of accomplished veterans will be that a legacy of teaching expertise developed over decades of hands-on instruction in our nation’s classrooms will be lost to our schools, students, and new teachers. In the wake of their departure, education leaders could be forced to staff schools with a growing cohort of inexperienced beginners who are dropping out of teaching at an accelerating rate.” .....Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, Teacher Magazine, November 10, 2009
Read the April 2009 report by the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future. Click: here.
Since last fall, school systems, state education agencies, technical schools and colleges have shed about 125,000 jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. At the same time, according to The Associated Press (AP), many teachers who had planned to retire or switch jobs are staying on because of the recession, and many people who have been laid off in other fields are trying to carve out second careers as teachers or applying to work as substitutes to make ends meet.
AP said just a few years ago, before the recession hit, several reports had projected a big shortage of teachers across a wide range of subjects over the next several years as baby boomers retired from the classroom and the strong economy lured college graduates into fields other than education. But the nationwide demand for teachers in 60 out of 61 subjects has declined from last year, according to a report issued this week by the American Association for Employment in Education (AAEE). Mathematics was the only subject listed as having an extreme shortage of teachers. In recent years, more than a dozen subjects had extreme shortages, AP said
"We don't see a teacher shortage now. The school districts aren't hiring," AP quoted the executive director of AAEE.
Source: The Associated Press
November 12, 2009- Report: Investing in the Teaching Profession
The report, "Effective Teachers, High Achievers: Investing in a Teaching Profession," released by Forum for Education and Democracy, said, "An appropriate vision for learning must be accompanied by serious investments in teaching. Researchers have discovered that the single most important school influence on student learning is the quality of the teacher." The report goes on to say, "Studies find that the quality of the school principal — especially the extent to which he or she engages in instructional leadership practices — is the second most important determinant of a healthy learning environment, right after teacher quality."
The report challenges the federal government to:
- 1. Create incentives for recruiting teachers to high-need fields and locations.
- 2. Strengthen teacher preparation.
- 3. Make teacher education performance-based.
- 4. Support mentoring for all beginning teachers.
- 5. Create sustained, practice-based collegial learning opportunities for teachers.
- 6. Develop teaching careers that reward, develop, and share expertise.
- 7. Mount a major initiative to prepare and support expert school leaders.
The report concludes, "Now is the time to act."
November 13, 2009- Report: State Lag in Educational Innovation
A report issued Monday ( November 9, 2009) on state-level innovation in education found most states earning C’s, D’s, or even F’s in such key areas as technology, high school quality, and removal of ineffective teachers. The report, Leaders and Laggards: A State-by-State Report Card on Educational Innovation, was released by the Center for American Progress, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Frederick M. Hess, director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute.
The report said, "Some states with positive academic results receive poor grades on our measures of innovation, while others with lackluster scholarly achievement nevertheless earn high marks for policies that are creating an entrepreneurial culture in their schools." The authors added, "We believe innovative educational practices are vital to laying the groundwork for continuous and transformational change. And change is essential. Put bluntly, we believe our education system needs to be reinvented. After decades of political inaction and ineffective reforms, our schools consistently produce students unready for the rigors of the modern workplace."
Among the major findings listed in the report are:
- Rigid education bureaucracies impede quality schooling.
- State finance systems are opaque, inefficient, and undermine innovation.
- The teacher pipeline fails to provide a diverse pool of high-quality educators.
- Teacher evaluations are not based on performance.
- Major barriers exist to the removal of poor-performing teachers.
- The outcome of state technology spending is unknown.
- State data systems provide limited information on school operations and outcomes.
- Schools provide too little access to college-level coursework.
- Only one state, Hawaii, has created a student-based funding system.
- States lack a culture of education advocacy.
November 10, 2009- Three From Region Named to Advisory Council
House Speaker Armond Budish has named the following educators from the rural Appalachian region to the Ohio School Funding Advisory Council.
Dr. George Wood, Principal, Federal Hocking High School.....school principal representative.
Dr. Richard Murray, Superintendent, Muskingum Valley ESC.....educational service center representative.
Dr. Renee Middleton, Dean, Ohio University College of Education.....college of education representative.
The 28-member council is charged with examining, analyzing and making recommendations every two years, starting December 1, 2010, for the new “evidence-based” school funding plan.
November 9, 2009- Report: Achievement Gaps Still Large, Although Most Have Narrowed
According to the October 2009 report, "State Test Score Trends Through 2007-08: Are Achievement Gaps Closing and Is Achievement Rising for All?," by the Center on Education Policy (CEP), student achievement gaps for minority and low-income students nationwide have narrowed across all grade levels and subjects in 74 percent of all trend lines between 2002 and 2008. But despite this progress, achievement gaps continue to be a challenge, widening in 23 percent of trend lines studied in the report.
The report reflects findings from the third year of a multi-year study of student achievement. The study finds that in general, achievement for minority and low-income students has gone up and achievement gaps have narrowed in most states, although gaps are still large. Gains made by various racial/ethnic subgroups have outpaced gains by white or non-low-income students in most states. Across subgroups and states, there was more progress in closing gaps at the elementary and middle school levels than at the high school level.
Overall, Ohio students made gains at the basic and proficient achievement levels, however results were somewhat more mixed at the advanced level.
To view Ohio results click: State Profiles and scroll down.
November 6, 2009- Report Offers Education Policy Recommendations
The report, Taking Human Capital Seriously: Talented Teachers in Every Classroom, Talented Principals in Every School, calls for states and school districts to overhaul how they recruit, prepare, evaluate, and compensate teachers. The report, released November 3, 2009 by Strategic Management of Human Capital (SMHC), is a project of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education supported by funding from foundations. It is headed by Allan R. Odden, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and James A. Kelly, the founding president of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
In this report, SMHC offers 20 policy recommendations for state and district actions to improve student achievement by recruiting, developing, evaluating, compensating and retaining more effective teachers and principals. The report calls for close cooperation between states and districts, determined commitment from all parts of the education policy community including teachers, teacher union/associations, and administrators, and strong political leadership. Odden said, "This report lays out a clear blueprint for reform. We urge state and local policymakers to implement these recommendations as soon as they are able."
Note: Allan R. Odden was a leading resource for Ohio's new evidenced-based school funding model.
November 5, 2009- Nearly 60% of Ohio's School Issues Pass
Ohio voters approved nearly 60 percent of the school issues at the November 3rd election. There were 175 school issues on the ballot. Voters approved 104, or 59.43%, while 71 issues, or 40.57%, failed. The passage percentage was similar to November 2008, however there were 238 issues on the ballot last year.
Statewide, only 35%, or 35 of the 100 issues requesting new money passed. Sixty-nine (69) of 75, or 92%, of renewal issues passed.
In Ohio's 32 Appalachian counties, the approval percentage for new and renewals was similar to statewide results. There were 42 issues on the ballot in the Appalachian region. Voters approved 25, or 59.52%, with 17 issues, or 40.48%, failing. Seventeen (17) of the 42 issues in the 32-county Appalachian region were for new money. Only 4 (23.53%) of new money issues passed and 13 (76.47%) failed.
Ohio had 37 library issues on the ballot with 30, or 81.08% passing.
Source: Ohio Department of Education
November 4, 2009- Report Suggests States Lowered Standards to Meet "Proficiency"
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released data last week suggesting that some states may have lowered student-proficiency standards to get their students up to “proficient” levels on state tests. NCES researchers used student test scores for the 47-state study to figure out where the proficiency levels on various state tests would lie on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The report said more states lowered standards than raised them from 2005 to 2007. According the report, at least 26 states made their standards less rigorous in one or more grade levels or subjects, while twelve states appeared to make their standards more stringent in one or more grade levels or subjects. Among the findings:
- Thirty-one states deemed fourth-graders proficient in reading when they would have rated below basic on NAEP.
- Seventeen states deemed eighth-graders proficient at reading when they would have rated below basic on NAEP.
- Ten states deemed fourth- and eighth-graders proficient at math when they would have rated below basic on NAEP.
Read the executive summary. Click: Mapping State Proficiency Standards Onto NAEP Scales: 2005-2007 (Oct 29)
Read the full report. Click Download the complete report in a PDF file for viewing and printing.
November 3, 2009- FY 2010 Ohio Revenue Forecast Compared to FY 2009
An October 2009 National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) report said, "State revenue collections have consistently underperformed expectations. The decline has been steep and unrelenting. Even pessimistic forecasts have not been met, producing cavernous holes in state budgets." Unfortunately, according to the report, the steep revenue falloff in FY 2009 will not be the bottom for many states. More than half of the states expect a further decline in FY 2010.
The NCSL report contains the data below showing Ohio's revenue forecast for FY 2010 compared to FY 2009 collections. It includes information on total tax growth projections, and breaks out information for personal income, sales, corporate income and cigarette and tobacco products taxes. To view data for other states, click: report from the NCSL
For a printable copy of the report, click: Printable Report
FY 2010 Revenue Forecast (Compared to FY 2009 Collections) for Ohio
Total Tax Growth
Personal Income Tax Growth
Corporate Income Tax Growth
General Sales Tax Growth
Cigarette and other tobacco products
Source: NCSL survey of legislative fiscal offices, Summer/Autumn 2009
In Ohio, the forecast decreases for both the personal income tax and the corporate income tax are due in part to reductions in tax rates.
The NCSL report said:
- Twenty-one states forecasted that personal income tax collections would drop compared to last year’s levels. The biggest declines were forecasted by Louisiana (-12.6 percent), New Jersey (-9.0 percent) and Ohio (-7.5 percent). Tennessee, which taxes only dividends and capital gains, projected collections to fall 14.9 percent.
- Twenty-three states anticipated that corporate income tax collection would drop below last year’s levels, with 13 of these forecasting double-digit declines. The biggest drops were forecasted by Ohio (-80.8 percent), Delaware (-65 percent), Illinois (-33.8 percent) and Minnesota (-31.7 percent). Two other states expected declines greater than 20 percent: Louisiana (-29.5 percent) and Montana (-26.5 percent).
- Ohio expects collections from the tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products to fall by 11 percent compared to FY 2009.
November 2, 2009- More Appointments to the Ohio School Funding Advisory Council
Governor Ted Strickland has named seven appointments to the Ohio School Funding Advisory Council. The 28-member council is charged with examining, analyzing and making recommendations every two years, starting December 1, 2010, for the new “evidence-based” school funding plan.
Governor Strickland and Senate President Harris have now named 16 of the 28 people to serve on the Ohio School Funding Advisory Council. It may be worth mentioning that neither the Governor or the Senate President has appointed anyone to the Advisory Council who resides in a south central, east central or southeastern Ohio county (the Ohio Appalachian region). Hopefully, this will not be the case when final appointments are completed.
Governor Strickland's appointments are:
, of Newark, has been appointed as a parent representative. He is a father of two children, ages 6 and 1. In 1991, DeRolph and his parents filed a lawsuit against the State of Ohio for failing to provide adequate funding to educate the state's students, which resulted in four Ohio Supreme Court rulings that the system of funding for public education was unconstitutional. He received a bachelor’s degree in finance from the Ohio State University in 1999 and works at Fifth-Third Bank.
Robyn Essman, of Dayton, has been appointed as a community school representative. She has served as the executive of budget and financial management for the Columbus City Schools since 2008. Essman previously served as the budget director for the Dayton Public Schools from 2001-2008 and as the business manager for the Dayton Metro Library from 1987-2001. She currently serves as a member of the Ohio Association of School Business Officials. Essman received a bachelor’s degree from Wright State University in 1975.
Sue Taylor, of Cincinnati, has been appointed as a teacher representative. She serves as the president of the Ohio Federation of Teachers, and serves as an educator in the Cincinnati Public School system as she has for the past 23 years. Taylor previously served as the president of the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers. She received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1977 and 1978, respectively.
William Leibensperger, of Upper Arlington, has been appointed as a teacher representative. He serves as the vice president of the Ohio Education Association and as a teacher at Westland High School. He previously served as the secretary and treasurer of the Ohio Education Association from 2000-2006. Leibensperger received a bachelor’s degree from Miami University in 1977 and a master’s degree from the Ohio State University in 1983.
James McClure, of Painesville, has been appointed as a non-teacher, non-administrator representative. He serves as a material handler for the Mentor Public Schools. McClure previously served as a custodian for the Mentor Public Schools from 1985-1988. He was honored as the 2005 Education Support Professional of the Year by the Ohio Education Association. McClure is a graduate of Eastlake North High School.
JoAnn Johntony, of Girard, has been appointed as a non-teacher, non-administrator representative. She serves as a custodian for the Girard City Schools and as the president for the Ohio Association of Public School Employees. Johntony previously served as the vice president of the Ohio Association of Public School Employees Local 425 from 1977-1981. She graduated from the National Labor College in 2007.
Dayvenia Chesney, of Dayton, has been appointed as the early child representative. She currently serves as the CEO for the Miami Valley Child Development Centers. Chesney previously served as the manager of operations for the Council on Rural Service Head Start Programs. She also serves as a member of the Ohio Early Childhood Advisory Council and serves on the board of directors for the Ohio Head Start Association. Chesney has earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree.
October 30, 2009- Appointments to the Ohio School Funding Advisory Council
Senate President Bill Harris has named his nine appointments to the Ohio School Funding Advisory Council. The 28-member council is charged with examining, analyzing and making recommendations every two years, starting December 1, 2010, for the new “evidence-based” school funding plan.
Harris named superintendent John Scheu of Hardin-Houston Local Schools in Shelby County who, according to the Columbus Dispatch, is an outspoken critic of the governor’s “evidence-based” model, which he said contains too many unfunded mandates.
As the “representative of the general public,” Harris picked Michael D. Dawson of Bexley, who has advised former governor and current U.S. Senator George Voinovich, former U.S. Senator Michael DeWine and former Ohio House Speaker Jon Husted. Husted also has worked with charter school advocates, the Dispatch said.
Harris named Lynn Elfner, CEO of the Ohio Academy of Science, who, according to the Dispatch, wrote of the governor’s funding plan in March: “In summary, the underpinning intellectual components—the governor’s bibliography—lack references to fundamental, research-based knowledge about learning and teaching. Most of the references are political or interpretive and of secondary importance from a research literature viewpoint.”
The Columbus Dispatch said:
As the school board representative, Harris picked Kathryn Lorenz, president of the Loveland City School Board in Hamilton County.
As the business community representative, he picked Adrienne O’Neill of the Stark Education Partnership.
The charter school representative will be Richard Lukich of Constellation Schools in Independence.
The charter school parent representative will be Dave Huelsman of Reynoldsburg.
Neil Gupta, director of secondary curriculum for Ashland City Schools, is the Harris’s personal committee pick.
Sen. Tom Sawyer, D-Akron, is the pick of the Senate minority leader.
House Speaker Armond Budish and Governor Ted Strickland are expected to release their appointments soon.
October 29, 2009- Michigan Recommendation: Consolidating Schools
The Associated Press (AP) reports that a Michigan Legislative Commission on Government Efficiency released a six-page list of recommendations on steps the state can take to align its spending and resources. The list of preliminary recommendations includes giving the state superintendent the power to consolidate school districts or intermediate school districts if at least 5 percent savings can be shown. The change is being recommended because Michigan faces a threat of a huge hole in next year's budget, one that can't rely as much on federal recovery dollars, the AP article said.
October 28, 2009- CORAS Membership Exceeding Expectations
The Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools (CORAS) is on pace to reach its highest number of members ever. Nineteen of the 32 Appalachian counties have either 100% membership, or lack just one school district of doing so. All school districts in Coshocton, Guernsey, Harrison, Hocking, Holmes, Jefferson, Muskingum, Morgan, Noble, Perry, Vinton and Washington counties are members of CORAS. Athens, Brown, Gallia, Jackson, Meigs, Pike and Ross counties are just one district short of having 100% membership. Belmont, Highland, Lawrence and Scioto counties lack two school districts of having full membership. CORAS has had 130 members or more each year for almost a decade. There appears to be good chance that membership could reach or exceed 140 for the 2009-10 school year. If your district has not renewed its membership for 2009-10, please do so. Your support is needed to continue strong advocacy for rural Appalachian school children........and to reach the 140 membership goal.
October 27, 2009- State Test Results v. National Test Results
An editorial, endorsing national curriculum standards, in today's Columbus Dispatch said, "According to Ohio's state testing program, 78 percent of fourth-graders and 71 percent of eighth-graders are proficient in math. But when those same students took the math portion of last year's NAEP (National Assessment of Education Progress), about 45 percent of fourth-graders and 36 percent of eighth-graders reached the 'proficient' level."
On a sad note, public education has lost two national "voices." Gerald Bracey, a longtime education researcher and outspoken public school advocate, died last week. He was 69. Theodore R. Sizer, a great visionary and an innovative leader of education reform, also passed away this past week. He was 77. Bracey had been the featured speaker on two separate occasions at Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools meetings during the past 20 years.
October 26, 2009- National Expert Featured at CORAS Meeting
On October 20, 2009, sixty-five school superintendents and others attended the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools (CORAS) meeting in Logan. The program featured Molly A. Hunter, Esq., a national expert on education and school funding reform. Ms. Hunter provided an extensive overview of school funding litigation and education reform across the county. She also gave her perspective on Ohio's school funding litigation, and more the recent evidenced-based reform. CORAS president William Brelsford presided over the meeting and William L. Phillis, E&A Coalition Executive Director, introduced the featured speaker.
Prior to the Hunter presentation, Michael Collins, State Board of Education member from the 9th District, provided an update on the workings and activities of the state board of education, including a progress report on revising state standards.
The next CORAS meeting will be at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at the Ramada Inn, Zanesville. Dr. James Mahoney, Executive Director, Battelle for Kids, is the featured speaker. His presentation will focus on "Teacher Quality, Student Achievement and Learning in the Classroom."
Registration materials for the January 26th meeting will be mailed to CORAS members the first week of January
October 23, 2009- Report: Ohio Serving 12,000 Fewer Low-Income Pre-K Children
Ohio was among 10 states that decreased pre-k funding for the 2009-10 school year, according to the report, "Votes Count: Legislative Action on Pre-K Fiscal Year 2010," released yesterday.
"In Ohio, lawmakers - facing a comparatively manageable budget gap of 5 percent - chose to decimate the state's two-program pre-k system, derailing a turnaround that had barely begun and setting themselves and their state's young children even further behind their peers across the country," The PEW Center on the States report said. "Overall, the remains of the state's pre-k system are expected to serve at least 12,000 fewer low-income children - a decrease of more than 50 percent from 2008-09 - even as the ranks of young children in poverty are likely to grow," the report added.
"In Ohio, legislators have ignored the research, which clearly demonstrates that pre-k builds the human capital essential for economic recovery and gives children the high-quality educational opportunities they need to enter kindergarten ready to succeed," the report concluded.
October 22, 2009- Public Education: Observations & Studies
"Our struggling public schools — was actually a critical, but unspoken, reason for the Great Recession. Our education failure is the largest contributing factor to the decline of the American worker’s global competitiveness, particularly at the middle and bottom ranges.” .....Todd Martin, former global executive with PepsiCo and Kraft Europe and now an international investor, as told to Thomas Friedman
"The teachers have two complaints about education schools. First, most of them say they did not get the hands-on teacher training about managing the classroom that they needed, especially for high-needs students. And second, they say there were not taught how to use data to improve instruction and boost student learning. Their large enrollment and low overhead makes education schools cash cows for their universities. But their profits have been diverted to smaller, more prestigious graduate departments such as physics and have not been spent on research and training for would-be teachers." ....Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, in speech at Columbia University
Read the article. Click: Education chief calls for teacher prep overhaul
“Given the financial hardship of the country, it’s simply astonishing that colleges and universities would have this kind of increases. It tells you that higher education is still a seller’s market. The level of debt we’re asking people to undertake is unsustainable." .....Patrick Callan, president of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education
Read the article. Click: College Costs Keep Rising, Report Says
"Two out of five of America’s 4 million K-12 teachers appear disheartened and disappointed about their jobs, while others express a variety of reasons for contentment with teaching and their current school environments." .....“Teaching for a Living: How Teachers See the Profession Today,” new research by Public Agenda and Learning Point Associates
October 21, 2009- More On Child Poverty
An Economic Policy Institute (EPI) report said, "On September 10, 2009 U.S. the Census Bureau reported that the child poverty rate in the United States rose to 19.0% in 2008, from 18% in 2007." That translates to 14.1 million children living in poverty in one of the richest nations on earth, the EPI report said.
The EPI report went on to say that in 2008 more than one in three (35.3%) of all people living in poverty were children. EPI projects that with the continuing deterioration in the labor market, a quarter of all children in this country will be living in poverty this year (2009) and by 2010 the child poverty rate will be 26.6%. This would represent a 10.4% increase in child poverty in the United States from 2000 to 2010, EPI said.
Read EPI report. Click: New 2008 poverty, income data reveal only tip of the recession iceberg
Source: Heidi Shierholz, Economic Policy Institute
Note: The Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit Washington D.C. think tank, was created in 1986 to broaden the discussion about economic policy to include the interests of low- and middle-income workers.
October 20, 2009- November 3rd School Ballot Issues
According to the Ohio Secretary of State website there are 173 school issues on the November 3, 2009 ballot. This includes 117 property tax issues, 39 bond issues and 17 miscellaneous tax (includes income tax issues) questions/changes. The 2008 November election had 266 school issues on the ballot, including 178 property tax issues, 48 bond issues and 40 miscellaneous tax (included income tax issues) questions/changes.
Fourteen of the 32 Ohio Appalachian counties have a total of 41 school issues on the November 3, 2009 ballot. The 14 Appalachian counties and the number of school (all property tax and bond) issues in each county are:
Ashtabula - 3
Belmont - 2
Carroll - 1
Clermont - 3
Columbiana - 3
Coshocton - 1
Harrison - 3
Holmes - 1
Jefferson - 2
Mahoning - 5
Meigs - 1
Muskingum - 2
Trumbull - 10
Washington - 4
Click below to locate all ballot issues. School issues are highlighted in blue.
Source: Ohio Secretary of State
October 19, 2009- "Grants To Grads" Aimed At "Brain-Drain" Problem
Ohio continues to face a "brain-drain" problem. The high unemployment rate makes it difficult to keep highly educated graduates from moving to more prosperous cities in other states. According yesterday's Associated Press (AP) article, Ohio has an annual net loss of more than 5,800 bachelor's degree holders and almost 2,900 graduate degree holders.
AP said U.S. Census projections predict a gloomy 20-year trend for residents of prime working age in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. While the Census expects those states to see a total population growth of roughly 1.5 million by 2030, it predicts the number of residents between the ages of 25 and 44 will decline by about 400,000.
The "Grants for Grads" program, inserted the biennium budget bill signed by the Governor on July 17th, is aimed at keeping college graduates in Ohio. Through the program, graduates who purchase a home and remain in the state for at least five years may qualify to receive down payment and closing cost assistance. "Grants for Grads" requirements are:
— Recipients must be college graduates or have a graduate degree.
— Recipients must have graduated from an Ohio high school, but the college or graduate degree can come from any accredited college or university.
The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) is administering the program.
October 16, 2009- Redesigning Teacher Pay
According to a recent Washington Post article, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said paying public school teachers based on their performance is his "highest priority."
Paying teachers based on how well they teach, rather than how long they’ve been on the job, is addressed by Susan Moore Johnson and John P. Papay in a new book, Redesigning Teacher Pay: A System for the Next Generation of Educators, being published this month by the Economic Policy Institute, a labor-oriented Washington think tank. The study proposes broad pay and career restructuring to inspire and reward excellence. The plan comes in context of changes already underway in some school districts. The book has two parts. PART I: TEACHER PAY-FOR-PERFORMANCE: A framework for program design, and PART II: PAY AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT: A proposal for a new generation of teachers.
In a press release, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said the book “takes serious steps toward not just demonstrating what is wrong with current teacher-compensation systems but also offering good, solid ideas on how to fix it.”
NOTE: Johnson is a Professor of Teaching and Learning at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Papay is an advanced doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in the Quantitative Policy Analysis in Education.
Read the press release. Click: Read press release
October 15, 2009- Ohio NAEP Mathematics Test Results
NATIONAL ASSESSMENT OF EDUCATION PROGRESS (NAEP)
Overall Results of the 2009 Mathematics Assessment for Ohio Fourth-Graders Compared to Nation, 2007 and 1992.
- In 2009, the average score of fourth-grade students in Ohio was 244. This was higher than the average score of 239 for public school students in the nation.
- The average score for students in Ohio in 2009 (244) was not significantly different from their average score in 2007 (245) and was higher than their average score in 1992 (219).
- In 2009, the score gap between students in Ohio at the 75th percentile and students at the 25th percentile was 38 points. This performance gap was not significantly different from that of 1992 (42 points).
- The percentage of students in Ohio who performed at or above
the NAEP Proficient level was 45 percent in 2009. This percentage was not significantly different from that in 2007 (46 percent) and was greater than that in 1992 (16 percent).
- The percentage of students in Ohio who performed at or above the NAEP Basic level was 85 percent in 2009. This percentage was not significantly different from that in 2007 (87 percent) and was greater than that in 1992 (57 percent).
NOTE: In 2009, Ohio fourth-graders who were eligible for free/reduced-price school lunch, an indicator of poverty, had an average score that was 23 points lower than that of students who were not eligible for free/reduced-price school lunch.
Overall Results of the 2009 Mathematics Assessment for Ohio Eighth-Graders Compared to Nation, 2007 and 1990.
In 2009, the average score of eighth-grade students in Ohio was 286. This was higher than the average score of 282 for public school students in the nation.
The average score for students in Ohio in 2009 (286) was not significantly different from their average score in 2007 (285) and was higher than their average score in 1990 (264).
In 2009, the score gap between students in Ohio at the 75th percentile and students at the 25th percentile was 46 points. This performance gap was not significantly different from that of 1990 (45 points).
The percentage of students in Ohio who performed at or above the NAEP Proficient level was 36 percent in 2009. This percentage was not significantly different from that in 2007 (35 percent) and was greater than that in 1990 (15 percent).
The percentage of students in Ohio who performed at or above the NAEP Basic level was 76 percent in 2009. This percentage was not significantly different from that in 2007 (76 percent) and was greater than that in 1990 (53 percent).
NOTE: In 2009, Ohio eighth-graders who were eligible for free/reduced-price school lunch, an indicator of poverty, had an average score that was 26 points lower than that of students who were not eligible for free/reduced-price school lunch.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics and Columbus Dispatch
October 14, 2009- Stimulus Funds Create or Save Education Jobs
Federal stimulus funds have helped create or save 13,144 jobs in Ohio so far this year, according to a state report released yesterday. More than half of the jobs created or retained, or 7,173, are education-related, such as teachers, school nurses and other staff.
In California, stimulus funds was credited with saving or creating 62,000 jobs in public schools and state universities. Utah reported saving about 2,600 teaching jobs. In both states, education jobs represented about two-thirds of the total job number. Missouri reported more than 8,500 school jobs, Minnesota more than 5,900. In Michigan, officials said 19,500 jobs have been saved or created, three out of four were in education.
Sources: Associated Press and Cleveland Plain Dealer
October 13, 2009- "A Call To Teach"
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), total public and private elementary and secondary school enrollment reached a record 55 million in fall 2005, representing a 14 percent increase since fall 1992. Between 2005, the last year of actual data, and 2017, a further increase of 10 percent is expected, with increases projected in both public and private schools. Public school enrollment alone rose 26 percent, from 39.4 million to 49.8 million between 1985 and 2008.
On Friday (October 9th) U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan delivered a "call to teach," emphasizing the need to elevate the teaching profession and expand the pool of teacher candidates. He said the U. S. Department of Education estimates a national need for 1.7 million new teachers by 2017 due to anticipated retirements and attrition, with no mention of the projected enrollment increase that would require even more teachers over the next decade.
Read Secretary Duncan's "call to teach" remarks. Click:
Last week the Columbus Dispatch reported, that along with 47 other states, Ohio has helped write a set of common standards that are research-based and benchmarked to top performing countries, and could be adopted anywhere in the nation. "But the state won't use those, instead revamping its existing standards," Associate State Superintendent of Public Instruction Stan Heffner said, according to the Dispatch.
A set of standards that are research-based and benchmarked to top performing countries, and could be adopted anywhere in the nation, sounds pretty comprehensive. "But the state [Ohio] won't use those." Some wonder why?
Perhaps Heffner answered the question. According to the Dispatch he said, "The common standards won't be finalized until January and, by law, Ohio must adopt new ones for English, math, science and social studies by June 30. It's not enough time and they'll be too different from the academic content the state currently believes is important."
On any given day, about one in every 10 young male high school dropouts is in jail or juvenile detention, compared with one in 35 young male high school graduates, according to a new study (October 2009) of the effects of dropping out of school in the United States. Researchers at Northeastern University in Boston used census and other government data to carry out the study, which tracks the employment, workplace, parenting and criminal justice experiences of young high school dropouts.
The report puts the collective cost to the nation over the working life of each high school dropout at $292,000. The director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern said that figure took into account lost tax revenues, since dropouts earn less and therefore pay less in taxes than high school graduates. It also includes the costs of providing food stamps and other aid to dropouts and of incarcerating those who turn to crime.
The report, in its analysis of 2008 unemployment rates, found that 54 percent of dropouts ages 16 to 24 were jobless, compared with 32 percent for high school graduates of the same age, and 13 percent for those with a college degree.
Read the report, The Consequences of Dropping Out of High School. Click: new study
Sources: Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts and New York Times
A survey of 30,000 households shows marked increase in demand for after school programs and more children are unsupervised in the afternoons now than in 2004. Despite an increase in the number of children attending after school programs over the last five years, today more than a quarter of the nation’s schoolchildren are on their own in the afternoons, and the parents of 18 million children say they would enroll their kids in after school programs if programs were available. These are among the findings from a new survey conducted for the After school Alliance and sponsored by the JCPenney After school Fund.
Children who go to charter schools and magnet schools in Ohio's cities are likely to have a head start on their peers in neighborhood schools before any of them enter a classroom. That's the finding of a Policy Matters Ohio study. The researchers looked at average scores on the state's Kindergarten Readiness Assessment-Literacy (KRA-L), a screening tool which gauges how well kindergartners have been prepared to read by family members and preschools.
Not only were the scores of the kindergartners higher in magnets and charters, but the schools with the highest averages also were more likely to earn high rankings from the state. Schools with the lowest readiness scores tended to end up with low rankings.
Read the executive summary and/or the full report. Click: Executive Summary Full Report
Sources: Policy Matters Ohio and Cleveland Plain Dealer
The U.S. House Education and Labor Committee is debating incentive-pay programs, the role of test scores in pay and evaluation, and how prescriptive the federal government should be in seeking to boost teacher effectiveness. The debate has emerged in hearings for upcoming renewal of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and implementation of the economic-stimulus law.
According to a report in Education Week, members of the House committee agree that improving the distribution of effective teachers to schools with high concentrations of poor and minority students should be a top federal priority. “This is not a mystery. The fact that these inequities exist is well documented. It’s our role, if Title I [funding] is supposed to meet these needs, to sort this out,” the chair of the House Education and Labor Committee said of the federal school aid for disadvantaged children.
Legislation (Senate Bill 180) was introduced in the Ohio Senate last week to allow student performance data (value-added) in evaluating teachers and principals for licensure, permit operators of high-performing charter schools to open new schools and remove the moratorium on new Internet or computer-based charter schools.
REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! (click here to register). Plan now to join K-12 and college educators, administrators and others from the public and private sectors on October 15-16, 2009 for the 16th Annual OACHE Conference. The conference will be hosted by Ohio University in Chillicothe, Ohio.
This year’s conference will begin with a plenary session and luncheon on Thursday at the Christopher Conference Center and will conclude with a closing speaker and a "Grab-N-Go" lunch on Friday at Ohio University Chillicothe.
More than 20 breakout session will be available on a variety of topics including engaging parents and families in your college-access program; grant-seeking and community fund-raising; financial aid; veterans; public-private initiatives; understanding ACT data; Dual Credit; social media; Appalachian culture; and KnowHow2Go. And, Robbin Evans will be present both days, with her book, A Bountiful Heart, chronicling the life of her father, Bob Evans. Proceeds from the book sales go to scholarships for Appalachians. NOTE: Sessions/presenters are still being confirmed; be sure to check the OACHE web site after October 8 for the final agenda. www.oache.org
On September 17th, a bill to revise state report card ratings to prevent a school from dropping more than one classification was introduced in the Ohio Senate. A companion bill is expected to be introduced in the Ohio House. Some schools, previously rated "excellent” by the state, have seen their ratings drop two rankings to "continuous improvement” for not meeting the federal Adequate Yearly Progress standards for certain subgroups of students. Senate Bill 167 proposes the following:
(1) A school district or building shall be declared excellent if it meets at least ninety-four per cent of the applicable state performance indicators or has a performance index score established by the department, except that if it does not make adequate yearly progress for two or more of the same subgroups for three or more consecutive years, it shall be declared effective.
(2) A school district or building shall be declared effective if it meets at least seventy-five per cent but less than ninety-four per cent of the applicable state performance indicators or has a performance index score established by the department, except that if it does not make adequate yearly progress for two or more of the same subgroups for three or more consecutive years, it shall be declared in need of continuous improvement.
(3) A school district or building shall be declared to be in need of continuous improvement if it fulfills one of the following requirements:
(a) It makes adequate yearly progress, meets at least thirty-one per cent but less than seventy-five per cent of the applicable
state performance indicators, and has a performance index score established by the department.
(b) It does not make adequate yearly progress and either meets at least fifty per cent but less than seventy-five per cent of the
applicable state performance indicators or has a performance index score established by the department.
(4) A school district or building shall be declared to be under an academic watch if it fulfills one of the following requirements:
(a) It makes adequate yearly progress, does not meet at least thirty-one per cent of the applicable state performance indicators,
and has a performance index score established by the department.
(b) It does not make adequate yearly progress and either meets at least thirty-one per cent but less than fifty per cent of the
applicable state performance indicators or has a performance index score established by the department.
(5) A school district or building shall be declared to be in a state of academic emergency if it does not make adequate yearly progress, does not meet at least thirty-one per cent of the applicable state performance indicators, and has a performance index score established by the department.
By now everyone has received word that Governor Strickland’s Office asked the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to provide information about how potential additional reductions would affect K-12 funding.
Yesterday's message from ODE to superintendents said if ODE were not granted a waiver for meeting maintenance of effort (MOE) it could result in a 10.31% reduction in districts’ FY 2010 payments and 15.74% in FY 2011 payments. In the scenario, "reductions have been applied at these percentages across-the-board," the ODE message said. If ODE were granted a waiver for meeting MOE, cuts could be avoided in FY 2010, with an "across-the-board reduction" of 10.06% in FY 2011."
There is a question of fairness in "across-the-board reductions" in state funding to school districts. Low property wealth districts, receiving a greater portion of their budget from the state, will face a much larger reduction to their total budget than high property wealth districts receiving less state aid. If there is a reduction in state K-12 education funding, the Governor and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction must be reminded of the implications of "across-the-board" reductions for low property wealth districts.
Superintendent Delisle said, "Let me reiterate that NO decisions have been made about education funding." We hear that message, but believe it is extremely important that low property wealth school districts point out their concerns before the education funding decisions are finalized.
Deborah Delisle (State Superintendent) email@example.com
Phone (614) 466-7578
At a news conference earlier today, Governor Strickland proposed postponing the final year of a state income-tax cut to avoid massive cuts to public education. The Columbus Dispatch said , "Under today's the proposal, which would require legislative approval, a 4.2 percent income tax cut that was to have taken effect this year would be delayed. The reduction was part of a five-year, 21 percent cut approved by Republicans beginning in 2005."
Delaying the state income tax cut would raise an estimated $844 million, which would offset most of the $851.5 million the slots were projected to generate for the current two-year budget, according to the Dispatch report.
Read the Dispatch article. Click: Governor proposes tax change
Visit the CORAS web site at: www.coras.org
More than one in eight Ohioans fell below the poverty line last year, pushing the state's rate to 13.4 percent, according to the latest Census figures. This is the highest poverty rate recorded in Ohio in the past decade. Ohio's poor increased by more than 28,000 last year. Nearly 1.5 million individuals and 288,964 families in Ohio reported their incomes less than the poverty level for the previous 12 months. Nationally, Ohio's poverty rate was slightly higher than the national average, ranking 19th among the 50 states. In addition, the number of people in Ohio receiving food stamps increased to 50,615 by August, up from 42,338 in January.
According to census figures, the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans, those making more than $138,000 each year, earned 11.4 times the roughly $12,000 made by those living near or below the poverty line in 2008.
The following graph, showing the 10-year history of poverty in Ohio, is from the Akron Beacon Journal.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Akron Beacon Journal and Zanesville Times Recorder
“Educational equity is social equity. When children don’t have it, they’re condemned to failure because adults haven’t given them the opportunity to be successful.” ....U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, September 25, 2009
According to an article in today's Cincinnati Enquirer, 200 million Chinese students study English, while fewer than 50,000 American students study Chinese. The article said:
- Virtually 100 percent of European and Asian elementary students study a second language. Ninety-seven (97) percent of Ohio students do not because their schools don't offer one.
- A 2007 report by the state's Foreign Language Advisory Council showed fewer than 2,600 of Ohio's 320,000 juniors and seniors take Advanced Placement tests in a foreign language.
- Fewer than 5 percent of elementary students in Ohio and the U.S. have access to a foreign language program, and the average high school language student studies only two years.
- A 2008 national survey by the Center for Applied Linguistics show public elementary foreign language programs decreased by 9 percent since 1997, and middle school programs by 17 percent.
- While many states have toughened requirements in math, science and language arts, only 16 require foreign language for graduation.
- Each year 20 million more Chinese take up English. Experts predict by 2029 there will be more Chinese English speakers than native English speakers.
Read the Enquirer article. Click: Can you read this?
The April 2009 report, Cities In Crisis: Closing the Graduation Gap, from the Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) Research Center finds that barely one-half of students in the nation's 50 largest cities complete high school with a diploma.
"Governor Ted Strickland said Tuesday a tax increase is still not a good course of action in light of a court decision on slot machines jeopardizing nearly $1 billion in school funding, but it would be "foolish" to rule it out before considering all options." ...Associated Press
"Ohio officials are weighing their next move after the Ohio Supreme Court dealt a huge blow to Governor Ted Strickland, the legislature, and public school advocates by ruling that the legalization of slot-like machines at horse-racing tracks is subject to a statewide referendum. The ruling yesterday (Monday) zapped—at least temporarily—about $850 million from the state’s fiscal 2010-2011 two-year budget, money that was to pay for K-12 education." ...Education Week
Ohio Republicans: Budget gap is governor's problem. "I don't think it's how soon we have to act," said Senate President Bill Harris, R-Ashland. "I think it's how soon does the governor have to act? We gave him a plan. And he has not yet recognized that we gave him a plan. So no, I don't think we have any obligation." ...Associated Press
The National Governors Association (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) convened a state-led process to develop common core state standards. Forty-eight states and three territories signed onto the Common Core State Standards Initiative. The goal is to establish more uniform expectations for the nation’s students, in contrast to the wide variations in academic standards that exist among the states today. A revamped draft of proposed common academic standards for states offers more detailed expectations than an earlier version.
View the first official draft of the college- and career-readiness standards. Click: View the Standards >>
The NGA Center and CCSSO are soliciting feedback that is supported by research and evidence. Feedback will be collected until October 21, 2009.
Provide feedback. Click: To provide feedback on the draft standards, please click here.
It takes $1.31 today to buy what cost $1 back in 1999, according to the federal government's Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI is based on a survey of a wide variety of goods and services in urban areas. The August 2009 data was released September 16, 2009, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau and Cleveland Plain Dealer
The rapid increase in health insurance premiums create a challenge for school district budgets. According to a Families USA September 2009 report, average health insurance premiums for Ohio's families rose 7.2 times faster than median earnings between 2000 and 2009. The report said health care premiums for families rose by 84.1 percent, while median earnings rose by only 11.7 percent.
Median earnings of Ohio's workers rose from $25,017 to $27,936, a mere $2,919 or 11.7 percent between 2000 and 2009.......and during that same period, the average annual premium (employer and worker share of premiums combined) for family health coverage in Ohio rose from $6,596 to $12,145, an increase of $5,549, or 84.1 percent, the report said.
The average annual premium (employer and worker share of premiums combined) for individual health coverage in Ohio (2000-2009), rose from $2,574 to $4,347, an increase of $1,773, or 68.9 percent.
Families USA is a Washington D.C.-based advocate for high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans.
On September 15, 2009, 72 school superintendents and others attended the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools (CORAS) meeting in Logan. The program featured school finance expert, BASA Senior Fellow and former school superintendent, Dick Maxwell. Maxwell, one of the foremost school finance experts in Ohio, was asked to provide a "reality check" on Ohio's new evidence-based school funding plan. He provided an informative overview of both the positive and negative implications of the plan. Maxwell was able to provide additional insight on many of the issues being discussed by superintendents throughout the region. Pointing out concerns, and emphasizng the good, Maxwell stressed that the views he expressed were his own, and that he arrived at these conclusions based on his past experiences and knowledge of school finance.
Prior to the Maxwell presentation, Dr. Barbara Hansen, Muskingum University, discussed the "I'm a Child of Appalachia" essay contest and Dr. Jerry Klenke, BASA executive director, provided an update the Buckeye Association of School Administrators activities. CORAS president William Brelsford presided over the meeting.
The next CORAS meeting is set for 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 at the Olde Dutch Restaurant in Logan. Molly A. Hunter, Esq., Director, Education Justice at the Education Law Center in Newark, New Jersey, will be the guest speaker. She will discuss "Education and School Funding Reform in Ohio and Across the Nation."
Molly Hunter is a nationally recognized expert on issues of school funding litigation and reform. She has written and spoken extensively on these issues and is known for her advocacy of educational opportunity for disadvantaged students. Molly currently directs Education Justice at the Education Law Center, Newark, New Jersey. Previously she directed the National Access Network at Teachers College, Columbia University. With support from national foundations, she has built a loose-knit nationwide network of litigators, policymakers, organizers and other education advocates in more than 40 states.
Registration materials for the October 20th meeting will be mailed to CORAS members within the next week.
Since 1999, health insurance premiums have gone up a total of 131 percent, far more rapidly than workers’ wages, which have gained 38 percent since 1999, or inflation, which is up 28 percent in that period, according to a study released yesterday. The annual Kaiser Employer Health Benefits Survey, conducted by Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust, found that in 2009 companies pay an average of $13,375 to insure a family, up from $5,791 in 1999.
The 2009 average family premium is up 5 percent from over 2008. Employees on average paid $3,515 of the $13,375 annual premium with employers paying $9,860, according to the report. By contrast, premium growth for single coverage was statistically flat in 2009, totaling $4,824. Workers paid $779 for monthly premiums on average and employers paid $4,045. The president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan research group in Washington, said he expects annual premium growth to return to the 7% to 9% range.
The survey also found that to keep future health care costs down, more employers are adding wellness programs, on-site clinics and providing incentives to employee to do health risk assessments.
Read the summary of the findings. Click: Summary of Findings (.pdf)
Percentage of adults who said there is a major difference in the point of view of younger and older people:
Note: 1979 data from CBS/The New York Times; 1969 data from Gallop.
Source: Pew Research Center survey of 2,969 adults February 23 - March 23, 2009
Source: USA TODAY Snapshots
Gongwer News Service reports that Ohio lawmakers are mulling far-reaching retirement system changes and legislative action is expected. Gongwer said, "A series of high-stakes plans designed to improve the funding status of Ohio's multi-billion dollar public employee retirement system officially entered the legislative arena on Wednesday (September 9th) as system leaders detailed a number of potential controversial changes."
See proposed changes below as reported by the Columbus Dispatch.
State Teachers Retirement System
Employee contributions: Increase 0.5 percentage points each year starting in 2011 from the current 10 percent, rising to 12.5 percent by 2015.
Employer contributions: Increase 0.5 percentage points each year starting in 2016 from the current 14 percent, to 16.5 percent by 2020.
Retirement eligibility: Starting in 2015, members at any age with 35 years of service would receive an unreduced benefit. The same would be true for those at 60 with 30 years of service, and for those age 65 with five years of service. Members retiring at age 55 with 30 years or age 60 with five years would receive a reduced benefit.
Cost-of-living benefit: Starting in 2011, cost-of-living increases would be 2 percent per year for current retirees. Members retiring July 1, 2011, or later would receive a 1.5 percent yearly increase.
Final average salary: Would be based on the five highest years of earnings, starting in 2015.
Pension calculator: Starting in 2015, members' pensions would accrue 2.2 percent of their salaries for each of the first 30 years and 2.5 percent per year after 30 years.
School Employees Retirement System
Employee contributions: No change to current 10 percent.
Employer contributions: No change to current 14 percent.
Retirement eligibility ( for those who joined before May 14, 2008 ): A member must be 67 with 10 years of service credit or 57 with 30 years of service credit to retire with unreduced benefits, up from 65 with five years of service credit or any age with 30 years of service credit, respectively. A member may retire early at age 62 with 10 years service or age 60 with 25 years service and would receive reduced benefits, up from 60 with five years of service credit or 55 with 25 years of service credit.
Cost-of-living benefit: No change.
Final average salary: No change.
Pension calculator: No change.
At the national level, the September 8th issue of ACCESS
, a publication from the National Access Network at Teachers College, Columbia University said, "A recent study found that unfunded liabilities for the 125 state, local government and teacher pension funds across the country amount to $443 billion, an especially staggering figure as states grapple with steep budget shortfalls and declining tax revenues, and the funds themselves experience considerable losses. States’ fiscal crises have prompted policymakers and citizens to critically reevaluate retiree benefits schemes, and teacher pension plans have received particular scrutiny."
According to the Columbus Dispatch, 270 of the 610 Ohio school districts that received report cards ratings of excellent or excellent with distinction are exempt from "new policies aimed at improving Ohio public schools." That number includes 34 of the 127 original Ohio Appalachian school districts (29 counties) that received excellent or excellent with distinction ratings. Ashtabula, Mahoning and Trumbull counties were not included in the 2008-09 Appalachian data.
"It is a lot easier to criticize and point fingers than it is to teach large numbers of at-risk children from varied socioeconomic backgrounds." ....Dennis Willard, Akron Beacon Journal, September 6, 2009
A 2008-09 OEA Research Study shows that Ohio has a very wide range of pay scales for teachers. According to the study, the school district range for a BA beginning salary is $21,885 to $43,042; for a school district career rate, $36,569 to $74,887; and for a school district MA maximum, $39,357 to $87,186. While affluent suburban districts pay the higher salaries, rural schools, with little ability to raise revenue, pay the lower salaries.
The report said the two largest contributing factors to what a district pays in salaries are its relative wealth of residents and the cost of living in the area. If the latter is a factor used in setting teacher salaries, it would appear the cost of living in some suburban districts is more than twice as much as in some rural communities.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Ohio will pay private school tuitions for 12,685 students this school year under its voucher program, a 20 percent increase over last year. Cincinnati leads the state with 2,656 voucher students. Columbus is second with 2,383 voucher students. The state has budgeted less funding per pupil for vouchers this year. Private schools will receive $4,250 per elementary student instead of $4,500, $5,000 for high schoolers instead of $5,300.
The Enquirer article pointed out that voucher schools and students will also have more scrutiny this year. Students who receive vouchers are required to take the same state-mandated annual tests as public school students. Beginning this school year, Ohio's Education Department will gather and post achievement and graduation test scores of voucher students on its Web site, without identifying the student. It also will send reports parents of each student's scores, comparing them to the average scores of students at the public school their child would have attended, the article said.
The Athens News reported Monday that Governor Strickland said his education plan is one that is constitutional. The Governor was quoted as saying, “I believe that we must take seriously the need to have a system of education that is fluid, that is flexible, that is relevant, that is appropriate to the needs of individual students. During this budget process, we worked to implement a new structure for funding and for the delivery of educational opportunities to our young people.”
According to the article, the Governor said the plan that was put into place changed Ohio’s system of education from one that the Ohio Supreme Court declared unconstitutional four times to one that is constitutional. “We think that we have come up with an approach that meets the common-sense test and will result in what the courts have said we must do,” Strickland said. This includes eliminating an overreliance of property tax-based funding, he said.
"When the economy sank, so did Ohio's five public pension funds. Now, to make up lost ground, the state's public workers might have to contribute more, and retirees could see benefits cut." ...Columbus Dispatch, September 1, 2009
The Dispatch went to say, "The State Teachers Retirement System lost $24.1 billion from the end of its 2007 fiscal year through June 30, while the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System's assets declined $19.4 billion from the end of 2007 through July 31."
As a result, the five public pension funds will appear before the Ohio Retirement Study Council on September 9, 2009 to discuss the changes proposed by their boards. Changes the pension funds could recommend to the Ohio Retirement Study Council include:
- Increase employee and employer contributions.
- Increase the minimum retirement age.
- Increase the number of years used to calculate the final average salary from three to five.
- Eliminate, reduce or delay annual cost-of-living adjustments.
- Eliminate the lump-sum death benefit.
It has also been suggested that benefits be reduced to current retirees.
"Thirty-six states cut funding for primary and secondary education. Despite the worst budget in a generation, Ohio managed to be one of the few to actually increase funding. One can count the federal stimulus dollars for Ohio's schools either way he or she likes. The bottom line is still that Ohio's schools will receive more support from the state, while over two-thirds of the states cut funding even after applying stimulus funds." .....State Representative Dennis Murray Jr., Sandusky
Source: Sandusky Register
A study, Evaluation of Evidenced-Based Practices in Online Learning, for the U.S. Department of Education conducted by SRI International concluded that, "Even when used by itself, online learning appears to offer a modest advantage over conventional classroom instruction." In a recent article, Study Finds That Online Education Beats the Classroom, the New York Times provided the following summary of the report.
"The report examined the comparative research on online versus traditional classroom teaching from 1996 to 2008. Some of it was in K-12 settings, but most of the comparative studies were done in colleges and adult continuing-education programs of various kinds, from medical training to the military. Over the 12-year span, the report found 99 studies in which there were quantitative comparisons of online and classroom performance for the same courses. The analysis for the U.S. Department of Education found that, on average, students doing some or all of the course online would rank in the 59th percentile in tested performance, compared with the average classroom student scoring in the 50th percentile. That is a modest but statistically meaningful difference."
Read the New York Times article. Click: Study Finds That Online Education Beats the Classroom - Bits Blog ...
Read the report. Click: 93-page report on online education, conducted by SRI International for the Department of Education
The 2008-2009 school year saw an increase in the number of Ohio districts rated Effective or higher. Slightly more than 85 percent of all districts, and nearly 83 percent of Appalachian districts, received one of the top three ratings of Effective, Excellent or Excellent with Distinction. Of the 610 school districts to earn a state designation, a total of 128 districts increased their designation by at least one level between 2007-08 and this year. Only 8 districts saw a decrease in their designation. Eighty-nine districts statewide received a rating of Continuous Improvement or lower, a decrease of three percent from last year. Only 22 Appalachian districts received a rating of Continuous Improvement or lower, a decrease of nearly 21 percent over 2007-08.
The 2008-09 statewide value-added measure showed 72.6% of Ohio school districts were above expected growth, 15.7% were meeting expected growth and 11.6% were below expected growth.
2008-09 Local District Report Card Ratings for Ohio School Districts
(610 Districts, 88 Counties)
116 - Excellent With Distinction
154 - Excellent
251 - Effective
79 - Continuous Improvement
9 - Academic Watch
1 - Academic Emergency
2008-09 Local District Report Card Ratings for Ohio Appalachian School Districts
(127 Districts, 29 Counties)
3 - Excellent With Distinction
31 - Excellent
71 - Effective
22 - Continuous Improvement
0 - Academic Watch
0 - Academic Emergency
The three (3) Ohio Appalachian school districts receiving an Excellent With Distinction rating are:
- East Holmes Local (Holmes County)
- Dover City (Tuscarawas County)
- Milford Exempted Village (Clermont County)
The following data compares the
Ohio Appalachian school districts Local District Report
Card ratings with (1) all school districts in Ohio and
(2) the Ohio non-Appalachian school districts in school
years 2008-09 and 2007-08. NOTE: The 3 newly identified Appalachian counties (Ashtabula,
Mahoning and Trumbull) are NOT included in the Appalachian Districts data.
APPALACHIAN DISTRICTS COMPARISON DATA
School Year 2008-09
How do the Ohio Appalachian school districts compare, by percentage in each category, to all school districts in Ohio and to the non-Appalachian Ohio school districts in 2008-09?
||All Ohio Districts
|| (610 Districts)
|Excellent With Distinction
||1.5% (9 )
Ohio's accountability system in 2008-09 included
four measures of performance, which show the achievement level of Ohio's
students. The four measures listed below are the basis for assigning state
designations. They are: 30 Performance Indicators, Performance Index,
Adequate Yearly Progress and Value-Added Measure. Each of the four measures
focuses on a different aspect of a district's or school's performance.
It is the combination of the four measures that best depicts a comprehensive
picture of the overall performance of the district or school.
School Year 2007-08
How do the Ohio Appalachian school districts compare, by percentage in each category, to all school districts in Ohio and to the non-Appalachian Ohio school districts in 2007-08?
||All Ohio Districts
|| (610 Districts)
|Excellent With Distinction
Rating factors in 2007-08 included 30-Performance Indicators, Performance
Index, Performance Index Improvement, Adequate Yearly Progress and
Value-Added. In addition, school districts that miss AYP for three
consecutive years in more than one student group in the most
recent year can be rated no higher than Continuous Improvement.
(Note: Value-added included in rating system in 2007-08)
Data Source: Ohio Department of Education website
According to the American Association of School Administrators, about 23 percent of the nation's school districts surveyed say they are reducing or eliminating school transportation for this school year as part of cost-cutting measures. That's up from the 14 percent who considered such measures during the 2008-2009 year.
"I've seen it happening in Massachusetts, in Ohio, in Indiana. A lot of school districts are looking at it in varying degrees," said a specialist with the National School Transportation Association
Tomorrow (August 25th), the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) will release Ohio's schools and school districts academic ratings for 2008-09. For the first time, districts and schools making less than one-year's growth for the third consecutive year will move down one place on the rating scale.
The Columbus Dispatch reported, that according to ODE, there are 65 school districts and 200 to 300 schools statewide that have not shown growth on the "value added" measure over the last two years.
The Associated Press reported this week that the "Ohio Lottery is one of the few places where the state has been making more money amid the recession." AP said Ohio (state) revenue was down about 12 percent in July compared to the same month in 2008. But the Ohio Lottery Commission has reported record sales of $2.42 billion for the fiscal year that ended June 30th. Ohio Lottery sales overall were up about 4.4 percent, according to the AP report.
CORAS superintendents are invited to attend an information session to be held on Thursday, September 10th from 1:30-3:30 PM at EagleSticks Golf Club in
Please find attached the "Appalachia Framework," a project for rural Appalachian school districts that was developed jointly by teachers, administrators, and others from the region over the last several months. Battelle for Kids has committed resources, energy and time to this project. In addition, they agreed to seek funding on behalf of 20-25 districts that would agree to this bold framework. The purpose for this meeting is to bring together enough interested districts to leverage our ability to attract investment in our region which is often left out due to sheer numbers.
You are encouraged to invite your union president and a school board representative since you will need their agreement in order for your district to participate in this project. It is at this meeting that more specifics will be discussed, funding approaches that Battelle for Kids will make on your behalf, and how to best make this work. If you have questions now, please contact Jim Mahoney at jmahoney@BattelleforKids.org or rstuder@BattelleforKids.org or by telephone at (614) 481-3141.
Please register for the meeting. Email Rick Studer at rstuder@BattelleforKids.org or by telephone at (614) 481-3141.
Directions to EagleSticks:
The EagleSticks Golf Club and Inn is located on Route 22 in South Zanesville. Coming from Athens take State Route 13 to Route 93 to Route 22. Turn right on Route 22. EagleSticks is approximately one mile on your left. Coming from Lancaster, follow Route 22 to EagleSticks. Coming from the East follow Route 22 through Zanesville. EagleSticks will be on your right in South Zanesville.
According to ACT results released today, more students earned scores indicating they're prepared to succeed in college in all four areas tested. (English, math, reading and science). However, not by much. The proportion of tested graduating seniors who are “college ready” as defined by the ACT grew from 22 percent in the class of 2008 to 23 percent in the class of 2009. Ohio did better with 26 percent. Last years seniors averaged a composite score of 21.1, on the test's scale of 1 to 36. Sub-scores on English, math and reading were unchanged while science was up 0.1 points. (Click on link below for five year ACT data.)
A record 1.48 million students graduating in 2009 took the ACT, up 4 percent from the year before and up 25 percent over the past four years.
Sources: Akron Beacon Journal, Education Week and ACT Inc.
Education Week reported last week that fifteen states, including Ohio, are getting an important financial edge in the Race to the Top competition for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has hand-picked states to receive up to $250,000 each to hire consultants to help them fill out their Race to the Top applications, the Education Week article said. Those states are Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, OHIO, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.
According to the report, the Gates Foundation selected states in which they have already invested or which the foundation thinks are on the right path to school improvement.
The number of U.S. students who receive free and reduced-cost meals at school could soar to a 41-year high this school year, as record job losses and high unemployment push thousands more children into poverty, McClatchy Newspapers (Youngstown Vindicator) reported.
A USA TODAY report said between February 2008 and February 2009 participation in free lunches in Ohio increased from 478,399 to 509,120 students, a 7.93 percent increase. During this same period, nationwide enrollment in free school lunch programs was up 6.3% over the year before, based on U.S. Food and Nutrition Service data. Participation in reduced-price lunch programs rose to 3.2 million students nationwide, the data show.
According to projections by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, at least 18.5 million low-income students nationwide are expected to participate in the National School Lunch Program each day during the 2009-10 school year. More than 8.5 million are expected to take advantage of the federal School Breakfast Program. Both projections are about the same as the record participation levels that each program set last year. However, if rising family homelessness and steady growth in the food-stamp program are any indication, enrollment in both student-meal programs could swell well beyond expectations this fall.
The $4.35 billion Race to the Top Fund provides competitive grants to encourage and reward States that demonstrate they're actively pursuing "four assurances":
- Increase teacher effectiveness and address inequities in the distribution of highly qualified teachers.
- Establish and use preK-through-college and career data systems to track progress and foster continuous improvement.
- Make progress toward rigorous college- and career-ready standards and quality assessments.
- Support targeted, intensive support and effective interventions to turn around schools identified for corrective action and restructuring.
What are they looking for? U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said states seeking Race to the Top funds will be pressed to:
Source: U.S. Department of Education and Washington Post
Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools (CORAS) membership renewals are coming in at a record pace. Nearly 100 members have renewed their membership to date. The highest number ever for mid-August. There are also several new members. The CORAS membership goal for 2009-10 is 140. Multi-district counties nearing 100 percent membership include: Athens, Guernsey, Jefferson, Meigs, Muskingum, Ross and Washington.
JOIN CORAS TODAY
, if you have not already done so! If you misplaced, or did not receive, your membership renewal notice and /or invoice, contact Lori at (740) 593-4414 or (740) 593-4445 or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
A USA TODAY analysis of U.S. Census data from 2005 to 2007 suggests that nationwide, on average, a school nurse cares for 971 students. In 13 states, including Ohio, the ratio was more than 2,000 students to one nurse. Ohio's student/nurse ratio is 2,377 to one, according to the USA TODAY report. Only 8 states had a student/nurse ratio higher than Ohio.
A 2007 survey by the National Association of School Nurses found the ratio was 1,151 students per nurse, the report said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends one nurse per 750 students.
USA TODAY said data from the U.S. Department of Education, which examines only schools that have nurses, show that workloads for elementary school nurses have remained essentially unchanged since 1999 at about 455 students per nurse. But in secondary schools, workloads have grown 14%, from 733 students per nurse to 835. Nationwide, an estimated 45% of public schools have a full-time nurse on staff, the nurses association says. Add part-time nurses and the figure jumps to 75%. But that leaves 25% of schools with no nurse at all.
"Textbooks have not gone the way of the scroll yet, but many educators say that it will not be long before they are replaced by digital versions — or supplanted altogether by lessons assembled from the wealth of free courseware, educational games, videos and projects on the Web." ...New York Times
According to today's Columbus Dispatch, more than 23,000 students from suburban and rural school districts attended charter schools last year, an increase of 67 percent since 2004-05. Urban students enrolled in charter schools grew by 34 percent during that same period. More than 65,000 urban students were enrolled in charter schools during the 2008-09 school year. The Dispatch said statewide, more than 88,000 students attended 319 charters last school year, paid for with $648 million in tax dollars. Of that amount, $159 million was spent on behalf of suburban and rural students.
A two and one half-year old study by the University of Washington, conducted in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Education, examined the school funding structure in Ohio and provided policy-based cost estimates for meeting the needs of different types of students. The February 2007 executive summary report of the study provides some details. Note the report emphasizes the differences between poverty and non-poverty students as it relates to programs and per pupil costs. Also, the report projects costs at the 2006-07 level.
Statewide, 61 percent (11) of the 18 school levies and bond issues on the August 4, 2009 special election ballot failed. Only 3 of 13 of issues for new money were approved, while 4 of 5 renewal levies passed. The passing rate for renewals was 80 percent, while the passage rate for new money issues was 23 percent.
There were 4 school issues on the ballot in the 32 Appalachian counties. Three were for new money. All three failed. One renewal levy passed.
View the statewide breakdown of school ballot issues on the August 4th ballot. Click: Results by county
A bill was introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives yesterday to eliminate special elections, "except to fill a congressional vacancy or if a city or county charter provides for it -- and allow use of vote-by-mail to fill vacancies," the Columbus Dispatch reported today. The bill, backed by the Ohio Secretary of State, would require that school levies and other issues now put on August or February special-election ballots be decided in regular May primaries or November elections. The reason for the bill, according to the Dispatch, "to save money."
More than one-third of Ohio's children in 2007 (nearly 1 million) were living in families where no parent had a full-time, year-round job, according to the 2009 Kids Count, an annual report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation examining 10 indicators of child well-being nationwide. The report said that's a 13 percent increase from 2000.
According to the report, child poverty in Ohio grew from 16 percent to 19 percent between 2000 and 2007. Nationwide, child poverty grew only 1 percent during that time, and the number of children in families where no parent had a full-time, year-round job increased only 3 percent.
Read Columbus Dispatch article. Click: Job trend damaging Ohio's kids
Read the 2009 Kids Count Essay. Click: Read the essay.
View Ohio data. Click: Ohio
View state rankings. Click: Find overall state rankings >
A report from the U.S. Census Bureau, based on 2007 figures, show Ohio 19th in the nation in K-12 per pupil spending. The report said public schools across the country spent an average of $9,666 per pupil in 2007, an increase of 5.8 percent over the previous year. The per-state spending ranged from $5,683 per pupil in Utah to $15,981 per pupil in New York state.
Ohio spent $9,799 per pupil, $133 above the national average. Ohio's revenue sources for 2007 were 43.1 percent from the state and 50.2 percent from local sources. According to the report, 8.3 percent of school revenue nationwide came from the federal government. The report was released by the U.S. Census Bureau this month, July 2009.
Note: 2007 data is the most recent data available from the U.S. Census Bureau
The American Association of School Administrators recent publication, AASA Daily News, contained the article, Merit Pay: Buzzword or Real Education Reform? It was re-printed from Politics Daily. The article mentioned that Ohio lawmakers decided earlier this year that Ohio college and university funding would be calculated based on courses successfully completed by students. The funding also takes into consideration the average cost of programs. The article pointed out that community colleges and university branch campuses are not subjected to the same funding formulas.
Currently Ohio public colleges and universities are funded based upon enrollment data. However, according to the article, performance-based funding does exist in the form of special supplemental grants.
Yesterday's New York Times said, dissatisfied with long hours, churning turnover, and in some cases, lower pay than instructors at other public schools, an increasing number of charter school teachers are unionizing. According to the article, labor organizing that began two years ago at charter schools in Florida has now extended to charters from Massachusetts and New York to California and Oregon.
Most charter schools have thus far been able operate without unions. Therefore, advocates say, charters could pursue innovations and reform barred by work rules governing traditional public schools. The NY Times article said the unionization of charter schools raises questions about whether "unions will strengthen the charter movement by stabilizing its young, often transient teaching force, or weaken it by preventing administrators from firing ineffective teachers and imposing changes they say help raise student achievement......."
Read the article. Click: As Charter Schools Unionize, Many Debate Effect
The New York Times reported yesterday that the U.S. Department of Education has proposed rules to prevent states prohibiting the use of student achievement data to evaluate teacher performance from getting money from a $4.3 billion-educational innovation fund. Money from the "Race to the Top" fund is to be distributed in two stages, late this year and in 2010, by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan to a handful of states with positive records of what the department considers school reform as well as plans for additional improvement, the NY Times said.
Proposed rules for the "Race to the Top" competition say that states must show they are carrying out education innovation and reform, improving student achievement, adopting higher standards, recruiting effective teachers and principals, building educational data systems, and turning around low-performing schools. To be eligible to apply for the money, the rules say, "a state must not have any legal, statutory or regulatory barriers to linking data on student achievement or student growth to teachers and principals for the purpose of teacher and principal evaluation.” It was also reported that the U.S. Department of Education wants charter school caps removed, will judge states on how equitably they fund charter schools compared with regular public schools, and on how much funding they [states] provide for charter school facilities.
Read New York Times article. Click: Administration Takes Aim at State Laws on Teachers
“On average, master’s degrees in education bear no relation to student achievement,” say two education researchers in the report, "Separation of Degrees: State-By-State Analysis of Teacher Compensation for Master’s Degrees." The research, conducted at the Center for Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington, was released Monday.
The researchers said, "Decoupling salary from experience is a tall order, but forward progress on school reform requires school districts to revamp their spending habits somehow. One habit related to experienced-based salary is the practice of paying a teacher with a master’s degree more than an otherwise identical teacher with only a bachelor’s degree. The long-cherished 'master’s bump' makes little sense from a strategic point of view." A co-writer of the report said the policy of giving teachers salary "bumps" after they earn master’s degrees in education “is in the drinking water everywhere, but we know the relationship between the degree and student achievement is nonexistent.”
The researchers went on to point out that because of the financial rewards associated with getting this degree, the education master’s experienced the highest growth rate of all master’s degrees between 1997 and 2007.
Sources: Center for Reinventing Public Education, University of Washington and edweek.org
The Indiana Department of Education will offer some of the state's lowest-performing schools the option to give teachers cash bonuses tied to their students' achievement. The Indiana Department of Education will make up to $80,000 available to pay for the bonuses, according to the agreement signed by the Indiana state superintendent.The state has not released specifics of how the optional program might look in each district, but one Indianapolis high school has already signed to offer teacher bonuses of up to $5,000.
Source: jconline.com (Lafayette-West Lafayette Journal & Courier)
A tentative agreement was reached earlier this month that outlines a more active role for the Ohio Department of Education in overseeing how well local school districts deliver special education services. U.S. District Judge John Holschuh of Columbus has given his preliminary approval to the proposed settlement. The proposed settlement would make the Education Department:
- Require public posting of districts' performance on special-education matters and hold open meetings at which parents can present concerns.
- Inform parents when a district asks for a waiver because it can't meet requirements for class size, the range of students' ages in a classroom and the ratio of staffers to students.
- Give parents more information about filing a complaint with the state.
- Conduct more-thorough investigations of complaints about services, due-process hearings and the use of restraints or seclusion.
The settlement also says extensions will be granted only "in extraordinary circumstances" when a district asks for more time before the department rules on a complaint. Districts will have to correct problems within a year when they fail to meet federal or state standards. The part of the suit related to funding for special education has yet to be settled.
According to the Ohio Legal Rights Service, an independent state agency that advocates for people with disabilities, the proposed settlement brings Ohio in line with federal rules about monitoring districts' special-education programs and investigating complaints from parents and students. Parents who object to the agreement have until September 16 to tell the judge why, in writing. Judge Holschuh will announce whether he gives final approval at an October 20 hearing in Columbus.
The court order has its roots in a May 1991 school funding lawsuit, Thompson v. Ohio, that was assigned to the federal courts in the summer of that same year. The suit was put on hold while a resolution was sought in the DeRolph v. Ohio, the December 1991 school funding case that replaced Thompson, but was reactivated a few years ago.
Read the Cleveland Plain Dealer article. Click: Proposed special education lawsuit settlement could give Ohio bigger role in school districts' compliance with federal regulations
Following are H.B. 1 primary and secondary education conference committee "talking points."
Primary and Secondary Education Conference Committee Talking Points
1. School Funding/Evidence Based Model
Creates the Evidence Based Model for school funding. (Amended, Items 317-335)
o Funds school districts based on House version of EBM, with gain cap of 0.75% and transitional aid guarantee of 99% in 2010
o Funds community schools and STEM schools based on current formula of transfer payments, with a smaller per-pupil amount to reflect decreases to school district funding
o Reduces local property tax contribution from 23 to 22 mills in 2010
Creates the PASS form (PAthways to Student Success) to provide transparency for what school districts receive under the EBM (House, 319, EDU167)
Establishes spending and reporting requirements for school districts for funds received under the EBM, requires certain reforms of all districts with Excellent rated districts exempt, requires targeted academic reforms for districts not succeeding. (Amended, 336, EDU023)
Requires school districts to offer all day kindergarten, prohibiting school from charging tuition for all day kindergarten past FY2011. Also, permits school districts to use state funds for the modification or purchase of classroom space to provide all-day kindergarten. (House, 342, EDU028)
Creates the School Funding Advisory Council, which will be a permanent review body for the school funding formula and recommend ways to create a per-pupil transfer system under the Evidence Based Model. The SFAC will also address issues relating to career tech funding, ESCs and teacher compensation detailed to separate taskforces under the House version(Amended, 346, EDU140)
Eliminates Senate provision that would require each school district to report on the funding the district receives under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. (House, 348, EDU194)
Requires the State Board of Education to establish a school nurse wellness coordinator license. (House, 433, EDU31)
2. Education Reform
Requires the State Board of Education to adopt new operating standards for school districts to include effective measures in teaching, staff collaboration and family and civic engagement (Amended, 398, EDU137)
Require the Superintendent to adopt a strategic plan (Amend, 403, EDU159)
Retain Senate version that does not include the Offices of School Resource Management and Urban and Rural Student Success (Senate, 406 & 407, EDU008 & EDU063)
Permits, rather than requires, ODE to create the Center for Creativity and Innovation (Amended, 408, EDU010)
Removes requirements for on-site visits to school districts (Senate, 409, EDU068)
Require school districts to address life and career ready skills in their curriculum (Amended, 418, EDU079)
Requires school districts, and permits community schools, to form family and community engagement teams (Amended, 428, EDU082)
Prohibits corporal punishment in all public schools. (House, 435, EDU81)
Permits, rather than requires, ODE to establish the Harmon Commission to designate classrooms as creative learning environments. (Amended, 445, EDU154)
Reduces the five excused calamity days to three calamity days for the 2010-2011 school year, requires the State Board of Education to offer recommendation on extending the school year. (Amended, 446, EDU22)
Requires the State Board of Education, at least once every five years, to adopt new and rigorous academic statewide standards that reflect skills demanded in the 21st century workplace, such as critical thinking, problem solving and communication. Requires the Superintendent to present these revised standards before the General Assembly at least forty-five days prior to adoption. (Amended, 447, EDU117)
Develops a new high school assessment system to replace the Ohio Graduation Tests (OGT) that consists of (1) a nationally standardized college prep assessment (2) a series of end-of-course examinations, and (3) a senior project. Requires the Superintendent to present the new assessment system to the General Assembly at least forty-five days prior to adoption(Amended, 448, EDU118)
Requires the State Board of Education to adopt new report card indicators, including an indicator for gifted students. (Amended, 449, EDU119)
3. Community Schools
Eliminates the House provision that requires ODE annually to prepare a funding and expenditure accountability report for each community school and STEM school. (Senate, 353, EDU050)
Eliminates House provision removing the requirement for school districts to offer the right of first refusal for real estate sales to community schools. (Senate, 354, EDU091)
Requires Department of Education to begin issuing report cards for a community school its first year of operation. Exempts the first two years a community school from closure or any other matter based on report card ratings. (Amended, 355, EDU005)
Gives the Department of Education's authority to oversee and monitor community school sponsors applies to all sponsors, including those previously grandfathered out of ODE’s jurisdiction; require the Department's annual report on community schools to include the performance of community school sponsors. (Amended, 356, EDU087)
Eliminates House provision that would prohibit a sponsor from initially entering into a sponsorship contract with a community school if more than 33% of the sponsor's existing schools in Ohio are in academic watch or academic emergency. (Senate, 357, EDU160)
Prohibits new start-up community schools from contracting with management companies unless one of the company’s Ohio schools is rated higher than academic watch. (House, 358, EDU012)
Allows joint vocational school districts to convert schools to community schools, same as regular school districts (Senate, 359, EDU200)
Eliminates House provision requiring community schools to be nonprofit entities, requiring contracts between a community school and an operator be selected through a competitive bidding process established by ODE. (Senate, 360, EDU007)
Eliminates House provision that repeals current law that allows a community school operator to appeal a decision of termination to the school’s sponsor, and in some cases the State Board of Education. (Senate, 361, EDU013)
Eliminates House provisions dealing with community school technical reporting and accountability. (Senate, 363, EDU052)
Requires the Department of Education to waive the number of hours a community school is closed for a public calamity as long as the school provides the required minimum number of learning opportunities to students in the school year. (Senate, 365, EDU209)
Adds computers and software to the instructional items for which e-schools may use the per pupil amount of state funds calculated for base classroom teachers. (Senate, 366, EDU212)
Eliminates House provision ensuring that community school teachers meet the definition of a highly qualified teacher. (Senate, 367, EDU004)
Eliminates House provision that requires community school sponsors to report annually to ODE information about operators hired by the schools they sponsor. (Senate, 368, EDU165)
Strengthens the current performance criteria that trigger automatic closure of a community school. (House, 369, EDU162)
Eliminates House provision that requires ODE to conduct an on-site visit of each community school at least every five years to evaluate the school's operations. (Senate, 370, EDU083)
4. Teachers and School Employees
Makes teachers who eligible for tenure after seven years of holding an educator license (rather than nine years, as in Senate version). (Amendment, 375, EDU035)
Makes “good and just cause” the standard for teacher dismissal. (House, 376, EDU029)
Retains "financial reasons" as grounds for a school district to make reductions in force. (Senate, 378, EDU018)
Creates a career ladder with residency program for teachers, but retains House provision removing value added measures of student success from the licensure requirements (House, 379 & 380, EDU026 &EDU025)
Revise requirements for school employee background checks to have fewer FBI checks in certain cases. (Senate, 382, EDU192)
Requires Educator Standards Board to update standards for teachers, principals and school district superintendents and treasurers. Also requires ESB to make recommendations for how annual student performance measures can be incorporated into teacher evaluation (Amended, 383, EDU024)
Creates the Teach Ohio program and permits, rather than requires, the creation of the Ohio Teaching Fellows Program to provide undergraduate scholarships to qualified students entering the teaching profession who commit to teach at a hard-to-staff, academic watch or emergency public school for at least four years. (Amended, 385 & 386, EDU033 & EDU034)
Repeals current law that permits termination and privatization of school district transportation staff (House, 432, EDU019)
5. Early Childhood Education
Removes a provision of the bill exempts Montessori programs from early childhood education class size rules. (House, 389, EDU188)
Creates the Early Childhood Advisory Council to serve as the federally mandated state advisory council on early childhood education and care. (Senate, 390, EDU116)
Creates the Committee to Study Publicly Funded Child Care Services (Senate, 394, EDU213)
6. Other Education
Transfers the School Employees’ Health Care Board to the Department of Education. (Senate, 61, DAS051, also 474 EDU064 and 450 EDU095)
Requires school districts to spend portions of their federal stimulus funds on services to students in nonpublic schools (as prescribed by federal law). (Senate, 316, EDU198)
Retains school districts to recalculate payments for students in residential facilities (Senate, 337, EDU186)
Eliminates provision that would repeal the law requiring ODJFS to annually report to ODE the number of children in each school district ages 5 to 17 whose families participate in the Ohio Works First program. (Senate, 341, EDU124)
Retains the Ohio State School for the Blind and School for the Deaf as independent entities, as in current law (No change, 444, EDU075)
Eliminates Senate provision creating the Special Education Scholarship Pilot Program (House, 395, EDU182)
Revises requirements and payments for the Educational Choice Scholarship Program (Amended, 396, EDU120)
Requires the State Board of Education to post audio recordings of its meetings online (Amended, 396, EDU206)
Requires ODE to develop business education standards for grades 7-12 (Amend, 400, EDU204)
Removes the requirement for Information Technology Centers to carry a cash balance. (Senate, 402, EDU183)
Removes Senate provision requiring ODE to revoke the charter for certain district operated schools (House, 404, EDU191)
Includes the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (Senate, 405, EDU207)
Removes Senate provision altering penalties for school districts who do not meet Annual Yearly Progress for all student subgroups (House, 411, EDU205)
Revises process for ESC closures, requires new procedure for school districts that transfer ESCs and places a moratorium on such transfers (Senate, 413, EDU153)
Removes Senate provision raising the threshold for contracts that must be competitively bid by school districts (House, 414, EDU189)
Limits school districts’ ability to restrict the pledge of allegiance (Senate, 419, EDU211)
Requires the Superintendent to adopt rules for a special certification for community service (Amended, 421, EDU009)
Prohibits school districts from charging fees for instructional materials to students eligible for free and reduced price lunch (No change, 422, EDU121)
Retains Senate provision removing new requirements for booster vaccines (Senate, 423, EDU175)
Prohibits school employees from administering medication to students unless they are 1) a licensed health professional or 2) have completed a training course conducted by a licensed health professional (Amended, 425, EDU080)
Requires school districts to adopt policies regarding students with food allergies (Senate, 426, EDU184)
Repeals the School Health Safety Network and other school inspection policies (Jared’s Law). (Senate, 429, EDU190)
Requires school districts to count school-sponsored activities as excused absences (House, 437, EDU148)
Removes Senate provision allowing chartered non-public schools to meet their minimum school year requirements through hours rather than days (House, 438, EDU187)
Requires ODE to develop best practices for parental involvement (Senate, 451, EDU197)
7. School Facilities Commission
Permits school districts to use lower levy rates by issuing longer bonds for facilities construction (Senate, 1036, SFC018)
Eliminates House provision requiring community school facilities to meet SFC design manual specifications (Senate, 1037, SFC017)
Recalculates equity list based on changes with tangible personal property revenue (Senate, 1038, SFC019)
Revises maintenance levy requirements for accelerated urban districts (House, 1039, SFC003)
Allows the SFC to advise the Superintendent at her request on the new demands upon and issues related to classroom facilities that may arise due to new operating requirements (House, 1040, SFC15)
Specifies the equity list ranking for a school district participating in the Expedited Local Partnership Program is based on the district’s ranking at the time it entered into ELPP instead of on the current equity list (House, 1041, SFC12)
Caps the local share for school districts qualifying for the Extreme Environmental Contamination provision of the Exceptional Needs Program at 50% (Senate, 1046, SFC005)
Reinstates House provisions regarding expanding eligibility for the Exceptional Needs program (House, 1050, SFC016)
Requires eTech to develop a statewide PK-16 education technology strategic plan in consultation with ODE (Amended, 530, ETC014)
Requires eTech to develop and implement an interactive distance learning pilot project to provide access to at least three free interactive distance learning courses for Title 1 eligible high schools, including two advanced placement courses and one foreign language course. (Amended,531, ETC10)
Creates program that provides the online advanced placement courses and a common statewide platform for public school students in Ohio. Specifies that students participating in the program receive services free of charge. (Amended, 534, ETC3)
The following are CORAS meeting dates, programs and locations for 2009-10. MARK YOUR CALENDARS.
AGAIN THIS YEAR (2009-10) GRADUATE CREDIT WILL BE OFFERED, WITH NO TUITION FEE, FOR ATTENDING FOUR CORAS MEETINGS/PROGRAMS.The Ohio University College of Education will grant one (1) quarter hour of graduate credit to educators from CORAS member school districts who attend the following four CORAS programs: September 15, 2009; October 20, 2009; January 26, 2010; and April 27, 2010. The College of Education will waive the tuition fee. However, Ohio University requires an $85 general fee.CORAS will charge each participant $20 to cover the continental breakfast, lunch and session handouts. REGISTRATION MATERIALS WILL BE MAILED TO CORAS MEMBERS THE SECOND WEEK OF AUGUST.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Program: "FY 2010-2011 School Funding Update"
Presenter: Dick Maxwell, School Finance Expert and BASA Senior Fellow
Dick Maxwell is a highly respected school finance expert, former BASA Executive Director, former school superintendent and currently a BASA Senior Fellow.
Location: Olde Dutch Restaurant, Logan
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Program: "Education and School Funding Reform in Ohio and Across the Nation"
Presenter: Molly A. Hunter, Esq., Director, Education Justice at the Education Law Center, Newark, New Jersey
Molly A. Hunter is a nationally recognized expert on issues of school funding litigation and reform. She has written and spoken extensively on these issues and is known for her advocacy of educational opportunity for disadvantaged students.
Location: Olde Dutch Restaurant, Logan (tentative)
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Program: "Teacher Quality and Student Achievement/Learning in the Classroom"
Presenter: Dr. James Mahoney, Executive Director, Battelle for Kids.
Jim Mahoney joined Battelle for Kids in 2001 as the organization's executive director. Dr. Mahoney has been involved in education for over 35 years as a superintendent, assistant superintendent, principal and teacher. He has also worked as an adjunct faculty member and has published a number of professional articles and is a well-known speaker, making presentations across the United States, Canada and China.
Location: Ramada Inn, Zanesville
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
(Program and location to be announced)
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Program: "Samuel I. Hicks Executive-in-Residence Program"
2010 Hicks Honoree: Dr. Charol Shakeshaft, Department of Educational Leadership, Virginia Commonwealth University
Charol Shakeshaft has been studying equity in schools for more than 25 years, documenting gendered practice in the classroom and in school administration. She is an internationally recognized researcher in the area of gender patterns in educational delivery and classroom interactions.
Location: Ohio University Inn, Athens
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
"CORAS Annual Summer Meeting and Golf Outing"
Program: To Be Announced
Presenters: To Be Announced
Location: EagleSticks Golf Club and Inn, Zanesville
By our count, about 70 of the 127 Appalachian (29 counties) school districts will receive small increases in state funding in 2009-10 as a result of the recently approved state budget. This number increases to about 85 school districts in 2010-11. Taking stimulus monies into account, all Appalachian school districts will receive additional funding over the next two years, ranging as high as 12 percent.
The Appalachian school districts fared fairly well compared to the rest of the state. An unofficial review of the H.B 1 print out shows that approximately 54 percent of the Appalachian school districts will receive increases in state funding in 2009-10, while about 66 percent will receive additional state dollars in 2010-11. Of the remaining 487 non-Appalachian (59 counties) school districts, approximately 24 percent of these districts will receive additional state funding in 2009-10 and 37 percent in 2010-11.
Source: Am. Sub. H. B. 1 Conference Committee Committees Proposed Sate Aid Estimates, FY2010 - FY2011
On June 25th CORAS email featured the Hanushek and Lindseth publication, Schoolhouses, Courthouses, and Statehouses: Solving the Funding-Achievement Puzzle in America's Public Schools." The volume debates whether more resources will lead to better outcomes. Michael Rebell and Bruce Baker, National Access Network, Teachers College, Columbia University, respond to their claim "school finance litigation that result in additional funding does not improve student performance."
Rebell and Baker fault Hanushek and Lindseth’s methodology. In "Assessing 'Success' in School Finance Litigations," they argue that “a proper analysis of NAEP scores” accounting for states’ timelines for remedy implementation and changes in the NAEP exam itself reveals significant gains for students, especially those from poverty backgrounds, in the same states that Hanushek and Lindseth had analyzed.
Read the Rebell and Baker response. Click: here
A recent report from the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, a non-partisan research center which has been systematically studying the implementation of the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) since its inception, finds that some of the basic assumptions of the law are not working and may well be making things worse. The study, Why High Stakes Accountability Sounds Good but Doesn't Work-- And Why We Keep on Doing It Anyway, was released in April 2009. Researchers evaluate whether the accountability system endorsed by NCLB is likely to succeed or fail, and whether it is compatible with what researchers across the country have learned about the conditions needed for lasting school reforms.
According to UCLA's news release, the report finds that NCLB is failing on three fronts. First, there is little evidence that high stakes accountability under NCLB works. It has not improved student achievement and the sanctions have had limited effects in producing real improvement. Second, the law is not very good at accurately identifying schools needing improvement and far outstrips the ability of states to intervene effectively in the schools it sanctions. Third, the law has failed to connect in a meaningful way to the educators who must implement its provisions. Educators do not see the accountability goals as realistic and consider the sanctions to be misguided and counterproductive for improving schools.
However, the news release said, "The most important finding is the damage the NCLB is doing to our educational system. Under NCLB, the system 'works' when education systems operate within only a basic skills framework and with low test rigor. The cost to our nation is revealed in an educational system stuck in low-level intellectual work."
A new study, "Multiple Choice: Charter School Performance in 16 States," released June 9, 2009 by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University, found that nationally students in poverty and English language learners (ELL) experience larger learning gains in charter schools. However, students not in poverty and students who are not English language learners, including Black and Hispanic students as a whole, have learning gains that are significantly smaller than those of their counterparts in traditional public schools. The study also found that first year charter school students experience significantly smaller learning gains compared to their traditional public school peers. Second and third year charter school students reverse this trend, according to the study.
The effectiveness of charter schools was found to vary widely by state. In five states, Arkansas, Colorado (Denver), Illinois (Chicago), Louisiana, and Missouri, charter school students experienced significantly larger growth than would have occurred in traditional public schools. In six states, Arizona, Florida, Minnesota, New Mexico, OHIO, and Texas, charter school students experienced lower learning gains than would have occurred in traditional public schools. In four states, California, District of Columbia, Georgia, and North Carolina, the results were mixed or no different from the gains in traditional public schools.
The authors said, "Despite promising results in a number of states and within certain subgroups, the overall findings of this report indicate a disturbing and far‐reaching subset of poorly performing charter schools. Those authorized to establish charter schools must be willing and able to fulfill their end of the original charter school bargain: accountability in exchange for flexibility. When schools consistently fail, they should be closed."
Read the report: Click: Multiple Choice: Charter School Performance in 16 States
Sources: The National Access Network at Teachers College, Columbia University and the Center for Research and Education Outcomes
A June 2009 survey by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) found that despite the rising profile of pay-for-performance plans as a school improvement strategy, there is no consensus among school leaders that such a compensation system for teachers and other district employees is workable. In retrospect, an unpublished survey conducted by AASA in 1983, and reported by Education Week, found that 80 percent of school superintendents endorsed merit pay for teachers, but few had tried it.
The Youngstown Vindicator reported Sunday that a slots compromise is possible. The Vindicator said, "There is now talk that a compromise is in the offing: Strickland would sign the executive order legalizing VLTs, but the General Assembly (Democrats control the House and Republicans the Senate) would have to pass legislation amending existing law to include slot machines."
According to the Vindicator, State Senator Capri Cafaro, Democrat and minority leader in the Senate, says that the statutes which permit the state-run lottery also applies to Keno because they are both paper-based gambling devices. Slots, on the other hand, are machine-based and, therefore, the statutes would have to be amended to permit them. Cafaro has been working behind the scenes to forge a compromise so that neither Republicans nor Democrats will be able to use the expansion of gambling as an issue in the 2010 elections, the Vindicator said.
Read the Youngstown Vindicator article. Click: Slots compromise in the making
In a meeting with 7,000 National Education Association (NEA) representatives yesterday, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called for reform to teacher compensation and evaluation systems. Duncan challenged teachers’ unions to be willing to reconsider seniority provisions, rework tenure provisions, and work with districts to create fair ways of incorporating student-achievement growth in teacher evaluation and compensation.
Education Week reported that Secretary Duncan said, “I believe that teacher unions are at a crossroads. These policies were created over the past century to protect the rights of teachers, but they have produced an industrial, factory model of education that treats all teachers like interchangeable widgets. When inflexible seniority and rigid tenure rules that we designed put adults ahead of children, then we are not only putting kids at risk, we’re putting the entire education system at risk. We’re inviting the attack of parents and the public, and that is not good for any of us.”
Read Education Week article. Click: Duncan Presses NEA on Merit Pay, Tenure
Read NEA Today article. Click: Secretary of Education: 'We Are Not Going to Impose Reform'
Sources: NEA Today and Education Week
July 2, 2009- Lottery (slot machines) Profits And Education Funding
The proposal to install slot machines at the state's seven horse-racing tracks projected to raise $933 million in state revenue is the issue, according to media reports, causing a state budget impasse. While Senate Republicans are holding hearings on slot machines, House Democrats are seeking input from groups who will be affected by an additional $933 million cut in state funding if slot machines are not accepted by Senate Republicans.
Dennis Willard, statehouse reporter for the Akron Beacon Journal, raises an interesting issue. Willard writes, "The $933 million is going to be generated by the Ohio Lottery and all lottery dollars, according to the Ohio Constitution, must be earmarked for education. So why are any groups other than schools coming before the Ohio House to talk about further cuts? Put another way, if the budget is short $933 million from projected lottery profits, then the state's aid to education funding — and nothing else — has to be cut."
Willard then asks the question, "It wouldn't be that the governor and state lawmakers continue to play a shell game with lottery profits to free up money in the budget to be spent on their true priorities, and that an expansion of gambling in this state will do nothing more for education?"
June 30, 2009- Report: Test Score trends Through 2007-08
High and low-achieving students are not being left behind according to Is the Emphasis on “Proficiency” Shortchanging Higher- and Lower-Achieving Students?, the Center for Education Policy’s (CEP) most recent report on the effects of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The report said Ohio students have made gains at the basic and proficient achievement levels, while results were somewhat more mixed at the advanced level.
Specific Results for Ohio Students
The percentage of students performing at or above the basic level in reading increased slightly at the elementary and middle school grades analyzed and grew at a moderate-to-large rate at the high school level. In math, there was a moderate-to-large decline in the percentage basic at the elementary grade analyzed but moderate-to-large gains at the middle and high school levels.
In reading, the percentage of students scoring at the proficient level and above increased at a moderate-to-large rate at the elementary and high school grades analyzed and at a slight rate at the middle school grade. In math, the percentage proficient decreased at a moderate-to-large rate at the elementary grade analyzed but rose at a moderate-to-large rate at the middle and high school grades.
There were slight declines in the percentage of students reaching the advanced level in reading at the elementary and high school grades analyzed but a moderate-to-large gain at the middle school grade. In math, the percentage advanced decreased at a moderate-to-large rate at the elementary grade analyzed but went up at a moderate-to-large rate at the middle and high school grades.
To check out other state’s NCLB data profile, click: here.
June 29, 2009- Local Property Taxes: Overreliance, Unfair Or Both
Let us not forget that fixing school funding in Ohio requires the unfairness of local property taxes as a major source of funding for public schools be remedied. Ohio citizens residing in property poor communities (low tax base) must have a comparable ability to provide their children with educational opportunities, beyond what the state provides, as citizens residing in communities with a higher tax base. Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sweeney pointed out the unfairness of the local property tax in the majority opinion in the 1997 DeRolph decision. He wrote,
"We also reject the notion that the wide disparities in educational opportunity are caused by the poorer school districts' failure to pass levies. The evidence reveals that the wide disparities are caused by the funding system's overreliance on the tax base of individual school districts. What this means is that the poor districts simply cannot raise as much money even with identical tax effort. For example, total assessed property valuation in the Dawson-Bryant School District in 1991 was $28,882,580, while Beachwood School District in Cuyahoga County had $376,229,512. (The two districts have about the same number of pupils.)" [Cite as DeRolph v. State (1997), 78 Ohio St.3d 193]
June 26, 2009- "...funding gaps far greater than those in other advanced countries."
"Investing in education is a good for all of us. While money is not the only answer, the fact remains that the poorer districts are likely to receive significantly less funding per student, and this funding gap is far greater than those in other advanced countries. We also know that poorer schools generally have teachers who are less experienced and have less preparation for their roles as educators. Allowing a system to continue with such a large gap in resources is simply unacceptable for any nation that hopes to continue to prosper. Investing in education for everyone is both the right and the smart thing to do for all of our futures." ....Daniel F. Mahony, Dean of the College and Graduate School of Education, Health, and Human Services at Kent State University.
Source: Akron Beacon Journal
June 25, 2009- Schoolhouses And Courthouses: Does Court-Driven School Reform Deliver?
"Since the late 1980s, state court judges across the country have derived authority from the "education clauses" of their state constitutions, deemed state funding for K–12 schools inadequate, and required states to channel vast new sums into education. The underlying assumption is that more resources will lead to better outcomes. Indeed, increased funding has led to additional programs and personnel and to new and improved facilities--but has it led to commensurate gains in student achievement? If not, what would it take for these investments to deliver?" ,,,American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI)
Stanford University's Eric A. Hanushek and Alfred A. Lindseth, a senior partner in the law firm of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, discuss these and related questions, drawing from their recent volume, "Schoolhouses, Courthouses, and Statehouses: Solving the Funding-Achievement Puzzle in America's Public Schools" (Princeton University Press, 2009). Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, joins Hanushek and Lindseth to debate school funding litigation. AEI's director of education policy studies Frederick M. Hess is the moderator. The debate took place on June 9, 2009 in Washington D.C.
To view the debate click: View Event Details Then click 'Video' under Event Materials. Then click 'Play Full Video' under picture to view the debate.
June 24, 2009- Legal In-Service Offered For Superintendents/Principals
MARK YOUR CALENDAR. Means, Bichimer, Burkholder & Baker Co., L.P.A. is offering a free Legal In-Service at Eastland Career Center, 4465 South Hamilton Road, Groveport, Ohio, on Monday, August 10, 2009. The Legal In-Service is recommended for Superintendents, Administrators and Administrator Trainees. There will be no charge for this Legal In-Service, however, you must register to attend. To register contact:
NICOLE M. DONOVSKY
Means, Bichimer, Burkholder & Baker Co., LPA
2006 Kenny Road Columbus, OH 43221
Registration deadline is July 24th.
The program follows:
8:30-9:00 Registration/Continental Breakfast
9:00-9:30 Case Law/Legislative Update
9:30-10:30 General Session 1
I’m Not Allowed To Do What? Ethics Refresher
Susan Willeke, Ohio Ethics Commission
10:45-11:45 General Session 2
The Mandatory Duty to Report Abuse: More than the Basics
Franklin County Children Services
11:45-12:30 Lunch (provided)
12:45-1:45 Breakout Sessions A, B and C
2:00-3:00 Breakout Sessions A, B and C, repeated
A. Cyberspace Issues: bullying, sexting, computer use by
students/staff, Stacy V. Pollock, Esq.
B. Public Records, Retention and Attendance Issues,
Nicole M. Donovsky, Esq.
C. Employee misconduct and discipline: Hear a seasoned school attorney and OEA attorney discuss their views, Richard W. Ross, Esq. and Robert L. Washburn, Esq.
June 23, 2009- Court Rules Public Schools Must Pay For Private Special Education
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled yesterday that parents can in many instances bypass public school special education programs and be reimbursed for private school tuition instead.
Federal law requires for school districts to reimburse students or their families for special education costs when public schools do not have services that address or fulfill the students' needs. But schools have argued that the law says parents of special education students must give public special education programs a chance before seeking reimbursement for private school tuition. The Forest Grove (Oregon) School District denied parents reimbursement because their son had not been in public school special education classes. The case went all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court.
The Court, in a 6 to 3 decision, disagreed with the Forest Grove School District. "We conclude that IDEA authorizes reimbursement for the cost of special education services when a school district fails to provide a FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education) and the private-school placement is appropriate, regardless of whether the child previously received special education or related services through the public school," said Justice John Paul Stevens, who wrote the majority opinion. The case is Forest Grove School District v. T.A., 08-305.
Read New York Times article. Click: Court Affirms Reimbursement for Special Education
Sources: New York Times and Associated Press
June 19, 2009- Federal Government Offers Student Loan Relief
The Sun article said the new “Income Based Repayment Plan” takes effect July 1 in the federal loan program. Variable interest rates on older student loans will be falling to record lows. Fixed rates on certain new undergraduate loans are due to drop. And Pell Grants awarded to the neediest students are going up.
The "Income Based Repayment Plan" will tailor payments based upon how much an individual earns, potentially requiring much smaller payments over a longer period. The program is targeted at those with hefty debt compared with their pay, often the case for public-service workers, including teachers. Usually, student loans must be repaid in 10 years, the Sun article said
The "Income Based Repayment Plan" only applies to federal student loans, such as Stafford and Grad PLUS. It won’t cover private and parent PLUS loans or loans in default.
June 18, 2009- Scenarios Reflecting Cuts To Fill $3.2 Billion Budget Hole
The Dispatch reported that the Department of Education said the state would no longer be able to meet its requirement for the free and reduced-price lunch program, triggering the loss of federal funding. Bus purchases, support for nonpublic schools and school performance audits would be cut.
In addition, the Board of Regents said state grants, scholarships and financial aid, plus the Student Access Hotline and GI Promise for veterans programs all would be jeopardized by staff cuts. More than 2,300 Choose Ohio First scholarships, meant to attract science and technology students, would be lost, as would the Governor's plan to bring broadband services to all of Ohio.
The Governor's spokeswoman stressed that no decisions on what to cut have been made. Rather, the reports "are an initial impact analysis of what 10, 20 and 30 percent reductions might look like," she said.
Read Dispatch article. Click: Dire costs to fixing budget hole
June 18, 2009- Seniors To Sophomores Program
Last year, the Governor and state lawmakers created Ohio's Seniors to Sophomores program. During the 2008-09 school year, according to the Columbus Dispatch, 49 school districts received about $100,000 each to create and market their Seniors to Sophomore plans. High school seniors who passed all parts of the Ohio Graduation Test, completed Algebra II or the equivalent with a grade of C or better, completed three years of high-school English with a grade of C or better and met the college's ACT or SAT requirement were eligible for the program. Statewide, the Dispatch article said, about 320 students took college classes at 37 campuses.
Many of the programs excelled, while some struggled, according to a spokesman for the Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents. The programs that were most successful chose high-school seniors who were academically and socially ready for college and provided them with the mentoring, tutoring and other support to do well in class, the spokesman said.
Source: Columbus Dispatch
June 17, 2009- Are All Teachers Above Average?
Most school districts’ evaluation systems do not adequately distinguish strong teachers from weak one, and the teachers themselves know it, according to an The Education Trust report.
The Widget Effect, a new report from The New Teacher Project studied teacher-evaluation systems in 12 districts in four states, including Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois and Ohio. The study reflects survey responses from approximately 15,000 teachers and 1,300 administrators, and it has benefited from the insight of more than 80 local and state education officials, teachers union leaders, policymakers and advocates who participated in advisory panels in each state, shaping the study design, data collection instruments, and findings and recommendations.
The study found that more than 90 percent of teachers received satisfactory ratings. In some districts, the figure reached 99 percent! Yet the report also found that 60 percent of teachers and 84 percent of administrators in high-poverty schools believe tenured teachers in their schools deliver poor instruction.
"Evaluation systems that rate virtually everyone as “satisfactory” not only saddle too many students with weak teaching, they disguise the accomplishments of truly remarkable teachers. Students and teachers need and deserve honest evaluation systems," The Education Trust summary said.
June 16, 2009- Supports Governor's Education Plan
"I support the Governor’s education reform plan and will continue to seek ways in which we can work collaboratively to enhance our education system. The time to take action is now; our kids deserve nothing less than our intense focus on redesigning our education system that will be rigorous, incorporate 21st century skills, and provide a graduation requirement that is better aligned with what business leaders consistently request. The current economic state demands that we think creatively about how best to continue on the path of reform. I am committed to the Governor’s plan to reform education and look forward to our continued focus on the future - not on maintaining the status quo." ....Deborah Delisle, Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction
Source: EdConnection, Ohio Department of Education, A message from Deborah S. Delisle, Superintendent of Public Instruction
June 16, 2009- 2010 Election Driving Budget, Education Funding Reform Debate?
"Their decisions will shape the next spin cycle. Facing a $3.2 billion revenue shortfall, Democrats and Republicans have to pick from unpopular fixes, including raising taxes, deeply cutting social programs and expanding gambling. Each is fraught with political liabilities in next year's state elections. That's why the budget -- which is synonymous with jobs and leadership on the campaign trail -- has already become the rallying point of both parties for 2010." ...Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 16, 2009
June 15, 2009- Equitable Opportunities?
It's interesting to note that, according to the executive director of secondary learning at Olentangy Local Schools, Olentangy high schools offer 24 different AP courses and many juniors and seniors choose to take at least one. Wonder how many rural Appalachian high schools can afford to offer even a fraction of that number?
Source: The Delaware Gazette
June 12, 2009- CORAS Summer Meeting, Golf Outing Held At EagleSticks
Nearly 80 CORAS members and quests attending the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools summer meeting and golf outing heard BASA Deputy Director Kirk Hamilton and BASA President Dale Edwards discuss the status of the education portion of Sub. H.B. 1 and the Senate version. The event was held Tuesday June 9th at EagleSticks Golf Club and Inn, Zanesville.
In addition, the following received plaques honoring their retirement: Dennis Meade ( Minford Local); Steve Anderson (Jackson City); William Ramsey (Oak Hill Local); Norman 'Ed" Crabtree (Northwest Local); and Ted Bayat (Nelsonville City). JoAnn Dugan (Ohio University) and Dennis Meade received a plaque for their service as members of the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools Board of Directors.
Following the presentations, CORAS President David Branch passed the presidents gavel to 2009-10 CORAS President Bill Brelsford, Superintendent, Caldwell Exempted Village School District. In-coming President Brelsford then presented David Branch (Franklin Local) with a plaque for his outstanding leadership as President of the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools during the 2008-09 school year.
Brunch was served on the veranda, followed by fellowship and golf. At the evening awards dinner, the team of Jeff Kaaz, Bruce Stenrod, Dave Owen and Carl Perry (Southern Local, Perry) were crowned the winners of the golf scramble. Dale Dickson (Perry-Hocking Educational Service Center) serves as the CORAS golf outing coordinator.
June 11, 2009- Budget Conference Committee Begins Work Today
The Ohio House of Representatives yesterday rejected Senate changes to the state budget, sending the bill to a conference committee. The committee is made up of three members from each chamber, two Republicans and a Democrat from the Senate, and two Democrats and a Republican from the House. They begin meeting today and must get a budget for FY 2010-2011 approved by the end of the month, when the current fiscal year ends. Serving on the committee are: Representatives Vernon Sykes of Akron and Jay Goyal of Mansfield, both Democrats and Republican Representative Ron Amstutz of Wooster; Senators John Carey of Wellston and Mark Wagoner of the Toledo, both Republicans and Senator Dale Miller, Cleveland Democrat.
Today's media reports say there may be a sizeable budget shortfall for the conference committee to resolve, in addition to the school funding/reform and several other issues.
June 8, 2009- Comments About School Funding Disparity
An area legislator's column in Saturday's Columbus Dispatch, and several other newspapers in the region, may need a bit of clarification. In the Dispatch column, State Senator John Carey said the Governor's fully-funded evidenced-based school funding model "...would increase disparity between school districts." To justify his position, the Senator referred to the "percent of increases" in funding between Upper Arlington City School District and several school districts in his senatorial district. In addition, referring to Upper Arlington and Symmes Valley Local School District, the Senator was quoted in the Huntington Herald-Dispatch as saying, "I'm not going to support a plan that gives a district 10 times more funding than one of the poorest districts in the state." Had Senator Carey used "actual dollars" (the true measure) instead of "percent of increases" for his analyses, he would have arrived at a vastly different conclusion. The Governor's evidenced-based funding model actually lessens disparity in the school districts cited by the Senator.
Consider what using "actual dollars" reveal in Senator Carey's examples:
The House-passed version of the Governor's evidence-based model would increase per-pupil state aid to Upper Arlington City Schools by only $47 if the plan were fully-funded in 2009-10. In Senator Carey's senate district, if the Governor's plan were fully-funded in 2009-10, Clinton Massie Local School District would receive a $203 per-pupil increase in state aid, over 4 times Upper Arlington's increase; Gallia County Local School District would receive a $452 boost in per-pupil state aid, over 9 times Upper Arlington's increase; and Symmes Valley would get an additional $1,270 per pupil in state aid, over 25 times Upper Arlington's increase. When using "actual dollars," Senator Carey's argument that the Governor's plan would increase disparity between Upper Arlington and school districts in his 17th Senate District does not hold true.
June 5, 2009- Today's Education Headlines
TEACHER EVALUATIONS Unfortunately, teacher evaluations in public schools for the most part don't recognize quality teaching. A national study last year, ''Rush to Judgment: Teacher Evaluation in Public Education,'' found that for many reasons (staffing practices, reliance on credentials as proxy for quality and union ambivalence among them), the evaluations in general are ''superficial, capricious, and often don't even directly address the quality of instruction, much less measure students' learning.'' ....Akron Beacon Journal
CHARTER-SCHOOL SUPPORTERS With 17 months to go before the 2010 elections, charter-school supporters are already flexing their political muscle, attacking four central Ohio House Democrats in swing districts. Using 60-second radio ads, the Fund for Ohio's Future is firing away at Democrats for approving a version of the two-year budget that contained 150 fee hikes. The ad does not mention that the Democratic-passed budget also cut charter-school funding. ....Columbus Dispatch
NO FIX IN SIGHT Gone is the evidence-based model that was expected to help change the way schools are funded in the state. The Senate deemed it “unworkable, too expensive and plagued with questions.” But all of this is subject to change — again. Neither the Ohio House nor Senate versions will become law. They have to meet in what’s known as conference committee — the final act in the play that’s known as Ohio’s budget process — to come up with a solution. And it has to be done by month’s end. ....Canton Repository
WHICH FUNDING PLAN IS BETTER? Which education-funding plan is better for your school district? It depends on whom you ask. An analysis yesterday by Gov. Ted Strickland's office showed that traditional public schools would get $187 million less over the next two years under the Senate-passed budget than under the House plan. But Senate Republicans said yesterday that their plan would provide traditional schools with $51 million more over the biennium than the House version. Earlier, a Dispatch analysis using a breakdown of the Senate funding plan by William P. Driscoll, a consultant for the Columbus-based Education Tax Policy Institute, found that the House version would give traditional schools $51 million more. ....Columbus Dispatch
Nationally, four-year colleges graduated an average of just 53.7 percent of entering students within six years, and "rates below 50%, 40% and even 30% are distressingly easy to find," says the report by the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. The report, Diplomas and Dropouts: Which Colleges Actually Graduate Their Students (and Which Don't), is based on data reported to the U.S. Education Department by 1,375 schools about full-time first-time students who entered college in fall 2001 and graduated from the same institution in 2007. Ohio's 62 public and private institutions averaged 54.5 percent.
The report cautions against comparing schools with different missions, but encourages families and guidance counselors to consider an institution's six-year graduation rate as they make decisions about where to apply and enroll. The data does have flaws, since students who transfer to other schools are counted the same as those who drop out.
Read report. Click here to view this report as an Adobe Acrobat PDF.
Read executive summary. Click: new report
View states and schools graduation rates. Click: How states, schools stack up on graduation rates
Additional sources: USA Today and Cleveland Plain Dealer
June 3, 2009- Governor: Ohio Leadership Says 'No' To Reform
In a news release yesterday Governor Strickland listed the components of the House-passed version of the his education reform and school funding plan that were rejected by Ohio Senate leadership.
Specifically, the news release said, the Senate leadership said “no” to the following reforms.
- Updating standards and curricula for schools to ensure students learn life skills and skills needed to compete in the workforce, like problem-solving, critical thinking, entrepreneurship, communication, and technology skills.
- Providing the ACT college entrance exam for all graduating seniors to increase the chance that they go to college and offering the ACT free of charge.
- Using multiple assessments for students to ensure they have the skills they need instead of one high-stakes test to graduate high school.
- Ensuring Ohio’s children overcome non-academic barriers like health challenges and challenges at home so they can learn and develop the skills they need by including nurses, family and community coordinators, and enrichment in the funding model.
- A requirement for service learning and enrichment dollars to give real world learning experiences.
- Additional supports for gifted children.
- Ensuring that schools are spending money wisely on the components of education that promotes success for all students. The Senate instead gives school districts a lump of money to spend with no new accountability requirements.
- Expanding Ohio’s learning year to the international average of 200 days.
- Funding after-school learning opportunities.
- Engaging the community so that businesses and other community members are full partners in our children’s education, and providing more children with hands-on, real-world learning experience.
- Continuing the current Closing the Achievement Gap initiative that has proven results of keeping at-risk youth in school.
- Charging the Ohio Department of Education with oversight of all charter schools to ensure our students get a quality education no matter what school they choose and requiring charter schools to have highly qualified teachers.
- Ensuring that phantom revenue is no longer inherent in our school funding system.
- Enhancing distance learning and giving children from rural, disadvantaged schools additional opportunities for learning.
- Ensuring arts education.
- Creating a constitutional school funding system that determines and funds the components of an adequate education and ensures quality is not based on property wealth.
- Giving the state increased responsibility for funding our children and lessening the burden on local property taxes and the frequency of local levies.
The Governor also announced today that the Ohio PTA, the Ohio Association of Gifted Children, the Ohio Valley ESC and the Akron City Schools Board of Education have issued their support for the House-passed version of the Governor’s education reform and funding plan.
“This plan continues to receive support from across the state – from business leaders and school administrators, to teachers and parents. These most recent endorsements are testament to the growing recognition that now is the time to strengthen Ohio’s economy by transforming our schools,” Governor Strickland said.
The Governor’s message is available at: www.ConversationOnEducation.org
June 2, 2009- Less Formal Schooling Translates To Higher Jobless Rate
Recent national figures show that, among people with bachelor's degrees, unemployment stands at 4.4 percent, less than half the overall nationwide rate. But for those without a high-school diploma, the jobless rate is almost 15 percent, about 6 percentage points higher than the total national rate. The jobless rate among workers with no high-school diploma jumped 7.3 percentage points from December 2007 to April 2009. Among high-school graduates, it climbed 4.7 percentage points, while among college graduates, it rose 2.3 percentage points.
Source: The Orlando Sentinel
June 1, 2009- A More Permanent Solution
The Governor's and Ohio House evidence-based education and school funding proposal provides funding based on "how much it costs." It carries the promise of education reform and millions of dollars for rural Appalachian schools over the next ten years. And in addition, it provides for the continuously up-dating (every two-years) of programs and funding based on "what works" and "how much it costs." The centerpiece is to better prepare students for the jobs of the future by modernizing Ohio's education system.
Contrast this with the Ohio Senate's proposal that calls for miniscule increases in funding in each of the next two-years, and another study that may well gather dust among previous studies on the shelves of the General Assembly. And, to quote Dennis Willard, reporter for the Akron Beacon Journal, "The Senate Republican plan couldn't care less that there are yawning disparities between rich and poor districts in this state or that one mill of property tax in one district raises tens of thousands of dollars, while in another, only pennies." The results from this plan will more than likely be more studies, a continuation of passing local property tax levies, "red ink" five-year forecasts and a continuation of education funding that has no relationship to what it costs.
The Ohio Senate plan is clearly "more of the same" and does nothing to reduce the reliance on local property taxes as ordered by the Ohio Supreme Court. Lawmakers must get beyond the "patch work" and "band aid" approach that has become the political solution to Ohio's unconstitutional school funding system. Write, email and call members of the Ohio Senate. Tell them now is the time to put a more permanent solution in place. Tell them now is the time to support the Governor's and House of Representative's evidenced-based education and school funding reform proposal.
May 29, 2009- Ohio Senate: More of the Same?
As local property tax levies continue to increase and five year forecasts deepen with red ink, it appears the Ohio Senate is about to reject the Governor's proposed "evidence-based" funding formula in favor of "more of the same." The Chillicothe Gazette reported this morning that Senator John Carey, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, said yesterday the Senate is skeptical about Ohio's ability to pay for the Governor's proposed "evidence-based" funding formula in future years, will instead continue funding schools on a per-pupil basis. If so, it would seem the Ohio Senate is not willing to make the same commitment to public education as the Governor and the Ohio House of Representatives.
The Governor's "evidenced-based plan" would provide millions of dollars to rural Appalachian schools by the time it is fully-funded in 2018. In addition, programs and funding would be continuously up-dated (every two-years) based on "what works" and "how much it costs."
May 28, 2009- High Education Funding Based On Course And Degree Completion
USA Today reported yesterday that lawmakers in
appear likely to adopt a plan that would base 100% of higher education spending on course and degree completion. Other states are considering a similar policy. "The concept of rewarding institutions that meet certain goals has been around for about 30 years, but the newer proposals focus more on student outcomes and involve more money," the USA Today article said. "The renewed interest reflects a growing concern that the USA has fallen behind other countries in college completion rates at a time when higher education is more important than ever."
According to the article, President
wants the USA to lead the world in college graduates by 2020. He has proposed $2.5 billion over five years to states that seek to boost college completion rates for low-income students. Strategies vary with state priorities.
Ohio is targeting degrees in science, technology, engineering and math, the article said.
May 27, 2009- Report: Children On "Brink" Of Hunger
In Ohio, more than 170,000 children under age 5 were food insecure, according to the report Child Food Insecurity in the United States: 2005-2007. The study was commissioned by Feeding America, the nation's largest hunger-relief charity. According to the report, Ohio has the third highest rate of "food insecurity" in the nation, with nearly one in four children (23.8%) under age 5 living on the "brink" of hunger. Ohio is just slightly behind top-ranked Louisiana (24.2%). North Carolina (24.1%) ranked second. Nationally, 17.3 percent of children under age five (3.5 million) were hungry or did not have regular access to sufficient food, the report said.
Among all children under age 18 Ohio fared better, ranking 16th in the nation with 18.7 percent of youngsters having experienced hunger or at risk of not having sufficient food.
May 26, 2009- Senate Expected To Unveil Budget Thursday
Ohio's Republican Senate received the Democrat House's version of the FY 2010-2011 state budget on April 29th. On Sunday, the Associated Press (AP) said the Senate is expected to unveil their plan this Thursday..... and most expect it will be "blood-letting." The report said things might get worse in June when the state budget gets to a conference committee of lawmakers from both parties who must resolve differences between the House and Senate versions.
The AP article said Republicans have ruled out deep cuts in higher education, primary and secondary education and Medicaid programs. All those programs need to be funded at a certain level to keep federal stimulus funds flowing. Also off the table are debt service payments and the property tax rollbacks provided to homeowners. And the Senate Finance Committee chairman said last week that Republican senators are expected to add money for charter schools on the education side of the budget, but probably will scrap the "evidence-based" funding model for a per-pupil approach that is used now. An Akron Beacon Journal editorial this morning said, "Legislators would do well to retain the evidence-based approach and work out a formula for covering the cost that reflects the priority they claim education is."
May 22, 2009- A Myth About Lottery Fund For Schools?
According to the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) web site, the appropriation to the lottery profits education fund group was $688.9 million in fiscal year 2008. Of that amount, $666.2 million was designated to support Foundation Funding, which supports formula aid, special education weighted funding, career technical education weighted funding, poverty based assistance, parity aid, charge off supplement aid and other forms of aid to districts as well as education service centers. ODE said the 2008 lottery profits were distributed as follows:
|Entity Total Lottery Funding
|Educational Service Centers
|Joint Vocational Schools
The balance of the appropriation was designated for the retirement of bonds used to support school construction.
What ODE does not say is that the state used a formula to calculate general fund school district state aid, removed $666.2 million from that total, and added in the $666.2 million dollars from the lottery fund....and then used the $666.2 million general fund money that was removed from the state aid calculation somewhere else...or at least that's the way we see it. There was no additional money for school districts beyond the calculated state aid formula.
Most school superintendents already know how the state manipulates lottery funds for schools, but according to a recent article in the Delphos Herald, the Ohio Lottery Commission Deputy Director of Communications says there is a myth about lottery funds and education. “A lot of school administrators can’t say exactly how much they got from the lottery and that perpetuates the myth that we don’t give them anything but we really do and we like people to know that,” she said. She added that $16 billion in lottery revenue has gone to education since 1974 and accounts for 4.5 percent of the total annual funding for public education in the state. You be the judge!
May 21, 2009- Politics Or Reform, Which Will Prevail?
In a news release yesterday, State Representative Stephen Dyer, a Democrat, said State Senator Jon Husted, a Republican, told the Dayton Daily News that “while the House budget included Strickland’s education plan, the Senate version won’t.”
Dyer said in the news release, “The need to replace an inadequate funding system based on a patchwork of bureaucratic band-aids with one that uses the key elements of a quality education could never be more urgent given these challenging economic times. Once again, Republicans seem to be saying no, instead of finding common ground and working towards solutions that will improve Ohio’s future. After hearing Senator Husted insist that school funding is fixed for four years now, I am not surprised to hear him defend the broken system he helped create. I would hope there are members of the Senate who, unlike Senator Husted, understand the need for reform and the positive move toward that reform this plan represents.”
The list of organizations that have endorsed the education reform plan include: The Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools; Ohio Association of Public School Employees; Ohio Association of Private Colleges of Teacher Education; Ohio Association of School Business Officials; Ohio Business Roundtable; Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding; The Ohio 8 Coalition; The Ohio Federation of Teachers; Ohio School Boards Association; State University Education Deans; The Ohio Education Association; The Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics; and The State Board of Education.
May 20, 2009- Pre-K Funding Cut
According to an Associated Press (AP) report, early childhood education programs, including public preschool and mental-health programs, would be cut by $244 million in the FY 2010-2011 budget plan. The cuts would almost erase a $270 million boost in funding the programs received in the current budget that ends June 30, 2009, the AP article said. Lawmakers claim the cuts are necessary because there is no money available to continue funding at the current level.
May 19, 2009- In Today's News...
SENATE CONSIDERING...... Restoring cuts to charter schools and changing school funding to a per-student model, similar to what is in effect today. The goal for grades K-12 is to provide schools no less money than they are getting now, said Sen. John A. Carey Jr., R-Wellston, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. Sen. Timothy J. Grendell, R-Chesterland, said legislators should spend the next two years studying the good parts of the governor's school-funding plan. "Let's figure out how to get it done without putting the mandates in place first and then promising money over the rainbow," he said. ...Columbus Dispatch
BUDGET HOLE UPDATE: $912 MILLION. Harris says Senate still looking at two-year plan, preservation tuition freeze. The Office of Budget and Management on Monday updated its estimate for the revenue gap in the current fiscal year, and the $912 million figure is at the top of the range announced earlier this month. ....Gongwer News Service
VOUCHERS. More than 13,000 students are seeking Ohio Educational Choice Scholarships [vouchers] to attend private schools in the coming school year, new state figures show. Vouchers pay up to $4,500 for elementary school tuition and up to $5,300 for high school tuition. If all applicants receive vouchers, Ohio could pay up to $59.8 million statewide in tuition costs. State officials will know for sure in July, when the vouchers are awarded. ...Cincinnati Enquirer
REPORT: STUDENTS LAG IN BIOSCIENCES. Students are showing less interest in taking life-sciences and science courses, and high schools are doing a poor job of preparing students for college-level science, says the report, funded and researched by Columbus-based Battelle, the Biotechnology Industry Organization and the Biotechnology Institute.
- 52 percent of 12th-graders are at or above a basic level of achievement in the sciences as measured by the NAEP science test.
- Average scores on the NAEP for 12th-graders in the sciences and life-sciences declined from 1996 to 2005.
- Only 28 percent of high school students taking the ACT reached a score indicating college readiness for biology.
To improve U.S. competitiveness in the biosciences industry, the report recommends that states incorporate biotechnology into their science standards, make sure students are ready to take college biosciences courses and focus more on professional development for teachers. ...Youngstown Vindicator
May 18, 2009- Washington State: K-12 Overhaul With 8-Year Phase-in
Lawmakers in Washington state have passed a bill designed to overhaul the public education system by 2018 and redefine “basic education” for the first time since 1979. Over a period of eight years, starting in 2011, House Bill 2261 would enact these steps:
- Increase the number of high school credits needed to graduate from 19 to 24;
- Provide all-day kindergarten for all children;
- Extend the school year by 80 hours for grades 7-12;
- Increase the number of teacher professional-development days;
- Establish a new data system to track student and teacher performance; and
- Set up working groups to examine new mechanisms for distributing funds to school districts as well as plans for performance-based compensation for teachers.
A state senator, and member of the Basic Education Finance Task Force, estimated that it would require an extra $3 billion in education spending per year. The eight-year implementation period would help lawmakers find the means to fund the bill, another Washington State Senator said. “There’s a lot of claims about false promise and unfunded dreams, but the reality is we took a very pragmatic approach to how we would phase in these changes,” he said. “We’ve got four years to figure out how to pay for the bill,” he said, pointing out that although work on the overhaul would start in 2011, it would not have to be fully funded until 2018, the year it would be implemented.
The bill passed the Senate by a 26-23 vote, and the House voted to concur with Senate amendments and passed the bill by a 67-31 vote. The bill is awaiting the signature of Governor, who was expected to support it.
Read article. Click: Washington State Moves Toward K-12 Ed. Overhaul
May 15, 2009- "...look more like the funding system in place today..."
The Gongwer News Service said Senate Republicans are studying per pupil funding and were encouraged Thursday when the designer of the "evidence-based model," Allan Odden, said it could be converted to a per-pupil formula. According to the Columbus Dispatch, not long after Odden finished his testimony, Senator John Carey, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said significant changes to the plan are likely. The Dispatch said, "Carey also expects to make the plan look more like the funding system in place today, where money is paid on a per-student basis -- though he admits the funding amount over the next two years likely won't change much from the House-passed plan."
Read the Dispatch article. Click: Governor, Senate on collision course
May 14, 2009- The Debate Over Merit Pay For Teachers Continues
A report released today argues that "merit-pay compensation plans are rarely used in the private sector and can sometimes bring about unintended negative consequences." In the report, "Teachers, Performance Pay, and Accountability, What Education Should Learn From Other Sectors." published by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), researchers point out that such pay plans are less common in the private sector than their proponents sometimes claim. According to the report, only one in seven workers in the private sector is covered by bonus or merit-pay plans, and most of those workers are in the real estate, finance, and insurance fields. The study finds, for example, that in the 2005 National Compensation Survey, only 6 percent of workers received regular, output-based payments in the strictest sense. Even the growing number of bonuses that are not linked to specific measures of productivity account for just 2 percent to 3 percent of overall pay, the report says. Moreover, the report says, research on the private sectors’ experiences with pay-for-performance schemes suggests that they sometimes yield unproductive results. These findings are contrary to what some politicians and others have been saying.
The EPI report is the first of three on teacher merit-pay programs that are intended to add context to current debates over such pay-for-performance plans, according to edweek.org.
Read the EPI press release. Click: Read press release
Sources: Economic Policy Institute and edweek.org
May 13, 2009- Report: Building A High-Quality Education Workforce
The nation’s governors should promote a higher-quality educator workforce by retooling key leverage points on state and local systems for recruiting, training, and retaining talent, according to the new report, Building a High-Quality Education Workforce, A Governor's Guide to Human Capital Development. The report says changes should include setting or raising minimum-entry standards for teacher and principal training programs; strengthening such programs by improving their emphasis on student achievement; and designing performance-based pay and professional career ladders to keep effective educators in the field. The report says governors should spearhead efforts to:
- Adopt minimum admission standards, such as SAT scores and GPA, as part of teacher-preparation programs.
- Require principal-preparation programs to use a track record of improving student achievement as an entry criteria for prospective principals;
- Require teacher-preparation programs to feature content-specific coursework;
- Require teachers to pass licensure tests within one year of hire;
- Redesign compensation systems for teachers to include performance-based pay and higher pay for teachers in shortage fields and hard-to-staff schools;
- Compensate principals based on their ability to effectively manage human capital, including their ability to improve teachers’ working conditions and retention rates; and
- Require teachers and principals to be evaluated annually and throughout the school year.
The report was released Monday by the Center for Best Practices, the consulting wing of the Washington-based National Governors Association.
Read the report. Click: report
Sources: NGA Center for Best Practices and edweek.org
May 12, 2009- Federal Funding For Performance Pay
The Washington Post reported Friday that President Obama is seeking to add hundreds of millions of dollars for teacher merit pay programs. The budget would increase the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF), which awards grants to school districts to develop performance-pay programs, to $517.3 million in fiscal 2010, up from $97.3 million in the current year. Education Week said the increase would include $30 million for a national teacher-recruitment campaign. That would be on top of a $200 million one-time increase in the stimulus measure. Under the proposal, the TIF money could be used to reward school employees other than teachers, such as custodians and cafeteria workers. Throughout his campaign, President Obama repeatedly endorsed performance pay plans, so long as they are developed cooperatively with teachers.
A National Education Association lobbyist said that instead of the bigger increase for TIF, the union would prefer to see an increase for the Improving Teacher Quality State grants. Other advocates for education redesign question whether the funding increases for TIF would improve student outcomes. "The president is making a strong statement that he wants teaching shaken up," said the president of the Center on Education Policy. "I presume the unions will not be very happy, but I doubt they will take a strident position in opposition because . . . Obama has said he wants to work with local unions in fashioning these types of programs."
Read the Washington Post article. Click: Budget Outlines Funding for Teacher Merit Pay Programs
Sources: Washington Post and Education Week
May 11, 2009- Friday's Rally At The Schottenstein
The speakers at Friday's rally at the Schottenstein included Governor Strickland, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, Board of Regents Chancellor Eric Fingerhut, State Superintendent Deb Delisle, OSU President Gordon Gee, Columbus City Superintendent Gene Harris, the DeRolph's and several others.
However, U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan stopped short of endorsing Governor Strickland's education reform plan, saying to the media "it wasn't his job to do so." He used his time at the podium to urge Ohio to apply for some of the $5 billion “Race to the Top” grants. During his speech, Secretary Duncan discussed the need for higher standards for students, data systems that accurately track progress, improving teacher effectiveness and more intensive support for failing schools. All are goals of the $5 billion in stimulus funds at Duncan's discretion, which he called "Race to the Top" money. "We want to reward excellence and we want to reward states that are willing to lead the country in what we call this race to the top," Duncan said.
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ohio is considering joining other states to seek a portion of the $5 billion stimulus money to spur innovation in public schools. The Plain Dealer reported that Governor Strickland said, "I have talked with two or three other governors about some kind of joint effort in applying for those stimulus dollars." The Governor said he had reason to believe that bipartisan efforts involving more than one state were the kind of application sought by the Obama administration.
David Branch, Bill Brelsford, Dick Murray, Lori Snyder-Lowe, Jim Heagen and Chad Briggs attended the rally as representatives of the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools.
Read the Plain Dealer article. Click: Ohio may link with other states to go after $5 billion in stimulus money for schools
May 8, 2009- May 5th Primary Election Results
Statewide, almost two-thirds of the 158 school levies and bond issues on the May 5, 2009 primary election ballot were approved. This is the highest passage rate in almost a decade. Renewals, which usually fare better in elections, accounted for more than half of the school issues on the ballot. The passing rate for renewals was 92.8 percent, while the passage rate for new money issues was less that 38 percent.
There were 22 issues on the ballot in the 29 Appalachian counties, with 15 or 68.2 percent passing. The Appalachian counties had 11 renewals and 11 new issues on the ballot. Ten (10) of the 11 (90.9%) renewals passed, while 5 of the 11 (45.5%) issues requesting new money passed.
View the statewide breakdown of school ballot issues on the May 5th ballot. Click: Results by County
May 7, 2009- Clergy: "Fix School Funding, Over-Reliance On Property Tax"
Yesterday, clergy from Columbus, Dayton and Lorain called on state leaders to fix the school-funding system, saying "the elected officials have a moral obligation to ensure that students in poor communities have the same opportunities as those living in wealthier areas." The Columbus Dispatch reported that Sam Gresham, co-chairman of Faith Vote Columbus, a coalition of churches, neighborhood organizations and labor unions, said, "Our over-reliance on property taxes has left too many students, especially in urban and rural districts, with an inadequate education." The Reverend Sherry Gale, of Grace United Methodist Church in Dayton, said urban and rural children must be given the same opportunities as suburban youngsters. "The clearest path out of poverty is a quality education. It is a human tragedy and moral failure that those who will most benefit from education, have the least access," she said.
May 6, 2009- STRS Board Discuss Possible Changes
If by chance you missed the article in Sunday's Columbus Dispatch, last month Ohio's State Teachers Retirement Board (STRS) reviewed scenarios that, individually or collectively, could save millions of dollars. According to the Dispatch, they included an overall 4 percent increase in contributions, raising the minimum retirement age to 60 from the current 30 years of service (regardless of age), calculating final average salary based on five years instead of the current three, and reducing the cost-of-living adjustment for retirees to 2 percent along with delaying its start until the retiree is age 65.
Under Ohio law, the Dispatch article said, pension systems are required to balance their income and expenditures so that they are able to pay current liabilities for pension benefits within 30 years. The State Teachers Retirement System will need at least 47 years to pay its liabilities, a situation that forces its leaders to evaluate measures to get its income and expenditures back into balance.
"None of these (options) singularly gets us back to the 30-year funding period," a spokeswoman for the teachers' pension fund said. "Our board will have to decide how quickly we want to get back to the 30-year funding period and what measures we want to take to get there."
May 5, 2009- Property Tax Levies And School Funding Equity
An editorial in Sunday's Akron Beacon Journal said the Ohio House of Representative's budget, based on Governor Strickland's evidence-driven proposal, makes significant progress toward fixing Ohio's broken system of school funding, establishing programs and practices that promise to advance the achievement of all children, "if there is adequate funding."
The editorial went on to say, "School districts across the state still face an extremely difficult financial burden. They remain on a levy treadmill, forced to go back to local voters again and again to approve property-tax levies. The budget bill anticipates a 10-year phase-in for school-funding reform, a full decade before revenue from the state matches the important goal of making sure children across the state have a chance to succeed, even if growing up in modest circumstances."
Couple this with the recent poll by the FDR Group, a New York-based nonpartisan research firm, that said 88 percent of Ohioans feel it is important that education spending be equitable across the state, but most are unwilling to pay for it. Commissioned by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and Catalyst Ohio, a magazine that focuses on education in the major cities, the poll findings showed that 55 percent Ohioans said they are not willing to pay more in taxes to "even out" education spending across the state, while 42 percent said they would pay more; the rest are unsure.
The Catalyst Ohio survey is based on a telephone survey of 1,002 randomly selected Ohio residents from April 1 to 9; the margin of error is plus or minus 3 percent.
Read the full survey. Click: here
May 4, 2009- School Issues on the May 5th Ballot
There are 171 school questions and issues on the tomorrow's May 2009 Primary Election ballot. Twenty-three of the 171 school issues are for school districts located in the 29 Appalachian counties (does not including Ashtabula, Mahoning and Trumbull counties). Three are school bond issues, 19 are school tax levies and one is an income tax renewal. In addition to the 3 bond issues, 9 of the 19 tax levies are for new or additional money.
Below is the list of issues broken down by type. Click on link to view issues by county/school district.
- There are 14 school bond issues on tomorrow's ballot. To view school bond issues, click: 17 Bond Issues
- There are 128 school tax levies on tomorrow's ballot. To view school tax levies, click: 283 Tax Issues
- There are 29 school income tax Issues on tomorrow's ballot. To view school income tax issues, click: 82 Miscellaneous questions
The March 2008 Ohio Primary election had 165 school issues on the ballot. Seventy-six or 46.1 percent passed, 89 or 53.9 percent failed.
Sources: Ohio Secretary of State and Ohio Department of Education
May 1, 2009- 2009 Hicks Executive-in-Residence Program
Over 70 superintendents and guest registered for the 2009 Samuel I. Hicks Executive-in-Residence program held this past Tuesday at the Ohio University Inn, Athens. John Stanford, Education Policy Advisor to Governor Strickland, was the 2009 recipient of the Hick's award and delivered the keynote address. Dr. Renee Middleton, Dean of the Ohio University College of Education, introduced Dr. Stanford and presented him with the Hicks award/plaque. Additional guest speakers were Kirk Hamilton, BASA Deputy Executive Director, and Michael Collins, member of the State Board of Education, 9th District.
CORAS President David Branch and President-elect Bill Brelsford presented the annual CORAS leadership and service recognition certificates to Dannie Greene, Member, State Board of Education, Lori Snyder-Lowe, Superintendent, Morgan Local School District, William Phillis, Executive Director, Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding and Michael Collins.
The next meeting of the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools will be Tuesday, June 9, 2009 at the EagleSticks Golf Club and Inn, Zanesville. The program will include an "FY 10-11 Biennium Budget and Legislative Update," followed by the annual CORAS golf outing. Registration materials for this event is being mailed to CORAS members today. Golf registration deadline is May 22nd to allow time to make the final arrangements with the EagleSticks Golf Club.
April 30, 2009- Education/Funding Reform Debate Moves To Ohio Senate
Yesterday the Ohio House voted 53-45, along party lines, approving a plan to provide a new school-funding system. The bill now moves to the Ohio Senate.
The Dayton Daily News said, "The centerpiece of the 4,086-page budget proposal is a move to distribute school funding based on what a child needs, not on what money the state has available. Over 10 years, the state would increase annual spending on K-12 education by about $2.5 billion once all aspects of the plan are phased in."
The speculation in the Ohio Senate appears to be a bit more grim. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported," While Democrats in the House have been building support among their own members in recent weeks, Senate Republicans have been preparing, promising to make major changes - if they approve the plan at all. Budget hearings resume in the Ohio Senate today." And the Cleveland Plain Dealer weighed-in with, "The state budget battle now shifts to the 33-member, Republican-controlled Senate, where deeper cuts to state programs and more changes to a revamping of Ohio's school-funding plan are expected."
The Columbus Dispatch highlighted Ohio House changes to the budget for primary and secondary education as follows:.
• Increases school funding for traditional districts by 0.6 percent in fiscal 2010, which starts July 1, and decreases it by 0.4 percent in 2011. In addition, schools will divide more than $900 million in federal stimulus money for poor and disabled students.
• Cuts charter-school funding by 26 percent in 2010, then increases it 8.6 percent in 2011. Those schools also get stimulus money.
• Creates an "evidence-based" funding formula to be phased in over 10 years.
• Increases the time it takes teachers to be granted tenure from three years to five. Gov. Ted Strickland had proposed nine years.
• Makes it easier to fire a bad teacher.
• Removes the phrase "for financial reasons" from the list of reasons in state law that a school district may reduce staff.
• Establishes a four-year teacher residency program. The House eliminated a Strickland-proposed requirement that "student academic gain" be used to evaluate teacher effectiveness.
• Eliminates the Ohio Graduation Test and replaces it with a four-part evaluation that includes community service, an ACT score and end-of-course exams. Replaces all achievement tests in grades three to eight with new tests. Replaces all references to test with assessment.
• Reduces from five to one the number of calamity days (snow days) a district gets each year. Begins increasing the school year by four days in 2012.
for more State budget highlights from the Columbus Dispatch.
April 29, 2009- CORAS Endorses Governor's Education/Funding Reform Plan
In the spring of 1990 the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools Board of Directors passed a resolution to pursue litigation against the State of Ohio, claiming Ohio's school funding system was unconstitutional. During the fall and winter of 1990 the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools organized a statewide organization to carry the litigation forward. That organization became known as the Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy for School Funding. In July 1994, four years after that initial resolution, Perry County Common Please Court Judge Linton D. Lewis ruled Ohio's school funding system unconstitutional. Three years later, in March 1997, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld Judge Lewis' ruling and ordered the General Assembly to fix Ohio's school funding system. Yesterday, 19 years after that original resolution, and 12 years after the Ohio Supreme Court decision, the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools Board of Directors passed another resolution. This resolution endorsed a plan that could dramatically improve public education and school funding in Ohio. (See resolution below.)
Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools
313E McCracken Hall
Athens, Ohio 45710
April 28, 2009
The Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools (CORAS) commends Governor Strickland and the Ohio House of Representatives for leading an effort to achieve a “thorough and efficient” school finance system in Ohio.
WHEREAS, CORAS believes the education reform elements of Governor Strickland’s plan are sound, comprehensive, systemic and, when fully implemented would provide Ohio school children with quality learning experiences, and
WHEREAS, given the current economic conditions in Ohio, CORAS believes the Ohio House of Representatives modifications to the Governor Strickland’s school funding reform plan will maintain schools over the next two years, and when fully funded, along with inflationary and necessary cost adjustments as determined by the School Funding Research Advisory Council, will provide adequate resources to implement the education reform elements, and
WHEREAS, CORAS believes there is a commitment by Governor Strickland and members of the current Ohio House of Representatives to provide sufficient state funding to school districts at the time the various elements of the plan are required to be implemented; and be it therefore
RESOLVED that the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools endorses the Ohio education and school funding reform plan proposed by Governor Strickland, including the modifications by the Ohio House of Representatives.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS ACTION: Passed by unanimous vote of the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools Board of Directors this 28th day of April 2009.
April 28, 2009- Devil Still In details Of Education Plan"
The article, Devil Still in Details of Education Plan, appeared recently in the Ironton Tribune. The writer of the article made several observations concerning the Governor's education and school funding reform plan. The following may provide some additional insight.
TRIBUNE WRITER'S OBSERVATION: "Their plan.... phases in the Governor’s funding changes over 10 years. In other words, my seventh-grader may be through college and my first-grader would be a junior in high school before the plan takes full effect."
On March 24, 1997 the Ohio Supreme Court declared Ohio's school funding system unconstitutional and ordered the General Assembly to fix it. That was 12 years ago. The system remains unconstitutional today. Some incremental improvements have been made since 1997, but no systemic changes. A full generation of students have passed through an unconstitutional system because Ohio's leaders failed to act. Considering the history, and with a plan on the table, the 10-year phase-in may be a bit less significant.
TRIBUNE WRITER'S OBSERVATION: "It is also important to remember that for the Governor’s education proposal to be phased-in over 10 years, it will have to be adopted by future General Assemblies and future governors. This appears very unlikely."
Governor Strickland responded best to this issue in a recent discussion with the Dayton Daily editorial board. He said, “We are committed to education and if we are committed to it, it will be sustainable. Whether or not the money will be there depends upon the leadership of the state. But I believe if we get this structure in place the people of this state will hold anyone who decides to reverse course accountable.” ...Dayton Daily News, April 24, 2009
TRIBUNE WRITER'S OBSERVATION: "Most of the school districts in our region receive increases in the House plan, but they are modest compared to the funding boost several wealthy districts would see once the proposal is fully phased-in. Additionally, when the House plan is fully phased-in, Plain Local SD in Franklin County would receive a 188.5-percent increase in per-pupil funding compared to Symmes Valley in Lawrence County, which is slated to get a 17.5 percent boost."
Plain Local in Franklin county would receive a 177.5% increase if the Governor's proposal was fully-funded in FY2010. That 177.5% equates to an increase of $1,101 per student. Plain Local currently receives $621 per pupil from the state. Symmes Valley Local, currently receiving $8,311 per pupil from the state, would receive an additional $1,270 per pupil. Under the Governor's plan, the state would provide $1,722 per pupil to Plain Local and $9,581 per pupil to Symmes Valley Local.
All school districts in Ohio's Appalachian region would receive increased funding under the Governor's/Ohio House Representative's fully-funded plan. More state dollars than ever before would be flowing to Ohio's property poor school districts. Perhaps not as much as we'd like, but certainly movement in the right direction.
Consider what may be the alternative to the Governor's proposal. Most other state agencies are receiving drastic cuts in FY 2010-2011.
Read the Ironton Tribune article. Click: Devil still in details of education plan
April 27,2009- "Experts Don't Help Funding Proposal"
The Akron Beacon Journal reported Saturday that Allen Odden, University of Wisconsin, and Lawrence Picus, University of Southern California, developers of the evidenced -based school reform model, gave answers regarding the funding portion of the plan that "had Republicans shaking their heads."
For example, the Beacon Journal said, Odden and Picus indicated their evidence-based model, which has been used by Arkansas and Wyoming, has led to those states spending between 2 and 9 percent more than the national average on schools. A Republican State Representative pointed out that Ohio already spends more than the national average on education.....and went on to say, if fully funded, the proposal would increase spending on education by 42 percent in the first year of the budget and $2.7 billion over the biennium.
However, the Beacon Journal article added, " None of this should deter Strickland and Dyer from forging ahead with their plan to dramatically overhaul the school funding formula. The governor and the lawmaker are taking the right approach to weaning the state from residual budgeting, or the money leftover, and basing the system on scientific research. They are also making long-term strides toward reducing the over-reliance on local property taxes to pay for schools. And an advisory council, which would continuously review not only Ohio's formula, but examine what is working and failing in other states, should be rightly acknowledged as a vital key to keeping the state on track to continuous improvement."
Read the Akron Beacon Journal article. Click: WILLARD: Experts don't help education funding proposal
April 24, 2009- "We are committed...it is sustainable"
Responding to critics raising the issue of financial sustainability, Governor Strickland said yesterday that his plan to overhaul the state’s education system and how it’s funded isn’t about financial sustainability, it’s about changing the status quo and building a better model for learning. “We reject the emphasis on sustainability,” Strickland said during an editorial board meeting with the Dayton Daily News. “We are committed to education and if we are committed to it, it will be sustainable.” “Whether or not the money will be there depends upon the leadership of the state,” the Governor said. “But I believe if we get this structure in place the people of this state will hold anyone who decides to reverse course accountable.”
Source: Dayton Daily News
April 23, 2009- Study: Ecomonic Impact of Poor Schools
The lagging performance of American schoolchildren, particularly among poor and minority students, has had a negative economic impact on the country that exceeds that of the current recession, according to a report released on Wednesday. The study conducted by the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company pointed to bleak disparities in test scores on four fronts: between black and Hispanic children and white children; between poor and wealthy students; between Americans and students abroad; and between students of similar backgrounds educated in different parts of the country.
The report concluded that if those achievement gaps were closed, the yearly gross domestic product of the United States would be trillions of dollars higher, or $3 billion to $5 billion more per day.
Read the study. Click: study
Source: New York Times
April 22, 2009- Ohio's School Funding Gap
The FY 2008 edition of the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools "Vital Statistics" is currently in publication. Four factors in this years edition worthy of additional discussion are:
1. The gap between Ohio and Appalachian districts Average Per Pupil Expenditure is $504, with a gap range up to $2250 below the state average.
2. The gap between Ohio and Appalachian districts Average Per Pupil Revenue is $418, with a gap range up to $2029 below the state average.
3. The gap between Ohio and Appalachian districts Average Teachers Salaries is $4,530, with a gap range up to $19,230 below the state average.
4. The gap between Ohio and Appalachian districts Average Property Valuation Per Pupil is $35,447, with a gap range up to $95,982 below the state average.
To put the above figures in perspective, consider the following:
- There are school children in Ohio’s rural Appalachian region receiving a $7,056 education, while the state average (not the most expensive) per pupil expenditure is $9,216. (EFM Expenditure Flow Model) The $2250 shortfall translates into $45,000 less annually per classroom of 20 students, or over $2,250,000 less annually for a school district with 1000 students, than the state average.
- There are school districts in Ohio’s rural Appalachian region with local property valuation per pupil as low as $38,229, while the state average (not the highest) is $134,211. These numbers illustrate the lack of ability for some local communities to raise revenue to support education for their school children.
- There are school districts in Ohio’s rural Appalachian region with average annual teacher salaries as low as $31,431, while the state average (not the highest paid) teachers salary is $50,661. The $19,230 less annually translates into $576,900 in less income for those teachers over a 30-year career. In addition, it makes it much more difficult for Ohio Appalachian school districts to recruit and retain teachers.
The 2008 "Vital Statistics" will be mailed to CORAS members by mid-May. If you do receive a copy, contact the CORAS office at (740) 593-4414.
April 21, 2009- Educator Conduct
The number of misconduct complaints about Ohio teachers jumped sharply in 2008, according to a Columbus Dispatch. However, the percentage of complaints that were substantiated dropped. "Both outcomes are good," the Dispatch article said.
"The elevated number of referrals to the Department of Education's Office of Professional Conduct, 7,351 in 2008, compared with 5,546 in 2007, indicates that school officials and the public are taking fewer chances with teachers who might not belong in the classroom. The fact that so few complaints are found worthy of investigation, roughly 12 percent in each year, shows that there's no alarming wave of teacher misbehavior. Of cases investigated in 2008, 35 percent resulted in disciplinary action, compared to 40 percent in 2007. Only a tiny number, about half of a percent, of Ohio teachers are disciplined for misconduct," the Dispatch said.
Click here to view the Ohio educator conduct data for 2005-2007. Go to the Ohio Department of Education website www.ode.state.oh.us for more information on educator conduct. Point to Teaching at top of page and click on Educator Conduct in drop down window.
April 20, 2009- Movement Toward National Standards
"National standards, once the untouchable "third rail" of American education policy, now have the backing of the nation’s governors, a growing number of education leaders, and the U.S. secretary of education," was the lead sentence in an early March 2009 Education Week article.
Last week a New York Times article said, "The stimulus requires governors to raise standards to a new benchmark: the point at which high school graduates can succeed, without remedial classes, in college, the workplace or the military. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has gone further, saying he wants to be a catalyst for the development of national academic standards."
Education Week reported Friday, "After years of debating the idea of national content standards, representatives from 41 states convened in Chicago today in what organizers hope will be a first, concrete step toward common guidelines in mathematics and English-language arts. The National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), want to build a prototype of high school graduation standards by summer, and grade-by-grade academic standards in math and language arts by the end of the year."
April 17, 2009- House Releases Funding Changes, District-by-District Breakdown
1. Strengthening the Funding Model
Replace Ohio’s Broken School Funding System with One Based on Student Needs
The changes impact several elements of the formula and expand the modifier to more accurately assess the needs of Ohio students. The elements that were adjusted include a more accurate figure for teacher salaries, establishing a truer estimate of administrative costs in low-wealth rural districts, and adjusting the minimum number of students accounted for in smaller districts. The changes also expand the multiplier, now known as the Educational Challenge Factor (ECF). This will make it stronger by applying it to more factors within the educational experience (e.g., tutors and summer remediation), as well as weighting a district's property wealth more significantly in the calculation. This will further address the ongoing unconstitutionality of the current funding system.
2. A Transition that Makes Sense
Modifying the Implementation Timetable to Align the Phase In with the Funding
Hearing concerns over the transition from the current funding system, the proposed House changes make the phase-in more reasonable and equitable. This includes extending the timeline for implementation from 8 to 10 years; phasing in the student/teacher ration; maintaining the goal of extending the school year, but eliminating calamity days in the short run; including a transportation supplement for low-wealth, low-density districts; and providing funding guarantees to ensure that every district receives as much state support as in 2009, and districts receive at least 98% of 2010 funding in 2011 to help districts transition to the new funding model.
3. Implementation with Flexibility and Accountability
Balancing Flexibility to Allow for Success with Accountability to Ensure Results
Critical to a sound school funding formula is allowing flexibility to encourage success, accountability to ensure results, and preserving local control. The legislative changes will give most flexibility to academically successful districts, while directing low-performing districts to make key reforms. This includes implementing Core Academic Strategies and Academic Improvement Factors. This also includes a reasonable timetable with no mandates required in the first year. The changes also establish a FACT Form to hold districts accountable, and strengthen the School Funding Research and Advisory Council.
4. Addressing Additional Educational Programs
A Comprehensive Funding Model for Ohio’s Diverse Educational Needs
The legislative changes will also adjust funding elements for Special Education, Gifted and Enrichments Programs, Career Tech, Educational Service Centers, Community Schools and e-schools. By adjusting funding for these important educational programs, the model will foster cooperation between supplemental programs for students with unique needs, and collaboration between traditional schools and community schools.
“Over the next few weeks, we will continue to work with Gov. Strickland, the Ohio Department of Education, and educators and superintendents throughout Ohio to discuss these changes and win support for a truly comprehensive reform of Ohio’s education system,” said Representative Stephen Dyer, Chair, House Finance subcommittee for elementary and secondary education.
Source: News release from the Office of House Speaker Armond Budish, April 16, 2009
April 16, 2009- House Funding Version: What They Said...
"We're going to be pulling that out (federal stimulus money) of the funding model, and I think still being able to provide some positive gains in state share to school districts." ...House spokesman Keary McCarthy (Associated Press)
"The governor anticipates he'll be able to support many of the modifications the House is likely to pursue." ...Strickland spokeswoman Amanda Wurst (Associated Press)
"I believe that people will be very pleased with the improvements we made to the governor's proposal," ...State Representative Jennifer Garrison, Of the poor, rural districts, she said, "I think that they'll be better off." (Columbus Dispatch)
"The important thing is to get the structure right. If the structure is right, then the phase-in is not bothersome to me." ...William L.Phillis, E&A Coalition (Columbus Dispatch)
''We are being diligent in our efforts to make sure our numbers are as accurate as possible.'' ...State Representative Stephen Dyer (Akron Beacon Journal)
"The proposed legislative changes will strengthen our ability to address Ohio's broken school funding system and help to begin modernizing the classroom and preparing our students for success in the 21st century economy." ...House Speaker Armond Budish (Cincinnati Enquirer)
"At that point (radically lower cap) it just becomes a continuation budget. It's no longer a reform budget." ...State Senator John Carey (Cincinnati Enquirer)
"While we suggest some areas for improvement, our major finding is that OEBM (Ohio Evidence-Based Model) is quite good. What's important for Ohio is this plan's commitment to allocating resources to educational programs on the basis of the best available educational research." ...Allen Odden (Lawrence Picus and Allan Odden developed the Evidence-Based Model) (Columbus Dispatch)
"We're bringing it (limit on gains) down from the original proposal in an effort to ensure that we have an equitable distribution of state resources to the places where students have the greatest need." ...House spokesman Keary McCarthy (Associated Press)
“In short, it (House Plan) maintains the vision that the governor laid out and modifies components within that to both an equitable and adequate education system,” ...House spokesman Keary McCarthy (Cleveland Morning Journal)
"We are working to ensure that the impacts of the legislative changes are accurate and that requires additional diligence in the calculation and review process. Given the significance of these reforms, it is important that we are communicating accurately with those impacted by this comprehensive reform effort." ...State Representative Stephen Dyer (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
"The changes are designed to more accurately reflect teacher salary and administration costs and boost aid to property-poor school districts. That was the cornerstone of the DeRolph school-funding decision, and that's what our plan does." ...House spokesman Keary McCarthy (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
April 15, 2009- Ohio House Plan: More Resources For Poor Districts
The Ohio House plans to unveil a major revision of Governor Strickland's school-funding plan today that places the cap on FY 2010 increases a 1.9%, the Associated Press reported today. "The governor's plan has been criticized for allocating more state money to many of the state's wealthiest districts, while some of its poorest get less. "We're bringing it down from the original proposal in an effort to ensure that we have an equitable distribution of state resources to the places where students have the greatest need," House spokesman Keary McCarthy told the Associated Press on Tuesday. "In short, it maintains the vision that the governor laid out and modifies components within that to both an equitable and adequate education system," McCarty said. McCarthy said new district breakdowns would be available at a news conference today.
The Columbus Dispatch said today "some of the state's poorest districts in rural Ohio that were surprised to have their budgets cut in Strickland's initial plan should find more to like in the House Democrats' revised education budget."
Read the Dispatch article. Click: State's school money plan is revised
The Akron Beacon Journal said the Governor's original proposal showed some property- wealthy districts receiving a 15 percent increase in each of the next two years while some perennially poor districts received no increase the first year and a 2 percent reduction in the second. The net effect of the Dyer (chair of the House Finance subcommittee on elementary and secondary education) plan will be to adjust the formula to redistribute more state dollars to property-poor school districts, while further capping double-digit increases in funding originally earmarked for wealthier districts.
According to the Beacon Journal, the news conference set for this morning to unveil the new proposal was deemed tentative last evening as lawmakers in the House worked through the night with analysts on what are known as ''runs," a computer simulations that reveal how much money each of Ohio's 614 school districts will receive in the next two years.
Read the Beacon Journal article. Click: Dems toil over school funding formula
April 14, 2009- "Ohio Back On Track For Constitutional Compliance"
SCHOOL FUNDING UPDATES.......from the National Access Network at Teachers College, Columbia University, April 10, 2009
Ohio is Back on Track for Constitutional Compliance
Seven years after the Ohio Supreme Court declared that it would take no further action to compel the executive and legislative branches to fix the state’s unconstitutional educational funding system, the Executive Branch, on its own initiative, is taking significant action to promote constitutional compliance. Ohio Governor Ted Strickland announced in his State of the State address on January 28, 2009 that his first priority as governor is to reform the state’s public education system. Having repeatedly stated that his governorship will rise and fall on his successful revamping of the state’s educational system, Strickland’s speech formally announced his administration’s plans to overhaul the state’s current education funding formula and to improve teacher quality, expand learning opportunities, develop innovative teaching techniques, and integrate comprehensive early childhood programs with the rest of the school curriculum.
Click to : Read Full Story
April 13, 2009- Governor's Education and Funding Reform Plan
Over the weekend Gongwer News Service reported the following:
Gov. Ted Strickland's proposed evidence-based model has been deemed "a major step forward" by the researchers that devised the system.
The House's version of Gov. Ted Strickland's education plan will drive more money toward poor school districts, align mandates with performance, and defer tricky questions over earmarks and a longer school year to an advisory council, according to a key lawmaker.
Gov. Ted Strickland's education plan might have some competition when it reaches the Senate, where Republicans are keeping their options open as they review an alternate proposal that would mandate a statewide teacher salary schedule.
A Cincinnati Enquirer article Sunday said:
Educators from school districts, along with charter and private school advocates, have criticized elements of Strickland's original plan. House Democrats are preparing changes that will address most of those concerns, said state Rep. Stephen Dyer, D-Akron, and more clarity will come soon. But, he said, he can't control what the Senate might do. "If we come out of the House with something that's supported by a vast majority of school districts and school officials, and the Senate still decides to blow it up, then that's the Senate's prerogative," Dyer said. "But I would hope the Senate listens to the voices that come out after the House version passes."
Read the Enquirer article. Click: State aid hard to predict
April 9, 2009- U.S. Dept. Of Education: Preferred Uses Of Stimulus Aid
A recent Education Week article said, "After delivering a stern warning that states and school districts must use their federal stimulus money smartly or risk losing billions more, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and his staff are starting to spell out exactly what they mean by 'smartly.' " The Department of Education has outlined ways school districts should use their shares of the federal stimulus package. The article said money flowing to districts come from several pots, and many of the suggestions below can be funded through multiple sources.
• Identify and use effective teachers as coaches and mentors.
• Create summer programs for algebra and other college-prep courses.
• Partner with colleges and nonprofit groups to create early-college programs.
• Close low-performing schools and reopen them with new staffs, new programs, and additional learning time.
State Fiscal Stabilization Fund
• Create new, fair, reliable teacher-evaluation systems based on objective measures of student progress and multiple classroom observations.
• Train educators to use data to improve instruction.
• Purchase instructional software, digital whiteboards, and other interactive technologies and train teachers in how to use them.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
• Offer training and dual certification for teachers of English-language learners and students in special education.
• Implement online individualized education programs (IEPs) aligned with state academic standards.
• Hire transition coaches to help graduating high school seniors find employment or get postsecondary training.
In addition, U.S. Education Secretary Duncan said by April 17th, the department will highlight the kinds of existing improvement efforts and programs in states and districts that should serve as models for the use of stimulus money.
Sources: U.S. Department of Education and Education Week
April 8, 2009- Aging Teachers
Ohio is in better shape than many nearby states when it comes to teachers between ages 45 and 63, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported yesterday. Nationwide, 53 percent of all American teachers fall into that bracket. The average retirement age for teachers is 59.
The following shows the percent of teachers between ages 45 to 63 in Ohio and neighboring states.
Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
April 7, 2009- Report: Teacher Retirements To Escalate
"According to a new report," the New York Times said today, "Over the next four years, more than a third of the nation’s 3.2 million teachers could retire, depriving classrooms of experienced instructors and straining taxpayer-financed retirement systems." The problem is aggravated by high attrition among rookie teachers, with one of every three new teachers leaving the profession within five years, a loss of talent that costs school districts millions in recruiting and training expenses, the report, by the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future said. “The traditional teaching career is collapsing at both ends,” the report says. “Beginners are being driven away” by low pay and frustrating working conditions, and “accomplished veterans who still have much to contribute are being separated from their schools by obsolete retirement systems” that encourage teachers to move from paycheck to pension when they are still in their mid-50s, the report says.
In a related article, the Cleveland Plain Dealer said today, "A wave of teacher retirements is about to roll across the nation's public schools as baby boomers start collecting their pensions. But in Ohio, a bleak economy and high health-care costs may keep that wave at bay for a few years longer."
April 6, 2009- AASA: "...Stimulus Dollars Released...Allows Maximum Flexibility..."
According to the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) legislative Corps Weekly Report, April 3, 2009, the U.S. Education Department last week released to states half of the Title I and IDEA stimulus dollars, while also providing more specific details on how those funds may be used.
AASA said, "To our surprise, Education Secretary Duncan allows maximum flexibility for districts without violating the supplement not supplant provisions. For example, you can use Stimulus funds to rehire a laid-off teacher, as long as s/he teaches in the Title I or IDEA program, subject to Title I or IDEA program restrictions."
The Ohio Department of Education Legislative Liaison, Federal Relations is::
Legislative Liaison, Federal Relations
Ohio Department of Education
25 South Front Street, Room 704
Columbus, OH 43215
April 3, 2009_ State Officials: "...No School District Will Be Shortchanged..."
"Governor Strickland and his top education and budget officials gave assurances this week that no Ohio school district will be shortchanged of federal stimulus dollars. They sought to quell concerns from Ohio lawmakers and several districts after the governor's proposed budget and statewide school spending plan appeared to take away federal stimulus money from some of the poorest school systems. State budget Director J. Pari Sabety on Tuesday told an Ohio Senate education committee that would not happen. And Governor Strickland and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Deb Delisle on Wednesday sent a letter to every district saying the same." ....Cleveland Plain Dealer
Budget Director Sabety told the Senate Education Committee this week that the administration will work "to more clearly separate the Title 1 and IDEA stimulus funds from state funds appropriated to the districts." And, in the letter you received earlier this week, Governor Strickland and State Superintendent Delisle said, "It is our intent and expectation that districts will receive the amount of Title 1 and IDEA federal stimulus money that federally established laws and formulas provide."
Click on the following links to read "Guidance" publications from the federal government.
State Fiscal Stabilization Fund
April 2, 2009- U.S. Education Secretary: Mayors Need Control Of Urban Schools
"Part of the reason urban education has struggled historically is you haven't had that leadership from the top," Duncan said. "That lack of stability, that lack of leadership is a huge part of the reason you don't see sustained progress and growth," he said. Urban school superintendents generally last three years or less, Duncan noted. He acknowledged Baltimore schools chief Andres Alonso, asking how many superintendents the city had in the past 10 years. The answer was seven. "And you wonder why school systems are struggling," Duncan said. "What business would run that way?"
Read the AP article. Click: School chief: Mayors need control of urban schools
April 1, 2009- Online Professional Development For Teachers
A recent Education Week article said that an increasing number of teachers log on to Web-based professional development training at times that suit their own schedules. The article went on to say that no solid data are available on how many teachers receive staff development online, but added the note that online professional development has undergone an explosion in offerings.
“The biggest takeaway we’ve learned is that online learning can be a very professional experience, a very empowering experience,” said the senior director for the Public Broadcasting Service’s TeacherLine, one of the best-known providers of online teacher training. “It lets teachers get what they need, when they need it, in a way that is accessible to them.”
March 31, 2009- Changes Way Ohio Accounts For Stimulus Dollars For Schools
The Associated Press (AP) reported Monday that Governor Strickland plans to change the way his budget proposal accounts for hundreds of millions in federal stimulus dollars for schools to assure the dollars are spent legally. According to the AP article, a Governor's spokesperson said yesterday that an accounting change will move the $922 million out of the state's general revenue fund and into special revenue. AP said the federal government had warned states that "a second round of education funding could be jeopardized if they don't spend the first round as Congress and the president intended."
March 30, 2009- News Report: School Funding Plan Changes Aim To Help Poor Districts
The following series of combined excerpts are from articles written Sunday by Jim Siegel, Columbus Dispatch, and Dennis Willard, Akron Beacon Journal. State Representative Stephen Dyer (D-Green) is chair of the House Finance subcommittee for elementary and secondary education. The comments credited to Chairman Dyer apparently came from an interview with the two reporters. One article said the following are a series of steps that Representative Dyer and his colleagues are preparing to take in April.
Dyer said they want to gradually move the charge-off from 23 mills to 20 over a number of years, meaning less of an initial influx of money for many districts that are not the usual target for additional funding help.
Dyer said Democrats also are looking at reducing the caps on the maximum increase in state aid a district can get each year. Strickland's plan set the caps at 15 percent in 2010 and 16 percent in 2011.
Dyer said he plans to use a median teacher salary that will attempt to identify what the average teacher makes in an average district. He is looking at a figure around $50,000. Governor Strickland's plan used $45,094 as the average teachers salary.
House Democrats are also looking at the Instructional Quality Index. Strickland's plan applies an Instructional Quality Index between 0.9 and 1.65 (based on student poverty, property wealth and the education level of the parents in the community, with a higher number indicating greater needs in the schools) to the teachers salary. Instead, Dyer is looking at spreading the Instructional Quality Index across a number of school services to provide more funding to districts with greater needs based on the types of children they are being asked to educate. "The index should reflect the challenges that face districts," Dyer said.
Dyer also wants to provide flexibility to districts to phase in new mandates from the state to match the increase in funding from Columbus while giving districts that are meeting high academic standards more freedom. ''Generally, we are looking to be more prescriptive with districts that are struggling, and acknowledge when districts are making steady improvements,'' Dyer said.
The governor's plan creates an advisory council to revisit the evidence-based model. Dyer wants to broaden the scope and research arm of the council to continually examine the funding formula.
Dyer said he is confident that the revised school-funding plan will address the other major issues raised about Strickland's plan, except perhaps those raised by for-profit charter schools. That list includes funding issues involving gifted education, special education, nonprofit charter schools, rural transportation and comprehensive career-technical schools, along with concerns about how strictly districts would have to follow new requirements for class size and all-day kindergarten. "What we're looking at is keeping within the same revenue we've got, but making sure it drives the money to the districts that need it the most right now," Dyer said.
"The most important thing we can do is to make this the best plan we can so when the economy bounces back, we'll have a system that distributes money in a much more equitable and adequate way than we're doing now."
Sources: Columbus Dispatch and Akron Beacon Journal, Sunday, March 29, 2009
March 27, 2009- E-learning/Low-Income Students/AP Classes
A 2007 report from the U.S. Department of Education found that 25 percent of high school students attend schools that make no Advanced Placement courses available to them. E-learning advocates suggest that online courses can help fill that void.
According to the report, Technology Counts 2009, the number of K-12 students taking online courses increased 47 percent from 2005-06 to 2007-08, putting the total number of students engaged in such courses at more than one million. At least 25 states now have online schools or organizations providing Web-based courses to students. And more schools are taking advantage of online education programs to offer Advanced Placement courses, connect students with higher-quality mathematics and science teachers and curriculum, and offer academic courses that would otherwise be unavailable, the report said.
This growth of online courses may already have had an impact on the number of low-income students taking AP classes. The fifth annual report on Advanced Placement scores released by the College Board said more students from low-income families are taking and passing Advanced Placement tests. The report shows that in the graduating class of 2008, 17 percent of the students who took AP exams were from low-income families, up from 16.2 percent in the class of 2007 and 11.6 percent in the class of 2003. Low-income students made up 13.4 percent of those receiving a passing score, a 3 or higher on a 5-point scale, compared with 13.1 percent the previous year and 9.8 percent in the class of 2003, the College Board figures show.
March 26, 2009- Report: Ohio Ranks Last In Use Of Technology
According to a new report, The 2009 National Technology Report, Ohio is tied for last among the 50 states in the use of technology, while neighboring state West Virginia is one the states at the top of the list. The report is a supplement to the 12th edition of Technology Counts, a joint project of Education Week and the Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) Research Center. The policy data come from the EPE Research Center's 2008 summer survey of states about their K-12 educational technology policies in the areas of use and capacity
If you want to see how Ohio's use of educational technology compares to the rest of the country, click on the links below.
These interactive maps offer a quick way to examine state-by-state grades by categories. The grades break down into two categories: capacity and use.
Table: State Technology Grades and Ranking Tables PDF
This interactive resource provides comprehensive data for individual states in the following categories: use of technology, capacity of use, state data system, and data access. Also provides ways to compare multiple states' data in all categories, as well as states' overall grades.
March 25, 2009- New Study Links Poverty and Student Achievement
A Policy Brief released on March 9, 2009 called "Poverty and Potential: Out of School Factors and School Success"
warns that out-of-school factors (OSFs) must be more rigorously addressed if states are to be successful in closing achievement gaps between lower and middle income students.
The Policy Brief was prepared by (co-author of the mid-90's best seller, The manufactured crisis,
and a past CORAS
guest speaker) David C. Berliner,
, and was funded by the
for Educational Research & Practice. This policy brief details six out-of-school factors common among the poor that significantly affect the health and learning opportunities of children, and accordingly limit what schools can accomplish on their own: (1) low birth-weight and non-genetic prenatal influences on children; (2) inadequate medical, dental, and vision care, often a result of inadequate or no medical insurance; (3) food insecurity; (4) environmental pollutants; (5) family relations and family stress; and (6) neighborhood characteristics. According to the policy brief, these OSFs are related to a host of poverty-induced physical, sociological, and psychological problems that children often bring to school, ranging from neurological damage and attention disorders to excessive absenteeism, linguistic underdevelopment, and oppositional behavior. Also discussed is a seventh OSF, extended learning opportunities, such as preschool, after school, and summer school programs that can help to mitigate some of the harm caused by the first six factors.
Read the Executive Summary. Click: Brief
March 24, 2009- House Republicans Suggest Separate Bill For School Funding
The Associated Press (AP) reported this morning that some House Republicans want to separate Governor Strickland's school funding plan from the $54.3 billion state budget proposal. In a letter to the House Speaker Monday, State Representative Peggy Lehner, Montgomery County, said many questions remain unanswered about the Governor's education proposal, the AP report said. She suggested containing the plan in a separate bill that would be heard by the House Education committee. Representative Lehner said not enough time is left before the House votes on the governor's proposed budget to deal with the complexity of the education plan. A House Republican spokeswoman told AP that Lehner's office had not received a response to her letter as of close of business Monday.
March 23, 2009- In The News...
'BIG 8' DISTRICTS ENDORSE STRICKLAND EDUCATION PLAN. Leaders of the eight biggest urban school districts in the state announced support Friday for Gov. Ted Strickland's education plan, which has been criticized by many school officials from rural parts of the state. ...Gongwer News Service
CHARTER SCHOOLS WON'T BE SHORTCHANGED. State officials are seeking to reassure parents of charter school students that they won't be short-changed in Gov. Ted Strickland's proposed biennial budget. Spreadsheets released recently by the Ohio Department of Education predict increased money for 74 of Ohio's 325 or so charter schools. Pro-charter groups and parents have spoken out at recent public meetings, objecting to the budget plan based, in part, on predictions of large budget cut. Charter proponents are factoring into their estimates the large declines in funding expected for virtual schools, Rep. Steve Dyer, D-Green, chairman of the House Finance and Appropriations primary and secondary education subcommittee, said. Virtual schools are online schools in which students learn on computers at home. There are at least five virtual schools expected to suffer cuts of about 70 percent in state funding, according to recent state figures. Most others also will have double-digit cuts. Dyer said some virtual schools may lose more than two-thirds of their funding, but many regular charter schools will see gains. ...Cincinnati Enquirer
BUDGET TIMELINE. Representative Sykes, chair of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee, released information about the timeline for the House to approve the biennial budget, Sub. HB 1 (Sykes). According to this timeline, the House Finance and Appropriations subcommittees will complete work on the budget and send it back to the full committee by the end of March. A substitute version of Sub. HB 1 will be released on April 14, 2009, and at that time the committee will hold more hearings. The committee is expected to vote on HB 1 the week of April 20th. The bill will then move to the Ohio Senate. The state's biennial budget must be adopted by July 1, 2009. ...Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
FEES FOR SPORTS MAY SOAR. A 2005 study of public and private high schools in Ohio by a University of Dayton student found that 29.7 percent were charging participation fees. The top fee was $500. Deborah Moore, an associate commissioner of the Ohio High School Athletic Association, suspects that the percentage charging fees is higher now.....Columbus Dispatch
March 20, 2009- HB 4: Interactive Distance Learning Pilot Project
State Representatives Debbie Phillips and Jennifer Garrison introduced a bill (HB 4) last month that would require the eTech Ohio Commission to develop and implement a pilot project to provide access to at least three interactive distance learning courses in each school year free of charge for all high schools operated by school districts. The courses offered would include two advanced placement (AP) courses and one foreign language course.
In developing the pilot project, the eTech Ohio Commission must contract with and pay teachers to develop and teach the courses. In addition, the Commission is solely responsible to: (1) produce and broadcast the courses; (2) provide funds for schools to purchase necessary video conferencing telecommunications equipment and connectivity devices; (3) assist schools in arranging for the purchase and installation of telecommunications equipment and connectivity devices; (4) pay, for up to one school year, the cost of upgrading internet service for schools that currently have only a T-1 or slower connection; (5) offer training in the use of the telecommunications equipment necessary to participate in the pilot project; and (6) administer and oversee the operation of the pilot project.
The bill specifies that each school will determine how and where its students will participate in the courses. The grade for a student enrolled in a course will be assigned by the course teacher. The bill has been assigned to the House Education Committee.
March 19, 2009- Court: No Constitutional Right To Participate In Extracurricular Activities
In a case that may have statewide implications for students in after-school activities, the 1st District Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled last Friday (March 13) that students have no legal right to appeal being barred from extracurricular activities because of legal trouble away from school.
The Court said, "A student has no right to appeal to the common pleas court a school board's decision prohibiting him from participating in extracurricular events: there is a statutory right to appeal only curricular decisions, and there is no constitutional right to participate in extra curricular activities."
Read the Appeals Court decision. Click:
Read the Cincinnati Enquirer article. Click: Court upholds school power
March 18, 2009- "....16 Years In The Making."
Dennis Willard, a reporter for the Akron Beacon Journal, has been a close observer of school funding in Ohio for nearly two decades. He has reported on the DeRolph litigation and Ohio's unconstitutional school funding system since the early 1990's. Dennis provides his perspective on the history and current effort to fix funding for Ohio schools. Click on the links below to read his recent Akron Beacon Journal articles.
March 17, 2009- CORAS Promotes "Leadership for Results"
Seventy-one superintendents and guests attended the fourth and final Battelle for Kids program presented by the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools (CORAS) held at the Olde Dutch Restaurant in Logan on March 10, 2009. The program, "Leadership for Results," featured Dr. James Mahoney, Executive Director, and Tony Bagshaw, Senior Director of Knowledge Management. Those in attendance discovered how developing leadership and leveraging excellence within a district at all levels is necessary, and possible, to help students progress and achieve at the highest levels. Program participants learned how to recognize and recruit talented people, develop leaders and use coaching techniques to encourage and support staff members.
Previous Battelle for Kids programs included:
September 2008: "A Look at the National Education Landscape–What Does it Mean for My District?"
October 2008: "Highly-Effective Teaching Revealed and Replicated Through Classroom-Level Value-Added Analysis"
February 2009: "Help Your District Develop a Vision for Assessment Excellence"
Through an agreement with Ohio University College of Education graduate credit was granted, to those requesting it, for attending all four sessions.
The next CORAS program is set for Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at the Ohio University Inn, Athens. Dr. John Stanford, Education Policy Advisor to Governor Strickland, will be honored as the 2009 Samuel I. Hicks Executive-in-Residence.
March 16, 2009- Distributing Stimulus Money To Schools
According to The eSchool News, published in the March 11th AASA Daily News, the first pool of school stimulus money is for established formulas such as Title I, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program. Federal officials will release the first half of these funds to state education departments by the end of March, 2009 and school systems should see this money by the end of April. For IDEA, this first installment will total nearly $6 billion, and districts will qualify based on their eligibility for IDEA funding in fiscal year 2008. The second round of IDEA stimulus funding will be released to states October 1, 2009 and schools are obligated to spend all the money by September 10, 2010.
U.S. Department of Education spreadsheets showed the stimulus package would provide rural Appalachian Ohio school districts with considerable increases in Title 1 and IDEA funding. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Governor Strickland wants to include the Title I, IDEA and EETT money with all other education stimulus dollars the state gets and then pass it out to schools under the governor's funding plan. The Plain Dealer said under the bill Congress passed governors can choose to bypass the traditional funding formula, "even though so much education money in the package was to be allocated for formula-driven programs like those for impoverished districts, districts where student performance lags, and districts with a relatively high number of students with disabilities." States can divert up to 20 percent of stimulus money that was targeted for those purposes, the article said.
An Ohio Department of Education spokesperson told the Athens News that the typical Title I situation includes the state ODE distributing the federal monies. “It’s what’s called a federal pass-through,” the spokesperson said. “We distribute the funds on behalf of the federal government.” He said that ODE was still waiting for final guidance from the federal government on distribution of the funds and how they can be used by the state. The ODE was working with the Ohio Office of Budget Management as well as Governor Strickland’s office to figure out what’s going to happen, the spokesperson said.
March 13, 2009- In The News...
SOURCES FOR SCHOOL FUNDING PROPOSAL. Governor Strickland has released a 37-page bibliography identifying where strategies originated for his "child-centered, evidenced-based" school-funding proposal. Click for list of sources. Draft Bibliography - Governor's Education Reform ....Columbus Dispatch
'ADJUSTMENTS' TO SCHOOL FUNDING PLAN? Minor adjustments may be necessary to the proposed school funding formula to account for the federal stimulus funding that is dedicated to poor school districts, Governor Strickland said. Click to read a related article. What feds give schools, can state taketh away? ...Gongwer News Service and Columbus Dispatch
HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATES. The national high school graduation rate remained flat at about 75 percent between 2002 and 2006, while a dozen states made substantial gains, according to a new report by researchers. Click to read report. new report ....Associated Press
March 12, 2009- Study: Requiring Algebra May Have Yielded Unintended Effects
Findings from the study, College-Preparatory Curriculum for All: The Consequences of Raising Mathematics Graduation Requirements on Students’ Course Taking and Outcomes in Chicago, found that when a school system requires students to take algebra at a particular grade level it may have yielded unintended effects. The study, involving 160,000 Chicago high school students, was conducted by researchers from the Consortium on Chicago School Research, based at the University of Chicago, and presented on March 3rd at the 2009 Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE) Conference in Arlington, Virginia.
The study found that while algebra enrollment increased across the district, the percentages of students failing math in 9th grade also rose after the new policy took effect. The researchers said the change did not seem to lead to any significant test-score gains for students in math or in sizeable increases in the percentages of students who went on to take higher-level math courses later on in high school.
A growing number of districts and states have begun requiring students to study algebra in 9th grade, according to the report.
Read Abstract and/or view PowerPoint. Click:
March 11, 2009- President Outlines Education Priorities
In a speech yesterday, President Obama called for expanding early childhood programs; tying teachers' pay to students' performance; expanding innovative charter schools; longer school days and school years; and tougher standards and assessments. The President said state limits on numbers of charter schools aren't "good for our children, our economy, or our country." He added, "I know longer school days and school years are not wildly popular ideas. But the challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom."
The president of the National Education Association said the Presidents call for teacher performance pay does not necessarily mean raises or bonuses would be tied to student test scores. It could mean more pay for board-certified teachers or for those who work in high-poverty, hard-to-staff schools.
March 10, 2009- For-Profit Charter Schools
White Hat Management in Akron is Ohio's largest for-profit management company. White Hat received more than $370 million in state payments over the past four years, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. The Enquirer said 27 of White Hat's 31 schools in Ohio were rated "academic watch" or "emergency." None was rated "effective," "excellent" or "excellent with distinction."
The Enquirer said, according a researcher for the Ohio Education Association (OEA), for-profit charter schools spend more than double what public schools spend on administrative costs, but 19 percent less on instruction compared to public schools. Compared to nonprofit charter operators, for-profit managers spend 68 percent more on administrative costs and 13 percent less on instruction, an OEA researcher said. Management company fees can be as much as 30 to 40 percent of school funds, according to the president of Eagle Eye Services, a West Chester, Ohio company that provides services to charter schools but doesn't manage them.
Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
March 9, 2009- Spend Fast, Keep Receipts
Today's New York Times said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sent a message to the nation’s school officials last Friday regarding economic stimulus money. “Spend funds quickly to save and create jobs,” the five-page guidance document said. It urged educators to use the money in the stimulus package in ways that “improve school achievement through school improvement and reform.” It also warned them to keep records of expenditures. The message, e-mailed to governors, state education commissioners and thousands of school superintendents, provided the first broad guidelines for how the Education Department intends to channel $100 billion to the nation’s 14,000 school districts over the next few months.
According to the NY Times, Mr. Duncan said some $44 billion will be made available to states before the end of this month in the hope that layoffs can be averted. Hundreds of thousands of job losses in schools had been projected for the fall because of growing state budget deficits caused by a steep drop in tax revenues. More school stimulus money will be distributed in the spring through the fall, the documents said, after states apply for the financing and provide Congressionally mandated “assurances” to Mr. Duncan that they are complying with federal education laws.
March 6, 2009- All-Day Kindergarten
According to Ohio GroundWork Campaign, an early childhood advocacy group, in the 2006-2007 school year [the latest data we could locate] , 73,500 children (54 percent of enrolled kindergarteners) were attending full-day kindergarten in Ohio, leaving 60,400 students only attending a half-day of kindergarten. Nationally, about 60 percent of students attend all-day kindergarten, according to the Education Commission of the States. Nine states require that districts offer full-day kindergarten. Fourteen states require that students attend kindergarten, and two of those, Louisiana and West Virginia, require students to attend full-day kindergarten.
The Governor’s education reform plan provides for all-day every-day kindergarten. However, the plan allows local school boards to apply for a waiver to the superintendent of public instruction to opt out of the requirement. The waiver would be for one-year, but could be renewed. The waiver would be made available to districts that do not have the facilities to handle the additional students or for other reasons approved by the State Superintendent. An Associated Press report said, "If a district offers it, parents may choose whether to send their children to full-day kindergarten or half-day kindergarten, according to the budget plan. Parents also may choose to forgo kindergarten altogether. The plan does not change the state’s compulsory school attendance law, which begins at age six, or first grade." Offering all-day kindergarten is mandatory for districts that get poverty-based assistance from the state.
March 5, 2009- The Governor's Office Is Listening
Dale DeRolph can't figure it out. "It just doesn't make sense to me," DeRolph told the Columbus Dispatch. Also, according to the Dispatch, State Representative Jennifer Garrison, D-Marietta, said, "We need to fully fund the poorer districts earlier."
The Athens News reported, "Bill Phillis, executive director of the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding, said that while he has no doubt of Strickland’s good intentions, and praises him for his efforts, there seems to be some 'bugs' in the formula. Phillis questioned the 1.6 limit on the Ohio Instructional Quality index, saying he thinks it should go up to 2." He also questioned the state’s average salary figure.
The reality is that nearly 60 of the 127 rural Appalachian region school districts would be flat funded or face funding reductions during the FY2010-2011 biennium, and many low-wealth school districts across the state would receive comparatively minimal increases if the proposal were fully funded in 2010. This appears to create greater disparities among Ohio schools.
However, the Governor's office has expressed a willingness to consider ideas to improve the proposal and has scheduled meetings this week and next to discuss these issues. In addition, State Representative Stephen Dyer, chair of a finance sub-committee on elementary and secondary education, has scheduled a meeting in Marietta to hear testimony on the funding plan. This meeting will be held at 4:00 p.m. Monday, March 9 at the Washington State Community College's Graham Auditorium. It is open to the public. To submit written testimony contact Lauren McMillin, (614) 466-1790; or email@example.com
Read related articles from the Athens News and the Columbus Dispatch. Click the links below.
March 4, 2009- National Standards Gaining Momentum
According to edweek.org, the National Governors Association (NGA) adopted a policy statement recently endorsing a process to develop common academic standards by comparing student performance on international tests. "International benchmarking will move the American education system beyond comparing student performance against peers in neighboring cities or states, it will shift the focus to the skills students need to compete with other students around the world," the NGA policy statement says.
The edweek.org article said the governors have joined several education groups, including the Council of the Great City Schools, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the American Federation of Teachers, endorsing the idea that the nation should set a common definition of what students should know and be able to do. It also reported that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has said he wants the federal government to be "a catalyst" for the development of national standards, and wants to support the NGA and other groups working to set them.
"While common standards have the support of some leading policymakers, some educators argue they would take another step toward nationalizing school policy and usurping teachers’ judgment of what to teach and how to teach it," the article said.
Click to read the 2008 report: Benchmarking for Success: Ensuring U.S. Students Receive a World-Class Education
March 3, 2009- Study: Quality of Teaching In First-Grade Classrooms Inconsistent
According to a study about the quality of first-grade classrooms published in the February 2009 Elementary School Journal, only 23 percent of classrooms could be judged to be of “high quality” in both their instructional practices and social and emotional climate. Another 31 percent of classrooms, the largest percentage in the study sample, were deemed to have a positive emotional climate, but a low level of academic quality. Researchers judged 28 percent of the classrooms to be “mediocre”; the remaining 17 percent got a rating of “low overall quality.”
The co-authors of the study were Robert C. Pianta, dean of the University of Virginia’s education school, and Megan W. Stulman, a senior research scientist at the school’s Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning. To measure quality, trained raters spent a day in each of 820 classrooms collecting detailed observations on the goings-on there. The classrooms were scattered across 32 states in 700 regular public, charter, and private schools.
The University of Virginia researchers found that children who had scored low on achievement tests in preschool, were from poor or working-poor families, or were nonwhite were twice as likely to be in low-quality classrooms as high-quality classrooms, the study says. The study also found that teachers’ years of experience and the sizes of their classes did not seem to have an effect on the quality of the classroom learning environment. “Further,” the report says, “the link between family background or low attainment and poor-quality educational opportunity is not going to be broken simply by assigning children to private schools, because private school 1st grades were less likely to be in the highest-quality groups” than those located in public schools.
Sources: Education Week and The Elementary School Journal
March 2, 2009- Education, Jobs and Poverty
Why must education reform and school funding be right for poor schools?
"Education reform must occur in the poorest locations as well as the wealthiest. Job training must occur in Appalachia, inner-city Cleveland, the suburbs of Cincinnati and the rural areas of northwest Ohio" ...Philip E. Cole, executive director of the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies
"Taxation redistributes wealth, and in Ohio the poor are taxed at a higher rate than the wealthy. As a developed nation, the United States has one of the highest disparities of wealth, with the income ratio of the richest to the poorest being 12 to 1. Education is often the only chance a child of poverty has of raising his or her economic class as an adult." ...Dr. Kern Alexander, Professor of Excellence, University of Illinois
Why in the Appalachian counties?
Ohio's unemployment rate was 8.8 percent in January, up from the revised rate of 7.4 in December, according to data released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Ohio's non-farm wage and salary employment decreased 59,700 over the month, from 5,271,900 in December, to 5,212,200 in January. ...Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
Twenty-one of the 29 Ohio Appalachian counties had unemployment rates at or above 8.8% in December 2008. Brown 9.2; Highland 8.9; Ross 9.4; Pike 13; Adams 11.7; Scioto 9.6; Jackson 9.4; Meigs 11.4; Perry 10.4; Muskingum 10.6; Morgan 12.7; Noble 11.3; Monroe 10.9; Guernsey 10.5; Coshocton 10.4; Harrison 9.1; Jefferson 8.8; Carroll 9.6; Columbiana 8.9; Hocking 9.7; and Vinton 11.2. ...Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
The 2005 estimated poverty rate among Ohio's 29 Appalachian counties ranges between 13.3 percent in Washington County and 31.5 percent in Athens County, with most hovering around 20 percent. Ohio's overall poverty rate is 13 percent. ...A 20/20 special report and State of Poverty in Ohio 2008
Residents of Appalachia are affected by a lack of transportation and infrastructure, a shortage of industry and good-paying jobs, few educational options, limited access to health and dental care, high rates of depression and alcoholism and rampant drug-dealing and addiction. The life expectancy in the region has dropped in recent decades. ...A 20/20 special report published in the Columbus Dispatch
February 27, 2009- U.S. Households With Children Hits New Low
The percentage of American households with children under 18 living at home last year hit the lowest point in half a century, according to government data released Wednesday. In 2008, about 35.7 million families (46%) had children under 18 at home, the U.S. Census Bureau figures show, down from 52% in 1950. The percentage peaked in 1963, when about 57% of families had children under 18 at home.
A senior demographer at RAND Corporation said the economy will continue to affect family size: When cash-strapped workers have fewer dollars to feed another mouth, couples are likely to have fewer children, or none. He said a shift in family demographics could spell changes in local politics: Childless couples could be less willing to fund schools, for example, than other public needs.
The data come from the U.S. Census Bureau most recent Current Population Survey. It was conducted early last year with responses from about 100,000 American addresses.
Read U.S. Census Bureau press release. Click: Press Release/Product Announcement
Sources: USA Today and U.S. Census Bureau
February 26, 2009- Re-evaluating Four Areas of "Anomalous Results"
The Columbus Dispatch reported this morning that the Governor's budget director J. Pari Sabety said the amount earmarked to cover teacher pay is one of four areas of "anomalous results" in the funding model that the Strickland administration is re-evaluating. According to the Dispatch report, the Ohio Department of Education has a variety of weighted and unweighted average teacher salaries ranging from $51,000 to $54,200. The formula in the Governor's plan starts with $45,094 per teacher. The formula adds .14 to cover retirement contributions, plus it adds another component called the "Ohio Instructional Quality Index," ranging from approximately .9 to 1.65 to compensate for poverty and other factors.
A spokesperson for the Governor said if there is a better number, the governor is open to discussing it.
The other three areas of "anomalous results" were not mentioned in the Dispatch article, but some believe the formula for determining the "Ohio Instruction Quality Index" should also be re-visited.
February 25, 2009- CORAS Develops Vision For Assessment Excellence
Nearly 70 superintendents and others participated in the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools (CORAS) program held in Logan yesterday (February 24, 2009). Those in attendance learned critical steps district and school leaders can take to create a school culture that embraces and supports staff members’ ability to implement ongoing formative assessments to accelerate student progress. The Battelle for Kids presenters were facilitators Kate Kennedy and Sandy Ritchey. In addition, Michael Collins, member of the state board of education, 9th district, discussed the merits of the Governor's education reform and school funding plan. CORAS President David Branch presided over the meeting and made several short informative presentations during the course of the program.
The Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools (CORAS) Board of Directors met following the regular program to discuss a variety of topics including the Coalition's focus for the "Third Decade" (CORAS was established in 1988) and the Governor's education reform and school funding plan.
The next CORAS program is set for Tuesday, March 10, 2009, 9:00 a.m., at the Olde Dutch Restaurant in Logan. Battelle for Kids will conduct the final, in the series of four, presentation titled "Leadership for Results." Registration information was mailed to CORAS members earlier this week and online registration was made available this morning.
February 24, 2009- Tax Breaks/New Focus For Schools
BILLIONS IN TAX BREAKS With each budget proposed by the governor comes a companion volume, the Tax Expenditure Report, projecting the cost of tax deductions, exemptions and credits. The report accompanying Ted Strickland's $54.7 billion, two-year budget plan listed 122 different tax breaks, the state forgoing an estimated $15.1 billion.
You would expect an administration looking to plug a $7.3 billion budget hole, not to mention pay for key priorities, would scour such a document for savings. Yet the tax breaks now amount to $1.1 billion more than in the current biennium. Thus, the legislature should revive the idea of a committee to review the worthiness of tax expenditures, deploying the scrutiny applied to all other spending. ...Akron Beacon Journal
GOVERNOR SAYS OHIO SCHOOLS NEED NEW FOCUS Gov. Ted Strickland wants to modernize Ohio's education system by focusing on technology and problem-solving skills instead of memorization. Ten states have already adopted the ''21st Century Skills'' model, and it's being used in individual school districts around the country. The framework focuses on critical thinking, communication and cultural awareness. Students may be asked to evaluate real-world policies such as the use of biofuels and present their findings online with wiki pages or through podcasts.
Critics say focusing on vague ''soft'' skills such as media literacy will dilute curricula. Supporters of the framework are refining methods to test the skills, which are more expensive to evaluate than standardized tests that can be graded by machines. ...Associated Press
February 23, 2009- More on "Some Tweaking"
From Sunday's (Feb. 22) Akron Beacon Journal
"T ed Strickland conceded the obvious Thursday when he said 'it may be necessary to go back and do some tweaking' of his school-funding formula. It's a must. Widely publicized disparities in district allocations in the proposed two-year budget make revisions in the formula essential."
"Strickland also asserted that he will fight as hard as he can to retain the thrust of the education package. He must. The framework he has proposed conforms with the long-term goal of improving the quality of primary and secondary education in Ohio. It is well worth a fight to deploy an approach that is guided by research and best practices to ensure the state's children are academically competitive, that funding is adequate and local taxpayers are not overburdened."
Read the Beacon Journal article. Click: Tweaking time
February 20, 2009- Funding Plan May Require 'Some Tweaking'
According to the Gongwer News Service, Governor Strickland said his school funding plan may require 'some tweaking.' The Governor said yesterday he was open to revising some details of his proposed school-funding formula, but not the overall approach of his education plan, the Gongwer report said
A new study of Ohio charter schools, released yesterday, said the state’s “experiment’’ in publicly financing charter schools is a failure. According to a Cincinnati Enquirer article, the analysis of 332 charter schools, titled “Reclaiming the Education Charter, Ohio’s Experiment with Charter Schooling,” recommends a moratorium on all new charter schools until there is more accountability on performance and spending. It also recommends reducing state aid for “virtual” or online schools used by more than 20,000 Ohio students.
Commissioned by the Education Voters Institute of Cleveland and the Forum for Education and Democracy, the study concludes: “After 10 years and almost $3 billion in public dollars spent, the vast majority of Ohio’s charter schools have failed to demonstrate a better way to educate Ohio’s children. They need to be reined in, and quickly.”
The Enquirer said the report’s author, Leigh Dingerson of the Center for Community Change, did praise two Ohio charter schools as being strong and innovative: The Sciotoville Community School in Portsmouth and the Intergenerational School of Cleveland.
Read the Enquirer article. Click: Study calls charter schools a failure
February 18, 2009- Itemized List Of Ohio Stimulus Allocations
February 17, 2009- State Revenue Shortfall
State tax revenue was down by $60.5 million in January, or 3.2 percent, leaving the state down $85 million in the fiscal year that ends June 30. Most of that variance was the result of an 8.5 percent drop in state sales-tax revenue and a 4.7 percent drop in income-tax collections. The state has undergone three rounds of budget cuts and other adjustments totaling $1.9 billion for this fiscal year, but Budget Director J. Pari Sabety said it's too soon to say whether additional cuts will be needed before the legislature passes the next two-year budget. Sabety said she wants to see the numbers for February and March to determine how the state's revised revenue projections are holding up. ....Columbus Dispatch
Governor Strickland's proposed $54.7 billion state operating budget may be $600 million short. The Governor said he was being "speculative" last week when estimating that $600 million represents how much less the federal stimulus plan would provide for the state budget than his administration originally projected. ....Dayton Daily News
February 16, 2009- Education Reform and School Funding Plan
Governor Strickland has made education and school funding reform a top priority in Ohio. No other Governor in recent memory has been so courageous. In addition, the Governor and his staff have worked extremely hard to put together an education reform plan designed to improve public education in Ohio. We should all applaud and support these initiatives. However, further discussion may be necessary on the funding piece.
Many poor rural school districts in the 29 Appalachian counties, and other districts throughout the state, would receive no increase or a decrease in funding over the next two-years. And many of these districts would receive relatively small increases in the fully-funded 2010 Ohio Evidenced-based Model (OEBM), compared to many other school districts receiving two and three digit increases.
Nearly 60 of the 127 Appalachian region school districts would be flat funded or face funding reductions during the FY2010-2011 biennium. Nearly the same number of districts would see less than a 25 percent increase if the OEBM were fully-funded in 2010. At first glance, considering the present economy, this may not look too bad. However, the funding projections show that over 170 Ohio school districts, including a number high property-wealth districts, would receive funding increases of over 50 percent, with nearly 50 of these districts getting an increase of over 100 percent if the OEBM were fully-funded in 2010. This appears to create greater disparities/inequities among Ohio schools.
Why is this happening? Some have suggested that funding inputs may not be right. They claim the state average teachers salary, set at $45,000, may not accurately reflect the state's current average salary. They also claim the Ohio Instructional Quality Index, containing a "poverty" factor, may not reflect the true needs of high poverty, low property wealth districts. They believe if these numbers accurately reflected current salaries and poverty needs, the funding disparities pointed out earlier may be lessened.
The Governor's office has expressed a willingness to consider ideas to improve the proposal. Send you ideas for improving the proposal to: John Stanford, Governor Strickland's Education Policy Advisor: John.Stanford@governor.ohio.gov
February 13, 2009- Ohio Expecting $8 Billion
According to media reports, Ohio will share in the $53.6 billion allocated to help states cover shortfalls in their budgets and repair schools if the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate approves a $789 billion compromise stimulus package. This includes $39.5 billion to local school districts to prevent cutbacks and modernize schools. The U.S. House is considering the package today.
The Columbus Dispatch said, "Democrats say the $8 billion or so expected to flow into Ohio will help create or save thousands of jobs, allow Gov. Ted Strickland to reduce the state's budget shortfall and give more than 4 million Ohioans at least a modest tax break." According to the Dispatch, the Governor indicated yesterday that "the package still could leave a hole of $400 million or $500 million in his proposed $54.7 billion, two-year budget, based on previous assumptions of how much federal funding would be approved." He said that additional cuts to his proposed budget are possible, except in education spending, which he vowed to protect.
February 12, 2009- Education Funding Plan Presented To House Finance Committee
Ohio's State Superintendent of Public Instruction Deborah Delisle and John Stanford, the Governor's education adviser, presented Governor Strickland's school funding reform plan yesterday to state lawmakers on the House Finance Committee. The Associated Press reported that Superintendent Delisle said the new plan to change the way public schools are funded is fair. She said the plan may seem complicated, but she assured committee members that schools will be sufficiently funded. The Gongwer News Service reported that Superintendent Delisle said the governor's education proposal would improve teacher quality, ensure family and community engagement with schools, and modernize student assessments.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, John Stanford said, "The new program will require districts to place emphasis on different elements, and this is what the state dollars are to be used for." Other elements can be funded through local dollars, he said.
February 11, 2009- Report: Teacher Professional Development Fragmented
A new report, "Professional Learning in the Learning Profession: A Status Report on Teacher Development in the U.S. and Abroad," by the National Staff Development Council and School Redesign Network at Stanford University, released last week, examines what research has revealed about professional learning that improves teachers’ practice and student learning. The report describes the availability of such opportunities in the United States and high-achieving nations around the world. It finds that American teachers are not given as many opportunities for on-the-job training as their international peers, and their effectiveness appears to suffer as a result. The time U.S. teachers actually spend in professional training largely continues to take place in isolation, rather than in school-based settings that draw on teachers’ collective knowledge and skills, the report says.
Education Week said a new push to reorient staff development nationwide could come from the new U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, who praised the report at its unveiling in Washington. In his remarks, Mr. Duncan named improving the quality of teaching “one of [the new education administration’s] top two priorities, along with raising standards.”
Read the report. Click:
February 10, 2009- Study: Student Achievement Unaffected By Teacher-Training Route
Students who have teachers certified through alternative-training programs do no worse in mathematics or reading achievement than students whose teachers have been certified by traditional teacher education programs, according to a new study, An Evaluation of Teachers Trained Through Different Routes to Certification, released yesterday by Mathematica Policy Research Inc. The study, which was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, also found no correlation between teacher effectiveness and the amount of coursework that teachers received as part of their alternative or traditional teacher-training programs.
The study found that the amount of coursework required by training programs varies greatly within alternative-certification programs and also within traditional programs. Alternatively certified teachers were required to take 75 to 795 hours of coursework. Teachers from traditional programs were required to take anywhere from 240 to 1,380 hours of instruction. The number of course hours taken by teachers didn’t affect student achievement, according to the study.
Read the full report. Click: View, download, and print the full report as a PDF file
Read the Executive Summary. Click: View, download, and print the Executive Summary as a PDF file (525 KB)
February 9, 2009- "Court never focused on equitable, the court focused on adequate"
"As lawmakers and educators sift through the individual school district numbers attached to Gov. Ted Strickland's new school-funding plan, some are finding an unusual twist: The poorest school districts in Ohio lose money in the next two years while many of the richest see huge gains." ...Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 9, 2009
February 6, 2009- New Directions For NCLB?
U.S. News and World Report reported yesterday that new U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has big plans for improving the nation's schools. First, the report says, he is seeking "support for a stimulus measure that includes an unprecedented $140 billion for education." Another item on
's agenda "will be fixing the Bush Administration's No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law." Although he "supports [NCLB's] focus on accountability for student achievement,"
"wants to make the law less punitive." He said, "I know there are schools that are beating the odds where students are getting better every year, and they are labeled failures, and that can be discouraging and demoralizing."
also said that "he is concerned about overtesting but...thinks states could solve the problem by developing better tests." And, he "wants to help them develop better data management systems that help teachers track individual student progress."
Read the article. Click: U.S. News and World Report
February 5, 2009- Special Election Results/Quinnipiac Poll
SPECIAL ELECTION RESULTS Ten (43.5%) of the 23 school issues on the February 3, 2009 special election ballot passed. There were 18 requests for new money. Only 7 (38.9%) passed. Only two issues were on the ballot in the 29 Ohio Appalachian counties. Both failed.
QUINNIPIAC POLL A new Quinnipiac University poll in Ohio shows Governor Strickland's popularity has jumped in the last two months from 54% to 63% The poll released today shows that a majority of Ohioans support Strickland's calls for a longer school year in Ohio along with mandatory all-day kindergarten. However, two-thirds of those surveyed said the Ohio Graduation Test should stay. Although less than half of those who participated in the poll said they were even somewhat familiar with the Governor's education plan, 42 percent said it will improve education in Ohio, compared to 22 percent who didn't think it would. The telephone survey of 1,127 Ohio voters was taken between January 29 and February 2. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points
February 4, 2009- U.S. Schools Cutting Staff & Teachers
According to an American Association of Schools Administrators (AASA) survey, 72% of U.S. school districts have plans to decrease staff or eliminate teaching positions this year. The AASA did a "snapshot" survey of more than 250 education leaders in 46 states.
Of the types of jobs being cut, teaching positions made up 38 percent of the total - 17 percent of those in the areas of math, science, social studies and English; and 21 percent in foreign language, special education, art, music and physical education. Support staff such as teacher aides/assistants, secretaries and central office positions represented 33 percent; and student services staff positions such as librarians, nurses, maintenance workers, cafeteria workers and transportation workers made up 17 percent. The most common method to eliminate those jobs was through layoffs, followed by attrition and/or retirement.
The AASA's executive director said. "School districts nationwide are facing devastating job cuts that will directly impact student learning."
February 3, 2009- Your Thoughts/Views For Governor Strickland's Education Plan
In his State of the State address last week Governor Strickland outlined his education reform plan. Yesterday the Governor released his FY 2010-2011 biennium budget, along with school district funding projections (see link below). Once you have had an opportunity to review this information, CORAS
would like your thoughts/views. Email your thoughts/views to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Dayton Daily News reported yesterday that Jerry Jurgensen, Ohio Business Roundtable chairman and CEO of Columbus-based Nationwide, said, "The plan [Governor Strickland's education plan] is comprehensive, dynamic and student-centered. I commend Gov. Strickland for his leadership and urge state officials to embrace the plan and work together to make it better, just as I am personally committed to working with my fellow business leaders to help it succeed."
On a related note, more details about the Governor's education plan, including individual school district funding projections for FY 2010-2011, should be available after the Governor Strickland releases his biennium budget today.
January 30, 2009- Report On Retention Of Effective New teachers
The 2008 edition of the "State Teacher Policy Yearbook" provides an in-depth analysis of a critical piece of the teacher quality: the retention of effective new teachers. The yearbook is a publication of the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ). Listed below are executive summary goals. The executive summary also contains key findings and ratings for each state.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: GOALS
Area 1: What states can do to help identify effective teachers
Goal 1: State data systems
Goal 2: Evaluation of effectiveness
Goal 3: Tenure
Area 2: What states can do to help retain effective teachers
Goal 1: Induction
Goal 2: Licensure advancement
Goal 3: Pay scales
Goal 4: Retention pay
Goal 5: Compensation for prior work experience
Goal 6: Differential pay for shortage areas
Goal 7: Performance pay .
Goal 8: Pension flexibility
Goal 9: Pension neutrality .
Area 3: What states can do to help exit ineffective teachers
Goal 1: New teacher evaluation
Goal 2: Unsatisfactory evaluations
Goal 3: Licensure loopholes
Ohio received a grade of D+ for identification of effectiveness (Area 1); a C+ for retaining effective teachers (Area 2); and C+ for exiting ineffective teachers (Area 3). Ohio's overall rating is C. While Ohio's overall
rating was average (C), South Carolina was the only state to receive a higher overall rating.
Click below to view the reports.
January 29, 2009- Governors Education Reform Plan
Click below to read Governor Strickland's education reform plan. More details on the funding piece may be available Monday when the Governor submits his 2010-2011 biennium budget.
"Reforming Ohio's Education System for the 21st Century"
Governor Ted Strickland's Education Reform and Funding Plan
January 28, 2009- Stimulus Plan Could Provide Ohio Aid For Education
The economic stimulus plan that Congress has scheduled for a vote today would provide the nation’s school districts, child care centers and university campuses with $150 billion in new federal spending, a two-year investment that would more than double the Department of Education’s current budget, according to the New York Times.
A study by the Congressional Research Service said Ohio could receive, in each of the next two-years, almost $200 million for Title I programs; over $36 million for school improvements; $17.6 million for education technology; and $1.2 million for the education of homeless children. In addition, the report said Ohio could receive over $236 million this year for education of individuals with disabilities (IDEA) and $274 million next year; $515.9 million this year for public school modernization, renovation and repair; and $224 million this year for colleges and post-secondary schools for modernization, renovations and repairs.
Read the "Proposed Funding for Education in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009" report. Click on link below.
January 27, 2009- Ohio School Funding Proposals
Studies by KnowledgeWorks Foundation, the Education Tax Policy Institute and Ashland University offer ideas how Ohio might improve public education and make it more affordable for taxpayers. More importantly, Governor Strickland plans to offer school funding proposals in his “State of the State” address tomorrow (Wednesday) .
KNOWLEDGE WORKS FOUNDATION KnowledgeWorks argues that the “evidence-based model” should be used to cost out school funding, citing similar models being used in Wisconsin, Arkansas and Washington. The evidence-based model would:
• Identify what’s needed to improve student performance, including a rigorous curriculum, intensive professional development for teachers, extended-day and summer school for some students, and class sizes of 15 or less for kindergarten through third grade;
• Determine the cost for those strategies;
• Establish an accountability system for students, teachers, schools and school districts.
Read the full report "Policy Report on evidence-based costing out model." Click: Download
EDUCATION TAX POLICY INSTITUTE The Education Tax Policy Institute takes a look at the Ohio law, passed in 1976, that imposes property tax restrictions to protect taxpayers from rapid tax rises. The law has resulted in more school tax levies, 9,800 over 31 years, which cancels out any savings from the tax restrictions, the study said. The report suggests that limitations on automatic tax increases would strike a better balance.
Read the full report "Policy Report on House Bill 920." Click: Download
ASHLAND UNIVERSITY The Ashland University School Funding Study Group believes the classroom teacher, rather than the individual student, should be the basis for funding education in the Ohio. The Ashland group suggests a teacher allocation formula should replace the present foundation program, asserting it would be more simple to understand and administer and would eradicate "phantom revenue" concerns.
The Ashland University group is proposing Ohio develop a mandated salary schedule which would apply to every school district. Under the proposal, a pupil ratio would be developed and used to determine how many teachers the state would fund for each district; that would become the basis for distributing money. North Carolina, Alabama, Idaho, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia utilize a teacher allocation model in their state assistance distribution formulas. Group members contend the proposal would distribute talented teachers more evenly across the state because salaries would be the same. The group also believes the salary schedule should be front-loaded and compacted, allowing teachers to reach the maximum pay for their educational background and training in 10 years.
Read more about the Ashland proposal, click: Educators: Base school funding formula on teachers
GOVERNOR STRICKLAND The "State of State Address will begin at 12 noon tomorrow, Wednesday, January 28, 2009.
January 26, 2009- "Transformation favored over 'tweaking' system"
"Gov. Ted Strickland will argue Wednesday that the days of “tweaking’’ are over when it comes to addressing how Ohio should fund its schools. The Democratic governor is expected to use his third state-of-the-state address to propose what he characterizes as 'transformational’' reforms to Ohio’s education system, again seeking to inspire Ohioans to think ahead despite the state’s worsening economic woes. 'The state cannot afford not to do it,' Mr. Strickland told The Blade. 'I have said for quite a length of time that we cannot allow current circumstances to prevent us from taking the steps that are necessary to deal with education so that our kids get the education they need.' " ....Toledo Blade, January 26, 2009
Read articles from around the state. Click below.
(Akron Reporter © 01/26/2009)
(Cincinnati Enquirer © 01/26/2009)
(Cleveland Plain Dealer © 01/26/2009)
(Cleveland Plain Dealer © 01/26/2009)
(Dayton Daily News © 01/26/2009)
(Hamilton Journal-News © 01/26/2009)
January 23, 2009- Report Recommends Reforms For Ohio Schools
Ohio schools should have a freer hand awarding tenure to good teachers and firing bad ones, a report by the Ohio Grantmakers Forum, a philanthropic coalition, said Thursday in recommendations to the governor and Legislature. The forum also recommends eliminating Ohio's standardized high school graduation tests and suggests replacing them with other ways to gauge critical-thinking skills and readiness for college and work.
The report was developed by 43 people from 33 organizations interested in education issues, including the Ohio Federation of Teachers, the Ohio Education Association, the Ohio Department of Education (OEA) and the Ohio School Boards Association. The recommendations were endorsed by the forum's board, but not every organization with a participant backed all proposals, according to a news report. OEA said it found common ground with many of the proposals but backed the state's current teacher tenure and dismissal standards
To read report,
Beyond Tinkering: Creating Real Opportunities for Today's Learners and for Generations of Ohioans to Come , click below.
On a related note, House Speaker Armond Budish told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday that inequalities that plague Ohio's public schools can be reduced by using multimedia technology to bring high-quality courses from wealthier school districts into the poorest ones. While not the definitive solution to the state's school-funding problem, long-distance learning programs are a cost-effective way to chip away at disparities, the Speaker said.
January 22, 2009- College Costs
A report released in this month, January 2009, by the Delta Cost Project, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., said tuition at public colleges has generally been driven up by rising spending on administrators, student support services, and the need to make up for reductions in government subsidies. While tuition has risen, spending on classroom instruction has actually fallen, according to the report.
The main reason tuition has been rising faster than college costs is that colleges had to make up for reductions in the per-student subsidy state taxpayers sent colleges. In 2006, the last year data is available, state taxpayers sent $7,078 per student to the big public research universities. That's $1,270 less (after accounting for inflation) than they sent in 2002, the report said. The study, based on data that colleges and universities report to the federal government, also found that the share of higher education budgets that goes to instruction has declined, while the portion spent on administrative costs has increased.
Read the Report. Click: Delta Cost Project
Source: U.S. News & World Report
January 21, 2009- Schools Could Receive Economic Stimulus Money
Public schools are scheduled to receive $141 billion under Congress' $825 billion economic stimulus plan over the next two years. According to the Wall Street Journal, the proposal provides $41 billion in grants to local school districts; $79 billion in state fiscal relief to prevent cuts in state aid; and $21 billion for school modernization. The plan also has $16 billion to boost the maximum Pell Grant by $500; $2 billion for Head Start; $10 billion for science facilities; and $6 billion for high-speed Internet access for rural and underserved areas.
In addition, the text of the proposal's 328 pages requires schools to spend at least a portion of the money to develop:
High-quality educational tests.
Ways to recruit and retain top teachers in hard-to-staff schools.
Longitudinal data systems that let schools track long-term progress.
January 20, 2009- Homeless Students In Ohio
According to the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), the number of homeless students in Ohio jumped 17 percent last year to 9,396 children. The increase means, for the first time, one in every 200 Ohio schoolchildren is known to be homeless, the highest incidence on record with ODE. State officials report 3,282 children were living in shelters last year; 5,295 were living with friends or relatives; 336 were living in a hotel or motel; 33 had been abandoned, and 26 were unsheltered. Accommodations were unknown for the remaining students, or they reported having other forms of shelter.
Source: Toledo Blade
January 15, 2009- Home Schooling Numbers Continues To Grow
A recent USA Today report said the number of home-schooled children hit 1.5 million in 2007, up 74% from when the Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) started keeping track in 1999, and up 36% since 2003. In 2003, the percentage of the school-age population that was home-schooled was 2.2%. The percentage increased to 2.9% in 2007....and a NCES statistician says there is no reason to believe that percentage would not keep going up.
USA Today said, "Traditionally, the biggest motivations for parents to teach their children at home have been moral or religious reasons, and that remains a top pick when parents are asked to explain their choice. The 2003 survey gave parents six reasons to pick as their motivation. The 2007 survey added a seventh: an interest in a 'non-traditional approach,' a reference to parents dubbed 'unschoolers,' who regard standard curriculum methods and standardized testing as counterproductive to a quality education."
Why Home School? Top reasons cited by parents were:
Concerns about school environment (including safety, drugs, peer pressure): 88%
A desire to provide religious or moral instruction: 83%
A dissatisfaction with instruction at other schools: 73%
An interest in a non-traditional approach: 65%
January 14, 2009- Looking Forward To Revealing Education Reform Package
The Associated Press (AP) reported that Governor Strickland "is clearly looking forward to revealing his education reform package’s long-awaited details, some of which will probably be included in his State of the State speech on January 28." He said, during a year-end interview, he had not decided whether the package would be proposed in the upcoming state budget or presented as a stand-alone bill.
The Governor said the reform package will include a simpler funding formula and more emphasis on meeting each student’s learning needs. He wants everyone to be able to understand where money spent on public schools is going, something that’s barely possible under the state’s convoluted current funding formula, which has been declared unconstitutional three times, the AP article said.
On a different note, it was announced yesterday that Governor Strickland has been elected co-chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). In a news release, the Governor said that expanding access to higher education is a top priority for Appalachian Ohio. “A commitment to education and training will strengthen the Appalachian region today and for decades to come,” he stated. The ARC is a partnership between the federal government and the 13 Appalachian states, including 32 counties in eastern and southern Ohio.
January 13, 2009- State Increases School Aid, Grades Go Up
In the five years since Maryland increased spending by $2 billion annually to public schools to provide greater academic equity, students have made remarkable gains in reading and math, according to a report given to the Maryland General Assembly last week by the outside consultant, MGT of America. The report said for every additional $1,000 spent per student, there was a significant increase in pass rates in both subjects. The improvement was twice as great for middle school students as for those in elementary grades.
The Baltimore Sun said the report also confirms what most educators have intuitively believed for decades: Money invested in teachers appears to pay off. About 80 percent of additional local and state funding has been spent on the teaching staff - raising salaries, hiring more to reduce class sizes and requiring a highly qualified teacher in every classroom.
Part of the MGT analysis included a survey of 16,000 teachers in the state about their practices and their schools. The survey was an attempt to find out what practices worked best so that the information could be used to improve struggling schools. At high-performing schools, teachers collaborated on lesson plans, analyzed test data and believed their principal was a strong leader. The report notes that the greater the number of qualified teachers in a school, the better students did and that the correlation was particularly true at schools with large numbers of economically disadvantaged students.
The report's release came the same day Education Week's Quality Counts 2009 ranked Maryland schools No. 1 in the nation.
January 12, 2009- Governor Announces Appointments To State Board of Education
Governor Strickland announced four appointments to the State Board of Education Friday. They are:
Dennis Reardon, of Pickerington, served as the executive director of the Ohio Education Association from 2001-2008. He previously served as the OEA’s associate director from 1999-2001. Reardon served in the United States Air Force from 1961-1970. He received a bachelor’s degree from Lindenwood University in 1975 and a master’s degree from American University in 1989.
N. Daniel Greene, of Gallipolis, served on the board of the Gallipolis City Schools from 1987-2007 and on the board of the Gallia-Jackson-Vinton Joint Vocational School District from 2000-2007. Greene also served as a member and president of the Ohio School Boards Association’s Southeast Regional Executive Committee from 2000-2007. Professionally, he served as a postmaster for the United States Postal Service from 1987-2007. He received an Award of Achievement in 2002 and 2007 by the Ohio School Boards Association. Greene graduated from Gallia Academy High School in 1961.
Tracey Smith, of Van Wert, has served as a high school educator in the field of social studies for Van Wert City Schools since 2000. She previously served as an adjutant faculty member for Ivy Tech State College from 2001-2002 and as the assistant director of admissions for the Indiana Institute of Technology from 1997-2000. Smith received a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University in 1996 and a master’s degree from Indiana University in 2001.
Martha Harris, of Cleveland Heights, has served as an educator for 35 years. She was honored with the 2008 Special Education Teacher of the Year award by the Council for Exceptional Children, Region I. Harris received a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University in 1973 and a master’s degree from Cleveland State University in 1979.
January 9, 2009- Study: No Improvement In Adult-Literacy
A federal study finds that an estimated 32 million adults in the USA, about one in seven, have such low literacy skills that it would be difficult for them to read anything more challenging than a children's picture book or to understand a medication's side effects listed on a pill bottle.
Overall, the study finds, the nation hasn't made a dent in its adult-literacy problem: From 1992 to 2003, it shows, the USA added about 23 million adults to its population; in that period, an estimated 3.6 million more joined the ranks of adults with low literacy skills.
January 8, 2009- Campaign To Influence Federal Education Policy
A campaign to influence federal education policy was launched recently by The Forum for Education & Democracy, a national education "action tank." Dr. George Wood is the Forum Director.
Dr. Wood says, "If you were emboldened by the hopeful energy of the presidential campaign -- and if you feel anxious about our uncertain future -- I hope you will join a national web-based campaign to make the needs of young people and public schools a top priority of President-elect Barack Obama's first 100 days in office -- and beyond. Visit www.willwereally.com
to watch the campaign's powerful video, sign the petition, and help us turn energy into action."
January 7, 2009- Quality Counts 2009, Ohio Ranked 6th Among States
Ohio schools rank 6th in nation, moving up from 7th last year, according to Quality Counts 2009. Quality Counts 2009 is the 13th edition of Education Week’s series of annual report cards tracking state education policies and outcomes. Ohio earned an overall grade of B- in this years report. The Quality Counts 2009 annual report cards draws heavily on data from the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center’s annual state policy survey. The report offers a comprehensive state-by-state analysis of key indicators of student success. See below for state-by-state analysis reports.
In the area of school finance, Quality Counts 2009
said there is a gap in per-pupil spending among Ohio's 614 school districts. The report noted a $4,681 difference between the highest- and lowest-spending districts. This means poorer school districts may have up to $117,025 less revenue available for each classroom of 25 students. Still, the report said that Ohio spends $10,119 a year per student, 22nd highest in the nation. The national average was $9,963.
|Ohio's Grade Summary
|Overall State Grade (2009)
|English-language learners (ELL) (2009)
|Chance for Success (2009)
|Transitions And Alignment (2009)
|School Finance (2009)
|K-12 Achievement (2008)
|Standards, Assessments, And Accountability (2008)
|The Teaching Profession (2008)
View state-by-state analysis. Click: state-by-state analysis
Source: Education Week
January 6, 2009- "Speaker's Ohio Plan Recycles Same Old Ideas"
Excerpt from article by Dennis Willard in today's Akron Beacon Journal
"To his credit, Budish [new Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives] is the first public official to understand that the key to resolving the school-funding problem is no longer money, but to develop a new system of curricula using technology to ensure each student has the opportunity for a high-quality education.
Ohio leaders long have lacked the political will to address the unconstitutional nature of the funding formula.
A more pragmatic approach will be for the state to embrace education as a fundamental right, and then assume responsibility for ensuring that each student — regardless of the building they attend — can take any Advanced Placement, foreign language or other courses he or she chooses."
January 5, 2009- What About School Funding?
Excerpt re-printed from: COMMENTARY by William Hershey, Staff Writer, Dayton Daily News, January 4, 2009
New year starts at Ohio Statehouse
Strickland pledged to fix school funding — still technically unconstitutional, according to the Ohio Supreme Court — when he ran for governor in 2006 and hasn't backed down from that promise.So far he hasn't done much about it publicly either, except hold forums around the state to discuss both school reform and school funding.
This is the year. "You will hear my school initiative spelled out in, I think, some significant detail, I think early next year," Strickland said last month. It's expected to be a proposal that combines changing how Ohio's students are educated with how their education is paid for. Strickland says he'll pitch his plan to the legislature but if lawmakers don't go along: "I don't say this in a threatening way ... just as a matter of fact, that I would go to the ballot only if it's impossible to get agreement with the legislature." Asked if his "no-new-taxes" pledge applies to school funding, he said: "I'm going to wait until I submit the proposal before I talk about any piece of it or any part of it. I want it to be presented as a package so people understand how various parts of it fit together."
Read the full article. Click: New year starts at Ohio Statehouse
Excerpt re-printed from: OPINION by Dennis Willard, Columbus Bureau, Akron Beacon Journal, January 4, 2009
Governor is keeping cards close to his vest
The phrase I hear most often is, ''They really keep their cards close to their vest. ''For example, on the subject of education funding reform, the governor held meetings all across the state, first on academic reform, then on funding changes. Still, no one has a clue regarding the governor's proposal to fix the unconstitutional school-funding formula, a vague promise offered time and again since he ran for office in 2006 and that now has been semantically altered into an ''education initiative. ''During the year-end interview in his office, the following exchange takes place:
Q: ''You do have a plan?''
A: ''We are putting our finishing touches on a plan that will be introduced in the early part of next year. Yes,'' Strickland responded.
Q: ''The reason I ask that, and please don't take this the wrong way, but sometimes I wonder, and I said this to John [Hazeley] in the hall one day: I don't know if you guys are withholding things because you're withholding things or you are withholding things because you don't have anything to release. And there is a difference.'' Strickland is rarely facetious and he takes the question in stride.
A: ''We have spent countless hours. I have 15 or 20 of my staff at a time out at the house over weekends with stuff glued or taped to the walls. This is something that we have been working on literally for months. It will not be satisfying to everybody. There will be some people who will be very unhappy. Others may say you haven't given us what you want. Others may be happy,'' the governor responds. ''The reason we are playing it closely to the vest is because we think it is going to be more comprehensive than people expect and we don't want people to start taking a piece of it and distorting it. We don't want to lose the battle before we even enter the fight. ''We spent quite a bit of time asking ourselves how to give people some sense of inclusion, while at the same time not giving out information that will make it almost impossible for us to convey how everything fits together.'' The governor is right. Critics will attack the whole plan and they would be in an even better position to pick apart portions if the ideas were leaked.
Read the full article. Click: Governor is keeping cards close to his vest
December 30, 2008- Projected Math/Science Teacher Shortage
Over the next decade, U.S. schools will need 200,000 or more new teachers in science and math, according to estimates by the Business-Higher Education Forum in Washington. Many districts already face shortages: In at least 10 states, fewer than 6 out of 10 middle-school science teachers were certified according to the Council of Chief School Officers, who compiled a report last year.
Source: The Christian Science Monitor
December 29, 2008- Significant Cuts In Education Funding Likely Without Federal Help
The Associated Press reported today that Governor Strickland is "warning that schools and public universities could see significant cuts without help from the federal government." Without federal dollars to help balance the state's budget, "we're talking about real job loss and significant reduction of support for K-12 and higher education," Governor Strickland said. The governor told the Washington Post Saturday that money for schools has been spared to date despite three cuts to balance the current budget. But education cuts will be necessary if revenue projections for next year are accurate.
"Obviously, cuts could include reduced services that Ohioans rely on, including education," a spokesman for the governor said Sunday. "But that is not the same thing as saying a decision has been made about cuts."
Sources: Associated Press and Washington Post
December 19, 2008- Today's Young People Less Likely To Complete H.S. Than Parents
The Fall 2008 Education Trust publication, Counting On Graduation: An Agenda for State Leadership, said, "The United States is the only industrialized country in the world in which today’s young people are less likely than their parents to have completed high school."
Source: Education Trust and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Education at a Glance 2007: OECD Indicators
Read the publication: Click: Counting on Graduation
December 19, 2008- Schools Exempt From Today's Budget Cuts
Governor Strickland today ordered that state spending be cut by $640 million. The budget cut is a result of a growing shortfall in the two-year budget ending June 30. The latest reduction is in addition to the $1.27 billion in cuts earlier this year for a total of $1.9 billion. According to the Columbus Dispatch, the administration also is assuming the federal government will provide a 6 percent increase in its share of Medicaid costs early next year. If not, additional state cuts will be necessary.
The Governor exempted from the cuts state aid for schools, college tuition, prisons, government subsidized health care and child care programs for low-income Ohioans. For the rest of state government, spending will be slashed 5.75 percent across the board.
December 18, 2008- Obama Priority: Early Childhood Education
The New York Times reported yesterday that President-elect Obama has twice described expanding early childhood education among his highest priorities. The $10 billion he has pledged would amount to the largest new federal initiative for young children since Head Start began in 1965. Recently named U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is a strong advocate for early education programs.
The NY Times said Mr. Obama’s platform, which Mr. Duncan helped write, emphasizes extending care to infants and toddlers as well, and it makes helping poor children a priority. It would also provide new federal financing for states rolling out programs to serve young children of all incomes. “For every one dollar invested in high-quality, comprehensive programs supporting children and families from birth," the platform says, "there is a $7-$10 return to society in decreased need for special education services, higher graduation and employment rates, less crime, less use of the public welfare system and better health.”
Despite the recession, the NY Times article said, Mr. Obama has emphasized his interest in making strategic investments in early childhood education. Asked if the financial troubles might force him to scale back, a spokeswoman for the transition, said, “We simply cannot afford to sideline key priorities like education.”
Read the New York Times article. Click: Obama's $10 Billion Promise Stirs Hope in Early Education
December 17, 2008- CORAS Membership Remains Strong
The Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools (CORAS) membership renewals are running about the same as past years with over 130 active members as of early December 2008. Sixteen of the 29 Ohio Appalachian counties have already achieved 100% membership in the Coalition. They are Athens, Gallia, Guernsey, Hocking, Holmes, Vinton, Perry, Meigs, Morgan, Noble, Monroe, Muskingum, Jackson, Jefferson, Harrison and Washington. Three counties, Pike, Ross, and Coshocton, are just one school district short of having 100% membership. Belmont, Brown and Lawrence counties lack only two districts of having full membership.
In addition to school districts, Ohio University-Athens campus, Ohio University-Southern campus, Ohio University-Zanesville campus, Ohio University-Chillicothe campus, University of Rio Grande, Muskingum College, Hocking College and Shawnee State University-OACHE are members of the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools. Coalition membership also includes Southeastern Ohio Voluntary Education Cooperative (SEOVEC), South East Ohio Center of Excellence for Mathematics and Science (SEOCEMS), and Ohio Appalachian Educators Institute (OAEI).
This marks the 9th consecutive year that CORAS has attained 125 members or more, and five consecutive years of topping 130 members.
To view a list of CORAS members, Click: Counties and Members
December 16, 2008- Chicago School's CEO To Be Named U.S. Secretary of Education
According to the New York Times and the Associated Press (AP), President-elect Barack Obama intends to name Chicago's Arne Duncan U.S. Secretary of Education. Duncan has run the country's third-biggest school district since 2001, pushing to boost teacher quality and to improve struggling schools and closing those that fail.
Student test scores have risen significantly during Duncan's tenure, AP said. The NY Times said, Duncan, a 44-year-old Harvard graduate, has raised achievement in the nation’s third-largest school district and often faced the challenge of either improving or closing failing schools and replacing ineffective teachers, usually with improved results. Education Week said Duncan supports the basic framework of the No Child Left Behind Act. In testimony before a congressional committee in 2006, he called on lawmakers to "maintain the law's high expectations and accountability" but to amend the law "to give schools, districts, and states the maximum amount of flexibility possible."
December 15, 2008- "Eight Ideas For Fixing School Funding"
The following is from the article, "Eight ideas for fixing school funding," by Jim Siegel, appearing in the Sunday, December 14, 2008 Columbus Dispatch.
EIGHT IDEAS FOR FIXING SCHOOL FUNDING
Siegel said, "Basically, he [Governor Strickland] needs to answer three questions: What needs to be spent? Where does it come from? And what about the disparity between rich and poor districts? There seems to be no silver bullet, but based on current and past discussions, here are some options he could consider:
Let taxes grow with property values: Relaxing restrictions imposed in the 1970s by a law still known as House Bill 920 would allow property-tax revenue to grow with property values, at least up to a capped amount. This idea was proposed in 2005 by a task force created by Gov. Bob Taft. The change would need voter approval.
Create a statewide property tax: Pooling a certain amount of property taxes that the state redistributes to districts should reduce funding disparities between poor and wealthy districts and shift more financial responsibility to the state.
Trade local property tax for a state tax: Reduces property taxes and replaces them with others, such as increased income or sales taxes.
Eliminate "phantom revenue": The school-funding formula incorrectly assumes that districts collect more tax revenue when property values rise. (The districts call it "phantom revenue.") Fixing this would shift more of the funding responsibility to the state.
Earmark a percentage of state taxes for education: Lawmakers have offered two such plans in recent years. One would designate 60 percent of income taxes and 71 percent of sales taxes for a separate education budget. Another would reserve 88 percent of income taxes for education.
Put it in the Ohio Board of Education's hands: A 2007 proposal by education groups would have guaranteed a "high-quality education," told the state school board to put a price tag on it, and forced the General Assembly to fund it. The board recently proposed to increase funding by $1 billion. The plan likely would shift more of the funding burden to the state.
District consolidation: Forces smaller districts to consolidate. A proposal in Indiana set the minimum at 2,000 students -- about 370 of Ohio's 614 districts are below that number.
Expand gambling: This can be constructed several ways, but essentially it would consist of one or more casinos, with profits earmarked for education, as with the Ohio Lottery System.
Read the Pros and Cons for each of the 8 ideas.
Click: DispatchPolitics : Eight ideas for fixing school funding Columbus ...
Read a related article from the Columbus Dispatch. Click: Failure's lessons
Read a related article from the Cincinnati Enquirer. Click: Ohio can improve education while cutting costs
December 12, 2008- FY 2010-2011: A 25% Budget Cut Scenario
Governor Strickland is exploring a 25% budget cut scenario in a plea for federal aid, according to a report yesterday. The potential shortfall for the next two-year budget would be $7.3 billion if spending remains at current levels. Even if agencies slash their budgets by 10 percent, the shortfall still would be $4.7 billion, the Governor said.
The Columbus Dispatch reported yesterday that a 25% cut would have the following impact on education funding in Ohio.
* State per-pupil aid to primary and secondary schools would be slashed by $840 a student next year and another $870 the following year. Overall, the state education budget would be cut by $2 billion in the fiscal year beginning July 1, leaving many schools with budget deficits, unable to meet payrolls which make up about 85 percent of district expenditures. Funding to buy school buses would be whacked as well.
* Ohio's subsidized child care and preschool programs would be slashed by $300 million, forcing about 56,000 children from the programs -- about 40 percent of those currently served.
* Student tuition and fees at state colleges and universities would have to increase, on average, nearly $2,000 -- causing tens of thousands of students to drop out of college, thousands of others to switch from full-time to part-time status and others to increase their student debt burden significantly.
December 11, 2008- Chamber Proposes One School Administrative Center In Each County
The following article appeared in the Canton Repository on Tuesday, December 2, 2008.
Schools in Ohio need 88 superintendents, not more than 600
BY TOM HUMPHRIES, president and CEO of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber
Through the recent general election, 433 school levies have been voted on in the state of Ohio this year. The results are stark and telling: Nearly 48 percent were defeated.
What's the message? Generalizations are probably unfair. Sometimes it's about voting against taxes; sometimes it's about local issues and personalities. Whatever the reasons, these poor results put more and more pressure on school districts trying to fund school operations. Ohio's economy is on the downturn, more and more people are jobless, and the state is trying to deal with a large deficit. No matter how you look at it, the state doesn't have money to shore up school district finances.
Earlier this year, a cost-of-government study for Northeast Ohio was released by the Fund for Our Economic Future, a collaboration of philanthropic organizations and individuals united to strengthen Northeast Ohio's economic competitiveness. The study, which was supported by several business groups including the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, showed that over 10 years, the cost of education in Northeast Ohio increased 71 percent while the population remained stagnant and the cost of living rose only 29 percent.
The study compared the 16 counties of Northeast Ohio with other parts of Ohio and the United States. In Columbus, the cost of K-12 education rose 99 percent while per capita spending went up 76 percent and the population rose 13 percent. In Dayton, education spending increased 71 percent and per capita spending rose 73 percent; population dropped 1 percent.
Among the metro areas studied was Raleigh-Durham, N.C., which operates with one school district per county. This 16-county area saw its county spending, including K-12 education, increase by about 80 percent and per capita spending rise about 45 percent while it was seeing a big population increase of 27 percent.
The study concluded that Northeast Ohio can't sustain such large increases in school spending with a stagnant population. We see evidence from the many levy defeats that the well is running dry. We believe taxpayers should be asking these questions of school officials:
• Are school districts being as efficient as possible with taxpayer dollars?
• Are districts cutting duplication and waste?
• Are school leaders working together on a county or regional basis on these problems? Can some of the money be put to better use?
The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber is proposing a new way to administer schools in Ohio. The proposal would eliminate a system that requires a superintendent, treasurer and other administrative personnel to run each of more than 600 school districts, educational service centers and vocational schools in Ohio.
We propose one school administration center in each county, with a chief superintendent running the district with appropriate support personnel. Individual school districts would retain their identities, sports teams, and traditions.
We estimate that this system would save taxpayers $1.2 billion a year. That money could be used in several areas:
• Free tuition for all graduates of local high schools to Ohio colleges and trade schools.
• Property tax reduction.
• Additional money for school instruction.
It's important to note that this is a reallocation of tax revenues, not additional taxes.
The free tuition proposal would help meet a serious need to increase the number of people obtaining college degrees and training in the trades. The percentage of Ohio residents with college degrees is below the national average, impeding efforts to lure new businesses.
We are calling on school district leaders, state legislators and Gov. Ted Strickland to begin serious discussions on what can be done to implement a countywide school administrative structure. Saying that there isn't a problem or that such a thing isn't possible should not be accepted. The status quo is bleeding taxpayer money, and residents are saying they are taxed out.
We know that there are leaders in the schools and at the state level with the will to make something happen. They need to step forward.
December 10, 2008- Ohio To Test Air Outside Schools
A Cincinnati Enquirer article reported today that two states, Ohio and Pennsylvania, will investigate whether toxic chemicals in the air outside school buildings pose a threat to the health of children. The pledge for action comes after USA Today reported Monday that at least 435 schools across the county might have high levels of toxic chemicals. According to the Enquirer, an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency official, Paul Koval, said this week that his agency intends to investigate conditions outside schools that USA Today identified as having the highest risk.
December 9, 2008- In Today's News....
Deborah S. Delisle becomes the state's 35th Superintendent of Public Instruction as a state budget crisis is expected to result in significant cuts in aid to Ohio schools next year and as Governor Ted Strickland prepares to unveil his plan for reforming schools and the way they are funded.
The Ohio Board of Education is expected to vote today to recommend its school-funding plan to Strickland and legislative leaders. The proposal would increase per-pupil state aid to schools based on how much is spent in high-performing districts and provide additional support for students with special needs, limited English or gifted abilities, or those living in high poverty. It also recommends expanding all-day kindergarten statewide and providing special-education services to preschoolers. If the proposal had been in place last school year, it would have boosted state aid to schools by nearly $1 billion. ...Columbus Dispatch
Read the article. Click: Budget challenges await new Ohio schools leader
Welcome to the state schools superintendent’s job, Deborah Delisle: you have no money, the No Child Left Behind Act is increasingly unpopular, urban districts are shedding students and most educators think the way Ohio pays for schools is unconstitutional. Sworn in Monday, Delisle has big challenges before her. Yet she can also set the direction and tone in the education of Ohio’s 1.8 million public school children. ...Huntington Herald-Dispatch, Associated Press and School Business Daily
Read the article. Click : AP
Last week, Mr. Strickland painted a downright ugly picture of the state's economy and budget. His staff has predicted a budget hole of $640 million in the fiscal year ending June 30 as well as a projected deficit of $4.7 billion in the next two-year budget. The latter figure assumes that the state will follow through with a 10 percent reduction in state agency spending that is already part of early budget planning. Without that 10 percent cut, the deficit could loom as large of $7.3 billion during the next biennium. ...Toledo Blade
Read the article. Click: Ohio leaders project rough budget process
Leaders of the pension system for retired Ohio teachers took a few tentative steps yesterday toward tweaking a system that funneled $6 million in bonuses to investment officers even as the pension fund lost billions of dollars in value. The bonuses, topping out at $259,200 for one senior investment manager, have outraged some retired teachers at a time when pension systems are suffering because of the Wall Street downturn.
In all, the State Teachers Retirement System, which serves 449,000 current and retired teachers, paid $6 million in bonuses to 89 investment officers this year, with 10 making $200,000 or more. Last year, when the pension system made money, investment officers took home $8.2 million in bonuses.
One board member of the retirement system, retired Chillicothe schools Superintendent Dennis Leone, wants to scrap the bonuses in years when the fund loses money. But others defend the bonuses as the best way to encourage good performance. ...Columbus Dispatch
Read the article. Click: Pension fund's bonuses debated
December 8, 2008- PowerPoint: Current Financial Status and Ohio Revenues
CORAS members may request a copy of the Governor's PowerPoint presentation showing Ohio's current financial situation by sending an email to rfishe5@columbus,rr.com The PowerPoint was presented to the education organizations on December 4, 2008 by the Governor and his Budget Director.
December 5, 2008- "Ohio Confronted With Economic Challenges Of Historic Proportions..."
Governor Ted Strickland and Budget Director J. Pari Sabety met yesterday with leaders from state education organizations, including the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools. Their message: Ohio is facing not only a budget deficit of $640 million for the remainder of the current fiscal year, but is projected to face a $7.3 billion deficit in the upcoming 2010-2011 operating budget.
The Governor said "Ohio is confronted with challenges of historic proportions" and like the national economy, Ohio’s economic circumstances have deteriorated rapidly. He said a $640 million shortfall is now projected for the remainder of the current fiscal year. This is in line with the Office of Budget and Management’s recession-based scenario, outlined in January 2008, which had forecast a $1.9 billion total budget deficit if the economy fell into recession, he added.
The Governor said the need to initiate additional spending reductions to balance the current budget will be largely determined by whether considerable state aid is included in the federal government’s recovery package and if robust activity occurs in retail holiday sales. Any further reductions to the current budget will be in addition to the $1.27 billion in budget adjustments already underway.
The Governor and Budget Director Sabety said the current economic and revenue indicators forecast a $7.3 billion deficit for the FY 2010-11 operating budget. Even after assuming a 10 percent reduction to all state agency budgets (including education) in FY 2010-11, based on the February 2008 recalibrated spending levels, the projected deficit is approximately $4.7 billion.
In a news release earlier in the week, the Governor urged all Ohioans to join together, in an extraordinary partnership, to meet these challenges. He said, “Working together in common purpose, I believe we will be able to address these circumstances with a consensus, bipartisan budget. There will be shared sacrifice, but we also recognize that historic opportunities lie on the other side of our current economic challenges.”.
In yesterday's meeting Governor Strickland said Ohio is pursuing an aggressive agenda with a $1.57 billion bipartisan job stimulus bill to create jobs, a recently-enacted energy bill, significant reductions to the size of state government and budget adjustments totaling $1.27 billion for the biennium. In addition, he is calling for an aggressive federal economic recovery package to include direct aid to states. He believes significant federal help is essential to avoid the potentially severe effects of the projected budget shortfalls. The Governor urges all stakeholders to contact members of Congress, both Senators and Representatives, asking them to support a economic recovery package with direct aid to the states.
Read the Governor's website message. Click: read more ...
December 4, 2008- The Cost Of College: "Measuring Up 2008"
According to the New York Times, the report, “Measuring Up 2008,” released yesterday by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, is one of the few to compare net college costs (a year’s tuition, fees, room and board, minus financial aid) against median family income. The NY Times said those findings are stark. "Last year, the net cost at a four-year public university amounted to 28 percent of the median family income, while a four-year private university cost 76 percent of the median family income."
The share of income required to pay for college, even with financial aid, has been growing especially fast for lower-income families, the report found. "Among the poorest families (those with incomes in the lowest 20 percent) the net cost of a year at a public university was 55 percent of median income, up from 39 percent in 1999-2000. At community colleges, long seen as a safety net, that cost was 49 percent of the poorest families’ median income last year, up from 40 percent in 1999-2000."
Less than half of Ohio's young adults are likely to enroll in college by age 19, and those who do pay more than the national average to attend, according the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education report. Ohio is among the top 10 most expensive states, with average annual undergraduate tuition and fees of $8,553, not including housing costs, for a four-year public education in 2006-07, according to the Ohio Board of Regents. That's up more than $2,500 in the last five years and $2,700 more than the national average.
Read the "Measuring Up 2008" report. Click below.
National Print Report (PDF)
State Print Report Cards
Online State Report Cards
Sources: National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, New York Times and Cincinnati Enquirer
December 3, 2008- "Facing The Future: Financing Productive Schools"
"When school systems spend more money on wealthy students than they do on poor students, more money on electives than on core academic courses, and more on Advanced Placement program classes than on remedial instruction, the education finance system is out of kilter." That's how one Education Week writer summarized a newly released report which also outlines steps policymakers should take to remake current school finance systems in the United States.
The report, "Facing the Future: Financing Productive Schools," was the work of researchers from the School Finance Redesign Project based at the University of Washington. Released Monday, the report draws on 30 research projects at universities across the country. According to the authors, “We need to measure performance at every level—district, school and classroom—and let money and students flow from less to more effective uses. We need to experiment with new ideas and new technologies.”
The report offers a four-part action plan to overhaul today’s "outmoded school finance systems:"
- Drive funds to schools based on student counts (the money would be given to principals to allocate and manage within their individual schools. A weighting formula could be used to provide extra funds for disadvantaged students).
- Concentrate federal funds on low-income students (direct money on the basis of student characteristics right down to the individual student’s school).
- Redesign states’ school finance systems for continuous improvement (demand innovation and continuous improvement, keeping what works and discarding what does not).
- Base accountability on performance (make superintendents and the chief of state schools responsible for judging school performance and finding better options for children whose schools do not teach them effectively).
December 2, 2008- More Out-Of-Field Teachers In High-Poverty Schools
Nationwide, more than 17 percent of all core academic courses (English, mathematics, social studies, and science) in grades 7-12 are taught by an out-of-field teacher. In the middle grades the rate jumps to 40 percent, according to a report released in November 2008. The study, CoreProblems, was commissioned by the Education Trust with analysis by Richard M. Ingersoll, University of Pennsylvania. Out-of-field teachers are defined in the report as those teachers who possess neither certification in the subject they have been assigned to teach nor an academic major in that subject.
The report said children in high-poverty schools are about twice as likely as those in more affluent schools to be taught by teachers who hold neither certification nor academic majors in their fields. Kati Haycock, president of The Education Trust, said, “It’s astonishing that in America, a country dedicated to opportunity for all, we are still assigning our most vulnerable children to the teachers with the weakest capacity to teach them what they need to know.”
Read the report. Click: Core Problems report
December 1, 2008- Merit Pay Gaining Momentum???
The Washington Post reported President-elect Obama said he would support merit pay programs designed in concert with teachers.
Randi Weingarten, president of the 1.4 million member American Federation of Teachers (AFT), "has signaled her union was wide open to discussing once-taboo issues ranging from merit pay to charter schools to tenure changes," according to a recent article in Education Week.
A recent USA Today article said, "Across the USA, a small but growing number of school districts are experimenting with teacher-pay packages that front-load higher salaries and offer bonuses, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars' worth, if student test scores improve or if teachers work in hard-to-staff schools." However, the article said, "teachers are sharply divided over the issue of merit pay." A survey in January found 88 percent support bonuses for those who agree to work in hard-to-staff schools; 35 percent support them for improved test scores." Meanwhile, many teachers "say they don't trust test scores to accurately reflect their efforts."
November 26, 2008- More On The Economy
The Columbus Dispatch reported yesterday that Governor Strickland is planning to tell Ohioans just how bad the economy is getting and what type of budget pain might be ahead for the state. The Dispatch said the governor will travel throughout Ohio "in the not-too-distant future" to explain how the national economy is affecting the state's economy and how state government is going to have to deal with it.
"That will involve making choices that, in some cases, will be quite painful, but I believe they will be choices that will be necessary," the Governor said last week. "I think the state of Ohio will be facing economic challenges like we have never faced, perhaps in the history of our state." "Will it mean that we're going to have to tighten our belts very significantly in some areas?" Strickland asked. "Absolutely, and I'm going to try to be as candid and as transparent with the people of this state as it is possible to be."
We can only "wait and see" to determine the full impact of the current state and national economy crisis on the Governor's promise to reform school funding in Ohio. Thus far, the Governor has pledged to move ahead despite the downturn in the economy.
Source for quotes: Columbus Dispatch
November 25, 2008- The Cost For A High Quality Education
A novel idea was proposed during a discussion recently about the level of state funding needed to provide a high quality education for Ohio public school students. The proposal, perhaps made in jest, was to fund Ohio's public elementary and secondary schools at the average per pupil level as tuition for private and independent schools. This prompted a bit of research. The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) web site says, "Private schools do not receive tax revenues, but instead are funded through tuition, fundraising, donations and private grants." So how much is the "tuition" portion of the "tuition, fundraising, donations and private grants?"
According to NAIS, the 2007-08 median tuition in the United States for the 1,228 private day schools responding to a survey was $16,440 (meaning that half the schools charge more and half charge less). Average median tuition by grades at day schools was $14,633 for grades 1 to 3, $16,400 for grades 6 to 8 and $18,287 for grades 9 to 12. The average total expenditure per student for all day school students in 2007-08 was $18,336. In Ohio, the elite Cincinnati Country Day School's tuition was as much as $17,450 for students in grades nine to 12 in 2006-07, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Sources: National Association of Independent Schools, Wall Street Journal and greatschools.net
November 24, 2008- No New Taxes and Economic Gloom
"Any proposal that envisions a state tax increase will be dead-on-arrival next year in the Republican controlled Senate. President Bill Harris of Ashland says that talk of a tax dedicated to K through 12 will be just that — talk. Even Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, has rejected the idea of a tax increase, given the current economic climate."
"Thus the question: What relief can property owners in Ohio expect? Property taxes are the major source of operating funds for school districts — even though the Ohio Supreme Court has made it clear on four occasions that such reliance violates the constitutional mandate of providing a fair and thorough education for all children. But property-tax relief does not appear to be in the cards — unless the governor goes directly to the people through a statewide ballot initiative." ...Youngstown Vindicator Editorial
Read the Vindicator editorial. Click: Governor's education plan will not glitter with gold
"School districts across the
are tightening their belts in anticipation of a meager fiscal diet that could carry into 2011. Even though some districts have rainy-day funds to tap, concern is growing that students, particularly those who are struggling to learn or who are homeless, are going to feel the pinch. According to Michael Griffith, an analyst at the Education Commission of the States, a policy group in Denver, 41 states are facing "revenue shortfalls this year or next,' and 'a number are likely to include education in their cuts.' " ...Christian Science Monitor
Read the Christian Science Monitor article. Click: Christian Science Monitor
Ohio's unemployment rate seems to have stabilized in the low- to mid- 7% range for the last four months, but Gov. Ted Strickland said he is trying to brace himself - and Ohio residents - for severe economic gloom in the near future. ...Gongwer News Service
Read related article from Akron Beacon Journal. Click: Waiting for Strickland
November 21, 2008- "....it will move us into a constitutional system of school funding."
Governor Strickland held the first or six regional forums on financing public education last evening. After the forum, the Governor told the Columbus Dispatch he hopes his school funding plan will include a net increase in overall funding for schools but that the ongoing economic crisis could make that difficult. The Governor also said it's likely his school-funding plan will be included in his two-year state spending plan to be unveiled early next year.
"We will present a plan; it will be well-thought out; it will be vetted thoroughly," Governor Strickland said. "I think it will be good for our state and it will move us into a constitutional system of school funding." He added, "I am not yet ready to say what all those elements are going to be, but I think some parts of it will be controversial; but people who are trying to second-guess me, I think will be surprised."
November 20, 2008- CORAS Members Discuss Value-Added Initiatives
The second in the series of four programs, "Highly-Effective Teaching Revealed and Replicated Through Classroom-Level Value-Added Analysis," was held in Logan on October 28, 2008. Over 80 superintendents and other area educators were in attendance. Drs. Mike Thomas and Mary Peters, from Battelle for Kids, answered the questions: (1) What does preliminary research suggest about the characteristics and practices of teachers whose students produce exceptional academic gains? (2) How do these teachers use value-added analysis to guide their professional development and personalize instruction?
Those attending learned about T-CAP (Teachers Connecting Achievement & Progress), a classroom-level value-added initiative. They learned how this group of Ohio educators is piloting the use of classroom-level value-added information to accelerate progress and maximize opportunity for their students. In addition, Jerry Klenke, BASA Executive Director, updated CORAS members on activities in the General Assembly and at the Buckeye Association of School Administrators.
The third session in the series will be held on January 27, 2009 at the Olde Dutch Restaurant in Logan. The program is titled, "Help Your District Develop a Vision for Assessment Excellence." The presenters are Diane Stultz, Professional Development Director, and Kate Kennedy and Sandy Ritchey, Learning Facilitators, from Battelle for Kids. Mark this date on your calendar.
November 19, 2008- School Funding Plan: State Budget, Legislation or Ballot Proposal?
Last week an Associated Press (AP) article said "the big question mark is whether Governor Strickland will choose to make his school-funding plan his next state budget proposal, covering the two fiscal years that begin July 1, or introduce it as a self-standing legislative or ballot proposal." The AP article added, "One model may come from Ohio's last Democratic governor, Richard Celeste, who introduced an underfunded budget and simultaneously proposed a revenue-boosting package of tax increases. The tax hikes - making permanent a temporary tax surcharge that was already in place, and adding a 40-percent income tax increase - passed a Democratic-controlled Legislature, and Celeste used the proceeds to significantly boost education funding. But Strickland faces a conundrum there, too. He has pledged repeatedly not to raise taxes."
Read the AP article. Click: AP
Governor Ted Strickland will hold six regional forums across the state in November and December focusing on school funding. The times/dates for the forums are:
- Thursday, November 20th, FRANKLIN COUNTY, WHEN: 4:30-6:00 PM, WHERE: WOSU Studio at COSI, 333 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
Thursday, December 11th, CUYAHOGA COUNTY, WHEN: 4:30-6:00 PM, WHERE: WCPN Studio, 1375 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44115
- Friday, December 12th, LUCAS COUNTY, WHEN: 4:30-6:00 PM, WHERE: WGTE Public Media, 1270 S. Detroit Ave., Toledo, OH 43614
- Thursday, December 18th, RICHLAND COUNTY, WHEN: 4:30-6:00 PM, WHERE: Ohio State University Mansfield Campus, Ovalwood Hall, Founders Auditorium, 1680 University Dr. , Mansfield, OH 44906
- Friday, December 19th, HAMILTON COUNTY, WHEN: 4:30-6:00 PM, WHERE: CET Studio, 1223 Central Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45214
- Saturday, December 20th, ATHENS COUNTY, WHEN: 2:30-4:00 PM, WHERE: WOUB Center for Public Media, 5th Floor Television Studio A, 9 S. College St. Athens, OH 45701
The Web site http://www.ConversationOnEducation.Org provides the public and forum participants with details about the regional forums and will include ways to submit feedback during and after the forums.
November 18, 2008- Two Visions: "Ways To Pay For Schools" and "The numbers Don't Line Up"
One writer says there are "ways to pay for schools," the other says "the numbers don't line up..." Read the excerpts and articles below for two viewpoints relating to Governor Strickland's commitment to school funding reform.
"Now the governor can do all the listening and talking in the world during his school-funding reform tour, but the bottom line is, the system cannot be fixed without the state spending more money and depending less on local property taxes."
"There are at least two places for the governor to look for money — and we're talking hundreds of millions of dollars each year — while staying true to the thou-shalt-not-raise-taxes commandment." ....Dennis Willard, Staff Writer, Akron Beacon Journal
Read the article by Dennis Willard. Click: Ohio has ways to pay for schools
"Maybe that's why Strickland has been edging toward an argument that the school-funding dilemma isn't how much money Ohio spends, but how Ohio spends the money it already has. (Welcome to the club, Governor.) If Strickland can pull that off, that would be a crafty move."
"Otherwise, Statehouse Republicans will be only too glad to remind Ohio voters that the odious "wealth-sharing" that so riled Joe the Plumber already happens in Ohio. With little or no state aid, Republican suburbs pay top dollar to school their own kids -- while their state income payments school everyone else's. True, that's how taxation works: You pay gasoline tax at the pump whether or not the highway you drive to work on ever gets repaved."
"But as to school funding, a lot of Ohio voters haven't learned that yet. Their prospective tutors, Statehouse Republicans, are standing by." ....Thomas Suddes, Columnist, Cleveland Plain Dealer
Read the article by Thomas Suddes. Click: The numbers dont line up for Ohio school funding reform - Thomas Suddes
November 17, 2008- State Board To Recommend School Funding Plan
The Columbus Dispatch reported this morning that the State Board of Education is putting the finishing touches on a school-funding plan that would boost per pupil aid to schools.
The Dispatch said the state board analyzed spending in 65 high-performing school districts to come up with a per-student aid amount of $5,803 to cover teacher salaries, maintain an average classroom size of 23 students and provide personnel support. The state also would provide $56.33 per student for tutoring and other intervention services, professional development and data management. Ohio currently provides $5,565 in base aid and $49.43 in added assistance. The state board is expected to adopt the plan in December before recommending it to the governor and legislative leaders.
November 13, 2008- Over 60% of "New Money" Ballot Issues Fail
The Ohio Department of Education has posted the final results for school issues on the November 4th ballot. There were 236 issues on the ballot. The results show that 144 or 61.02% passed, while 92 or 38.98% failed.
However, these numbers do not tell the full story. Voters were not nearly as generous with "new money " requests as they were with renewals. There were 138 issues on the November 4th ballot requesting "new money " (including operating levies, replacement levies, income taxes and bond issues). Only 54 of these "new money " issues or 39.1% passed, while 84 or 60.9% failed. The passage rate was much lower in the 29 Ohio Appalachian counties where 17 "new money" issues were on the ballot. Only 4 or 23.53% passed, with 13 or 76.47% failing.
Data Source: Ohio Department of Education
November 12, 2008- New Leaders In The Ohio House of Representatives
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Sunday that State Representative Armond Budish (D-Beachwood) is slated to become the new Speaker of the Ohio House of Representative in January 2009. The Plain Dealer said, "...he [Budish] intends to focus on issues championed in large part by Democratic Governor Ted Strickland, improving education, pushing for more health care access for the uninsured and making college more affordable." Also on the plate, is "helping Strickland pass his much-anticipated package changing the way the state pays for primary and secondary schools, a bugaboo for state lawmakers practically since the Statehouse was built."
Read more about State Representative Budish, click: Budish
Sunday's Toledo Blade said State Representative Matt Szollosi (D-Oregon), will be Speaker Pro Tem, the second most powerful position in the chamber, when the Ohio House of Representatives convenes next year. In that same article the Blade said, "Governor Strickland is expected to finally tackle his campaign promise of fixing the way the state funds its schools, a system dependent on local property taxes that the Ohio Supreme Court repeatedly ruled unconstitutionally places students in poorer districts at a competitive disadvantage."
Read more about State Representative Szollosi. Click: Szollosi
Sources: Cleveland Plain Dealer, Toledo Blade and Ohio House of Representatives website
November 11, 2008- Will "tackle" school funding, "even in the midst of an economic downturn"
Yesterday, in a speech at the Ohio School Boards Association Capital Conference in Columbus, Governor Strickland told those in attendance that he "will tackle this responsibility [school funding], even in the midst of an economic downturn." The Governor will hold the first of six regional meetings on school funding at 4:30 p.m. at the WOSU studios (COSI) in Columbus on November 20th. Information about regional broadcasts/webcasts and "watch parties" will be posted on the website: www.conversationoneducation.org
Dates and locations for the other meetings will be announced soon.
With the election over, fixing school funding in Ohio is back in the news. Read on.......
Ø Sunday, an Associated Press (AP) article said, "The stage is set for Governor Ted Strickland's big unveiling. He has promised Ohio a plan in 2009 for fixing the way it pays for public schools, and circumstances are reaching a crescendo. A new state superintendent friendly to Strickland's education philosophies, Cleveland Heights' Deborah Delisle, takes over December 1. A series of education forums Strickland hosted has wrapped up statewide. And on Tuesday, fellow Democrats won control come January of the Ohio House, where the funding plan is likely to be introduced."
AP said, "The big question mark is whether Strickland will choose to make his school-funding plan his next state budget proposal, covering the two fiscal years that begin July 1, or introduce it as a self-standing legislative or ballot proposal. Strickland spokesman Keith Dailey said the vehicle for the plan has not yet been determined."
Ø Yesterday an editorial in the Dayton Daily News said, "In January, Ted Strickland begins his third year as governor, crossing over to the back half of his term. One big promise is yet unfulfilled — fundamental reform of the way Ohio funds its schools. Governor Strickland has promised to unveil a plan in the first half of 2009. ...........School funding problems always look worse in a bad economy. But there's no denying a significant part of the problem is systemic. If Governor Strickland really intends true reform, it's time to get the ball rolling."
Read the Dayton Daily News Editorial. Click: EDITORIAL It's time to get serious on school funding reform
November 10, 2008- Bill Introduced To Decrease Ohio Property Tax
Legislation (HB 630) introduced in the Ohio House Wednesday by State Representative Courtney Combs would lower taxable property values statewide by 10 percent. According to the Dayton Daily News, Representative Combs said his bill is meant to ease the financial burden placed on taxpayers by this year's real estate tax re-appraisal that sent values up, while many market values have dropped. If HB 630 becomes law, the reduction would apply to the 2009 tax bill, payable in 2010.
HB 630 (Bill as introduced)
To exempt 10% of a homestead's value for tax year 2009.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. To provide a partial exemption, for tax year 2009, real property taxes on a homestead to which division (B) of section 323.152 of the Revised Code applies shall be reduced by the product of the following:
(1) Ten per cent of the true value of the property in money;
(2) The assessment percentage established by the tax commissioner under division (B) of section 5715.01 of the Revised Code, not to exceed thirty-five per cent;
(3) The effective tax rate used to calculate the taxes charged against the property for the current year, where "effective tax rate" is defined as in section 323.08 of the Revised Code;
(4) The quantity equal to one minus the sum of the percentage reductions in taxes received by the property for tax year 2009 under section 319.302 of the Revised Code and division (B) of section 323.152 of the Revised Code.
For purposes of the certification and payment provided under section 323.156 of the Revised Code, the reduction provided by this section shall be considered a reduction provided under division (B) of section 323.152 of the Revised Code.
November 7, 2008- State Board of Education To Have 10 New Members
Beginning in January 2009, 10 of the 19 members on the State Board of Education will be new. Six new members were elected to the State Board on Tuesday. Governor Strickland will appoint 4 new members to the Board at the end of the year. Of the 7 seats on the November ballot only 1 was filled by an incumbent. Previously appointed member, Robin C. Hovis, Millersburg, won an elected seat from the 5th district.
New members elected on November 4th were:
Ann Jacobs, Lima, 1st district
Kristen McKinley, Columbus, 6th district
Tammy A. O'Brien, Akron, 7th district
Michael Collins, Westerville, 9th district
Jeffrey Hardin, Clermont County, 10th district
Mary Rose Oaker, Cleveland, 11th district
The following members have 2 years remaining on their elected term.
John R. Bender, Avon, 2nd district
Susan M. Haverkos, West Chester, 3rd district
G.R. Schloemer, Cincinnati, 4th district
Deborah Cain, Uniontown, 8th district
The following are Members-at-Large with 2 years remaining on their appointed term.
Stephen M. Millett, Columbus
Jennifer L. Sheets, Pomeroy
Carl Wick, Centerville
Ann Womer Benjamin, Aurora
(Four additional members will be appointed by the Governor at the end of the year.)
Elected members who represent the 29 Ohio Appalachian counties are:
Robin C. Hovis, Millersburg, 5th district (Holmes county)
Deborah Cain, Uniontown, 8th district (Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Harrison, Jefferson and Tuscarawas counties)
Michael Collins, Westerville, 9th district, (Athens, Coshocton, Guernsey, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry and Washington counties)
Jeffrey Hardin, Clermont County, 10th district (Adams, Brown, Clermont, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton counties)
Sources: Ohio Department of Education and Columbus Dispatch
November 6, 2008- Nearly 60% Of School Issues Pass
Ohio voters approved nearly 60 percent of the school issues on November 4th. This is the highest approval rate for a November election since 2002. There were 236 issues on the ballot. 198 school districts had 1 issue on the ballot; 19 school districts had 2 issues on the ballot. Voters approved 138 school issues, or 58.47%. While 86 issues, or 36.44% failed. Information was not available for 12 issues, or 5.08%, mostly in Montgomery and Stark counties.
The approval percentage was similar for school districts in Ohio's Appalachian counties. There were 27 issues on the ballot in the 29 county region. Voters approved 15 issues, or 57.69%. While 11 issues, or 42.31% failed. Information was not available for 1 district.
View the results by county. Click: Results by county
November 5, 2008- Charter School Accountability
The recent Akron Beacon Journal article, "How Expensive Must This Experiment Get?" said, "A ccountability is catching up with Ohio's charter schools. Intended to be innovative alternatives, many of the schools are proving to be no improvement on their academically weak public counterparts. A Beacon Journal analysis of report cards for this past school year found that 64 percent of the 246 schools participating in the state's achievement tests were rated in ''academic emergency'' or ''academic watch.''
In addition, according to a Scripps Howard News Service report, "Taxpayers pay millions of dollars every month to educate tens of thousands of high school students who rarely or never show up for class, part of a growing trend of high absenteeism at privately operated schools. Ohio
, hardest hit by the trend, paid $29.9 million for absent students who were enrolled at 47 of these "dropout recovery" schools during the 2006-2007 school year, the most recent year that complete data are available."
The Scripps Howard article said, "The
schools with the worst attendance are the 17 Life Skills Centers run by the for-profit company White Hat Management, founded by
, businessman David Brennan. Fewer than half of
students graduate, according to Ohio Department of Education records. The Ohio Life Skills schools had a total enrollment of 5,789 students during the 2006-2007 school year, according to computer files at the Ohio Department of Education. But the state said absenteeism for those schools collectively was 45.62 percent that year, which means White Hat Management was paid $17.3 million for 2,641 absent students."
Sources: Akron Beacon Journal and Scripps Howard News Service
November 4, 2008- Poverty In America
Here is a snapshot of how the number of Americans living below the poverty line has fluctuated since 1959, when the first figures were made available. Remember, President Lyndon Johnson launched the "war on poverty" on the Ohio University campus in 1964. Some may also recall that last April Dr. Kern Alexander, 2008 Samuel I. Hicks Executive-in-Residence honoree, said, "Education is often only way out of poverty."
1959: 39.5 million, 22 percent (highest)
1964: 36 million, 19 percent
1969: 24.2 million, 12.1 percent
1973: 23 million, 11.1 percent (lowest)
1983: 35.3 million, 15.2 percent
1989: 31.5 million, 12.8 percent
1993: 39.3 million, 15.1 percent
2000: 31.6 million, 11.3 percent
2007: 37.3 million, 12.5 percent
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau and the Canton Repository
November 3, 2008- Ohio, A Leading Charter School State
Six of Ohio's largest school districts [Dayton, Youngstown, Cleveland, Toledo, Cincinnati and Columbus] rank among the top U.S. communities in the percentage of its public school students enrolled in charter schools, according to a report released Friday by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Among the states and the District of Columbia, Ohio has the sixth highest number of students enrolled in charter schools. In addition, Ohio had the most school districts on the top ten list with four. Dayton ranked third in the U.S. with 28 percent of all public school students enrolled in charter schools in 2007-08, up 4 percent from the previous year, the alliance reported.
Sixty-four communities now have at least 10 percent of their students enrolled in charter schools, the alliance said. New Orleans leads the nation with 55 percent, followed by Washington, D.C., at 31 percent. Nationally, according to the alliance, more than 1.4 million students are enrolled in more than 4,600 public charter schools in 40 states and the District of Columbia.
TOP TEN CHARTER SCHOOL ENROLLMENTS IN U.S. BY PERCENTAGE OF STUDENTS
||Percentage of Total
|1. New Orleans, LA
||55% of 32,887 students
|2. Washington D.C
||31% of 72,445 students
|3. Southfield, MI
||28% of 13,020 students
|3. Dayton, OH
||28% of 22,493 students
|4. Pontiac, MI
||25% of 10,811 students
|5. Youngstown, OH
||24% of 10,945 students
|6. Phoenix H.S. Dist., AZ
||23% of 34,351 students
|6. Kansas City, MO
||23% of 31,583 students
|7. Detroit, MI
||22% of 135,987 students
|7. San Antonio, TX
||22% of 58,903 students
|8. Tempe Union H.S. Dist., AZ
||21% of 17,416 students
|9. Cleveland, OH
||20% of 62,849 students
|10. St. Louis, MO
||19% of 39,861 students
|10. Toledo, OH
||19% of 43,557 students
| Other Ohio Districts with high charter school enrollment
||16% of 34,818 students
||15% of 63,501 students
Source: National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
Sources: National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and Dayton Daily News
October 31, 2008- Study: Intensive Teacher-Induction Programs Show Little Change
According to a new study from the U.S. Department of Education, intensive teacher-induction programs did not noticeably change teachers’ instructional practices, boost rates of teacher retention, or improve student-achievement outcomes. The report, Impacts of Comprehensive Teacher Induction: Results from the First Year of a Randomized Controlled Study, presents implementation and impact findings for beginning elementary school teachers after one year of induction services. The study tests whether comprehensive teacher induction affects teacher retention rates, classroom practices, and student achievement, compared to the induction programs that districts normally provide.
A report in Education Week said districts throughout the country now pair first-year teachers with mentors in their schools or districts, but such arrangements frequently lack the defining features of high-quality, intensive, or comprehensive induction programs. In intensive teacher-induction programs, mentors receive specialized training, “release time” from teaching and administrative duties, meet at regularly scheduled intervals with their apprentices each week, and focus their support on research-based instructional practices.
Some observers said they were surprised at the findings of the study, but believe that the impact of intensive teacher-induction programs is going to show up in subsequent years.
To read the full report and/or executive summary, click below: (The full report is long. You may want to review only the executive summary.)
Sources: U.S. Department of Education and Education Week
October 30, 2008- Achievement Gaps Reflect Inequality Of Education Resources
Achievement gaps reflect an underlying inequality in the distribution of education resources, argues Molly Hunter. Hunter is the Director of Education Justice, the national outreach arm of the New Jersey-based Education Law Center, the non-profit law firm that has led New Jersey's school finance lawsuit. Hunter said low-income and minority children receive fewer resources despite often having substantially greater needs. Low-income children also are less likely to attend preschool than affluent children, she noted, and they may not always have access to high-quality programs that research shows can result in significant achievement gains.
According to Hunter, funding disparities often undergird these inequities. Nationally, high poverty districts spend $938 less per student than low-poverty districts, and the difference is even larger if low-income students' greater needs are factored into the equation. "In effect, we are asking low-income and minority students to learn to swim in a pool with knee-deep water," Hunter said.
In Ohio, according to 2007 Ohio Department of Education data, school districts in the 29 Appalachian counties spend $663 less per student than the state average. The gap is considerably greater when Ohio's low-wealth school districts are compared to high-wealth districts. In fact, a July 2008 E&A Coalition email pointed out that from 1997 to 2008 the average expenditure per pupil in the 30 lowest expenditure districts increased $2705, while during that same period the 30 highest expenditure districts increased $5080.
Sources: Policy Notes (Educational Testing Service), Ohio Department of Education and E&A Coalition
October 29, 2008- Teacher Survey: Equity Among Schools, Top Priority
Creating equity among schools should be the top priority of the next president, according to a recent survey of teachers. TeachersFirst, a nonprofit group that provides resources for teachers, asked its members to choose the top three priorities for American education reform from a list of twelve options.
Equity among schools was the most popular recommendation, with 57 percent of respondents selecting it. According to a TeachersFirst press release, equity was defined in the survey as, “ensuring that all schools have equal access to adequate facilities, equipment, and materials.” The rest of the eleven choices were ranked as follows:
- Finding alternatives to standardized tests (55 percent)
- Encouraging greater parent involvement (44 percent)
- Strengthening teacher preparation (30 percent)
- Improving physical safety (29 percent)
- Emphasizing math, science, and information literacy (29 percent)
- Strengthening early learning and pre-K programs (26 percent)
- Improving access to technology (25 percent)
- Finding ways to reward good teaching (15 percent)
- Funding universal after-school programs (13 percent)
- Involving the business community (10 percent)
- Extending the school day and year (9 percent)
Sources: Teacher Magazine and Teachersfirst.com
October 28, 2008- Study: School Finance Systems Need Overhaul
A new study, "Funding Student Learning" released yesterday says, "Policymakers need to turn the nation’s school finance systems on their head by connecting education dollars to student-achievement goals and outcomes, giving better information about how money is spent, and funding research that’s more closely aligned with the classroom." The report is the result of five years of research. It was compiled by the National Working Group on Funding Student Learning and produced by the School Finance Redesign Project at the University of Washington’s Center on Reinventing Public Education, with funding by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
According to the news release, the study doesn’t attempt to tackle how much money is needed to adequately fund public schools, which has been the focus of school-finance lawsuits in many states over the years. Nor does the report suggest that there are easy fixes, such as investing more money in certain programs, over others. Instead, the report examines how those funding systems should be structured and proposes a rethinking of how states and local districts pay for schools.
One big goal, according to the report: Align money and resources with student-learning goals and outcomes, rather than determining funding levels and spending by individual school or by district. That shift could be accomplished by analyzing student data, setting goals, spending money according to those new performance targets, and then coming back to review, the study suggests.
Read the report. Click: Download Full Report (PDF: 556 K)
Source: edweek.org and Center on Reinventing Public Education www.crpe.org
October 27, 2008- Academic Reform Road Map
Governor Strickland has developed a "Roadmap for Academic Reforms" based on information gathered from stakeholders and the 11 "Conversations on Education" held earlier this fall. Click below to view the Governor's road map.
DOWNLOAD: Governor's Academic Reform Road map report.
October 24, 2008- Report: A Child Today Less Likely To Graduate From H.S. Than Parents
A child today is less likely to graduate from high school than their parents, and most states are doing little to hold schools accountable, according to a study released yesterday. More than half the states have graduation targets that don’t make schools get better, the report, "Counting on Graduation: Most States Are Setting Low Expectations For The Improvement Of High Schools Graduation Rates," said.
“The U.S. is stagnating while other industrialized countries are surpassing us,” said Anna Habash, author of the report by Education Trust, which advocates on behalf of minority and poor children. “And that is going to have a dramatic impact on our ability to compete,” she said
October 23, 2008- School Issues On November 4th Ballot
According to the Ohio Secretary of State website, there are 266 school issues on the November 4, 2008 ballot. This includes 178 tax issues, 48 bond issues and 40 miscellaneous tax questions/changes. The passing rate at general elections over the past 10 years is 59%. During the 10 year period there have been 2,166 issues on the November ballots with 1,277 passing.
Fourteen of the 29 Ohio Appalachian counties have a total of 27 school issues on the November 4th ballot. The 14 Appalachian counties and the number of school issues in each county are:
Athens - 1
Clermont - 3
Columbiana - 5
Coshocton - 1
Highland - 1
Holmes - 1
Jefferson - 2
Lawrence - 1
Meigs - 1
Monroe - 1
Muskingum - 3
Noble - 1
Scioto - 2
Tuscarawas - 4
The Associated Press said, "Ohio educators say economic turmoil during this election is making school issues a tougher sell than usual. Voters in roughly one-third of the state's school districts will decide 266 school issues on Election Day. Districts have personnel, student services and millions of dollars in construction funding on the line."
Sources: Ohio Secretary of State, Ohio Department of Education and the Associated Press
October 22, 2008- More On Presidential Candidates Views On Education
Senator John McCain, Republican
- Fight for the ability of all students to have access to schools of demonstrated excellence, including their own homes. Empower parents by greatly expanding their ability to choose a school for their children.
- Head Start centers with a demonstrated record of success would be recognized as Centers of Excellence to expand their programs to serve more children, and to disseminate their best practices to other Head Start agencies.
- Provide bonuses for teachers who locate in underperforming schools and demonstrate strong leadership as measured by student improvement.
- Provide funding for professional teacher development.
- Expand the Washington, D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program to benefit nearly 1,000 more families.
- Target $500 million in current federal funds to build new virtual schools and support the development of online course offerings for students.
- Expand the Federal Family Education Loan program. Simplify federal financial aid, and simplify higher education tax benefits.
Source: McCain campaign and www.johnmccain.com and Dayton Daily News
Senator Barack Obama, Democrat
- Enact a comprehensive $10 billion a year "Zero to Five" plan to help states adopt universal pre-kindergarten programs and expand the Head Start and Early Head Start programs.
- Reform and fund No Child Left Behind. Improve NCLB's assessment and accountability systems.
- Double funding for the Federal Charter School Program to support the creation of more successful charter schools.
- Create Teacher Service Scholarships that cover four years of undergraduate or two years of graduate teaching education. Create Teaching Residency programs to prepare high-quality teachers to work in high-needs schools.
- Double federal funding for the 21st Century Learning Centers program, allowing one million more children to attend after-school programs.
- Provide a fully refundable tax credit that will ensure that the first $4,000 of college education is free for most Americans. Recipients of this credit will be required to conduct 100 hours of public service a year.
- Streamline the financial aid process by eliminating the current federal financial aid application and enabling families to apply simply by checking a box on their tax form.
Source: Obama campaign and www.barackobama.com and Dayton Daily News
Read more about the candidates views on education in today's Cleveland Plain Dealer. Click on the following:
On education, attention is focused on who McCain, Obama would name education secretary
Where the candidates stand on education
October 21, 2008- Governor Seeks Democrat Support For School Funding
The Toledo Blade reported today that Governor Strickland "would move on promises made last year to increase school funding and curtail new charter schools if Democrats are successful in seizing control of the House next month."
According to the Blade, the Governor said, "The thing, more than anything else, I want is a majority in the House so I will have support on education. Certainly, the school funding issue is one I have talked about .The charter school issue, as you know, I tried to place a moratorium on new charter schools. I could not do that because of the legislature. I continue to believe for-profit charter schools are bad for the system."
Source: Toledo Blade, October 21, 2008
October 20, 2008- What The Said About School Funding....
"Shame on the lottery, which defends itself by saying 30 percent of the revenue goes toward education. And shame on us for not funding public education through an equitable taxation system that does not depend disproportionately on exploiting the false hopes of the poor." ....David Briggs column, Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 18, 2008
"Ohio's underlying school-funding problem, its weak economy and the unfolding worldwide economic crisis mean the next few years won't be an easy time to build a better education system. But it's a good time for new leadership, committed to working with the governor's office, to achieve breakthroughs on old problems." ....Editorial, Columbus Dispatch, October 18, 2008
Long term, obviously, we are not going to have a good economy unless we do a better job of investing wisely in education and improving our schools, and helping more kids graduate and go to college." ....Bob Taft, former Ohio governor, Dayton Daily News, October 19, 2008 (Note: Taft is a distinguished research associate at the University of Dayton)
"I haven't liked politics for a while. I love making public policy. I think I'm good at it. Education is an area I care about deeply." ....State Senator Jeff Jacobson, Dayton Daily News, October 19, 2008 (Note: Jacobson will become a public policy consultant on school reform and school funding. His lead client will be the Ohio Business Roundtable)"
"This funding formula is broke. We've got to eliminate the reliance on the local property tax." ....State Representative Chris Widener, Springfield News-Sun, October 17, 2008
“This [school funding] is not a Republican issue or Democratic issue. It is a difficult issue. It’s going to take both sides to come to the table.” ....State Representative Matt Dolan, Cleveland Herald-News, October 17, 2008
"With Governor Ted Strickland’s education reform, there is hope. For the first time in my eight years in the Senate, I think we’re actually going to be talking about fixing school funding next year.” ....State Senator Tim Grendell, Cleveland Herald-News, October 17, 2008
October 17, 2008- Governor To Hold Regional Meetings On School Funding
It was announced yesterday that Governor Strickland will be holding six regional forums in November and December on "how to properly finance a truly reformed system of education." The first forum will be held in Columbus on November 20th. Dates and locations for the other five forums have yet to be established. The format will be similar to the Governor's Conversation on Education regional meetings conducted over the past few months. The discussions will be broadcast on television and/or over the internet. In addition, it was announced that administration officials plan to host "watch parties" in conjunction with the regional forums.
to read more about the Governor's Conversation on Education
October 16, 2008- How Presidential Candidates Differ On Education
A recent USA TODAY article said, "If there's one feature that defines the presidential debate on education, it's this: near silence." The article went on to say, "Senator John McCain focused on it in two speeches to civil rights groups last summer. Senator Barack Obama, meanwhile, has spoken in detail about schools more often than his rival — his campaign lists 12 education speeches in the past 16 months. But compared to other topics, the relative silence on education is troubling to many observers, since McCain and Obama differ sharply in several ways."
Here's a quick look at how the candidates' differ on key education issues: (Reprinted from USA TODAY)
||In a key speech in Ohio in September, Obama talked of "recruiting, retaining and rewarding an army of new teachers." He wants to help schools hire about 30,000 a year, mostly in hard-to-staff schools, in demanding subjects such as math, science and special education. He's proposing expanded mentoring programs, "Teacher Residency Programs," a "Career Ladder" initiative and college scholarships for teachers who commit to teaching in a high-need field or school for at least four years.
||In his nomination acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, McCain said, "Let's remove barriers to qualified instructors, attract and reward good teachers, and help bad teachers find another line of work." He wants 60% of federal Title II teacher funding to pay for "incentive bonuses" for high-performing teachers in areas such as math and science; 35% would go to principals to pay for training to "enhance the ability of teachers to perform in today's technology-driven environment."
|Federal funding, No Child Left Behind
||Says Congress must "fix the failures of No Child Left Behind" by giving school districts promised funding -- and by giving states the funding they need "to finally meet their commitment to special education." He wants to add $18 billion a year to federal education spending, which he'd pay for by cutting "wasteful and unnecessary spending," including earmarks. Obama also wants to double U.S. investment in educational research and development.
||Says he'll freeze discretionary spending -- including most education spending -- and believes that No Child Left Behind is adequately funded. McCain wants to tweak No Child Left Behind to give students in struggling schools "immediate access" to federally funded tutoring; private tutoring companies could market directly to parents.
|Charter schools, school choice
||Wants to expand federal funding for charter schools from $236 million to $450 million. He says he'd "work with all our nation's governors to hold all our charter schools accountable," adding: "Charter schools that are successful will get the support they need to grow; charters that aren't will get shut down." He also wants to expand non-profit child care, parenting and education efforts such as the Harlem Children's Zone in New York to other cities.
||While he hasn't proposed a national voucher, McCain wants to expand the Washington, D.C., Opportunity Scholarship Program, a congressionally funded voucher for more than 1,900 low-income students; he'd expand it more than 50% to serve nearly 1,000 more families. He'd spend $500 million on "new virtual schools" and online courses, including dual-enrollment courses that allow high schoolers to earn college credit. He also wants to give low-income students up to $4,000 for online courses.
|Early childhood education
||Proposes a $10 billion "Zero to Five" plan that would quadruple the number of slots in Early Head Start, increase Head Start funding and improve the quality of both; he'd make states compete to create or expand child care and education for pregnant women and children. He'd "encourage" states to adopt voluntary universal preschool; he'd expand the Child and Development Care Tax Credit, making it refundable and allowing low-income families to get up to a 50% credit for child care expenses.
||Proposes no new funding, saying there is "no shortage of federal programs" targeting early childhood. He'd coordinate many of them, focus funding on "the neediest children" and require federal programs to focus on school readiness. McCain would also name Head Start centers with proven records as "Centers for Excellence in Head Start." They'd get $200,000 annually to expand offerings and improve early childhood education state- and city-wide.
Supported a 2007 law that raised the maximum Pell Grant for low-income college students from $4,050 to $5,400. Would eliminate Federal Family Education Loan program, which subsidizes private lenders that offer government-backed loans. He'd strengthen the federal Direct Loan program, which requires loans to be provided directly by the government. Obama also proposes a $4,000 tax credit for tuition and fees. To get the credit, students must put in 100 hours of public service.
Supported a 2007 law that raised the maximum Pell Grant for low-income college students from $4,050 to $5,400. McCain wants to expand the Federal Family Education Loan program, which gives subsidies to private lenders that offer government-backed loans. He'd simplify federal financial aid, saying "too many programs and a complicated application process deter many eligible students from seeking student aid." He'd also simplify the tax benefits of families paying for college.
Source: Candidates' online education plans, speeches (USA TODAY)
Illustrations by Frank Pompa, USA TODAY
October 15, 2008- Sate Board Expected To Name State Superintendent Today
The State Board of Education is expected to name a new State Superintendent of Public Instruction today. The board has narrowed the field to two finalists: Catherine Maple Cross, a deputy education secretary in New Mexico, and Cleveland Heights-University Heights City Schools superintendent Deborah Delisle.
Earlier today the State Board of Education hired Deborah S. Delisle, superintendent of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District, to become the new Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction.
October 14, 2008- More About New State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Biography of newly named State Superintendent of Public Instruction Deborah S. Delisle ...from Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District web site
Deborah S. Delisle has worked in public education more than 30 years to advance classroom teaching and learning and provide opportunities for all students to realize success. She has served as Superintendent of the Cleveland Heights – University Heights City School District since August 2003. Immediately prior to this, she served as the District’s Associate Superintendent for Educational Services. Before joining the CH-UH educational team, Mrs. Delisle was Director of Academic Services in the West Geauga School District. She also held the positions of Director of Curriculum/Professional Development and Elementary Principal in West Geauga. Her prior experience includes serving as Language Arts Specialist for the Orange School District and Coordinator of K-12 Gifted/Enrichment Program in Shaker Heights. She has also taught graduate level courses at Kent State University, Ursuline College, University of Northern Colorado, and Simon Fraser University.
While in the Cleveland Heights – University Heights City School District, Superintendent Delisle has spearheaded the transformation of Cleveland Heights High School into five Small Schools including broad-base professional learning communities; a Balanced Literacy Initiative, composed of an infrastructure of teams and coaches in each school building; the creation of a Professional Development School which, in partnership with John Carroll University, effectively transformed Gearity Elementary School into a PreK-16 teaching and learning environment (one of eight schools nationwide named an elementary “Model School” by the International Center for Leadership in Education); and, the piloting of AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), a program which bolsters middle-performing students through rigor, relationships, and high expectations. Currently, she is collaborating on an International Academy, a partnership with two area universities and two neighboring school districts, which will provide a bilingual program of English and Mandarin Chinese.
Mrs. Delisle is an active member of many educational associations and committees including the Ohio Department of Education’s International Education Advisory Committee and the Buckeye Association of School Administrators’ State Report Card Committee. She serves on the Executive Board for the Midwest Regional Lab of Learning Point Associates, Minority Student Achievement Network’s Governing Board, the Greater Cleveland Schools Superintendents Association’s Executive Board, and has held the positions of Treasurer and President-Elect on the Ohio Schools’ Council.
She served on the editorial board for Roeper Review, a journal on gifted education research, on the Advisory Board of Midwest Talent Search at Northwestern University and the Language Arts Standards Council for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. She has given numerous professional presentations as far away as Hong Kong, China. Mrs. Delisle’s broad range of experience includes producing
Deborah S. Delisle
publications and grant writing. A book co-authored with her husband, Growing Good Kids, received a Parent Choice award and is now in its 10th printing edition. She has written and received over $1 million in grants from a variety of sources.
In 2008, eSchool News named Superintendent Delisle one of 10 Tech Savvy Superintendents in the nation for her cutting edge approaching of integrating technology into the curriculum. She has been listed several times in Who’s Who of Professionals and Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, was selected as one of America’s Top Twenty Educators by Learning Magazine, was a Finalist for Ohio Teacher of the Year and received the Golden Apple Achiever Award from Ashland Oil Co.
Mrs. Delisle conducted her post graduate work at Kent State University and Ashland University in administration and curriculum development. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Springfield College in Massachusetts, and a Master’s degree in Special Education from Kent State University. Her husband, Jim, is a retired professor from the College of Education at Kent State University. Her son, Matt, produces for film and television in California.
Source: Web site of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District
October 13, 2008- State Board Candidates To Represent Appalachian School Districts
According to the Columbus Dispatch, as many as 11 members of the state Board of Education will be stepping down. The Dispatch said, "The unprecedented turnover on the 19-member state board of education, 11 elected members and eight appointed by the governor, is the result of term limits and decisions by some to move on to new opportunities." Seven of the 11 elected state board of education seats will be on the November 4th ballot.
The following are the candidates seeking a seat on the State Board of Education to represent Ohio Appalachian school districts. The term-in-office for the state board member from District 8 does not expire this year. Districts 5, 9 and 10 will be electing a state board member to a full term commencing January 1, 2009. See map below for State Board of Education districts.
Robin C. Hovis, Holmes County (currently an appointed member)
Richard Javorek, Medina County
Michael L. Collins, Delaware County
Larry A. Good, Muskingum County
William E. Moore, Monroe County
Jeff Hardin, Clermont County
John McHenry, Scioto County
Jane Sonenshein, Clermont County ( Incumbent )
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION DISTRICTS
STATE TEACHERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM
"Managers of Ohio's five big pension funds — Public Employees Retirement System, State Teachers Retirement System, Ohio Police & Fire Retirement Fund, Highway Patrol Retirement System and State Employees Retirement System — said they are obviously not happy with their losses amid Wall Street's troubles. The five pension funds, which hold a combined $170 billion, are designed to handle the market's plunge, their directors say." ....Canton Repository
"Twenty-three Ohio charter schools, including two in the Akron-Canton area, are just one state report card away from closing for poor academic performance, according to a Beacon Journal analysis of state records. About 4,300 students are enrolled in these schools. The schools are expected to receive almost $36 million in state money this year. House Bill 79 outlines conditions for shutting down charter schools with records of poor academic performance." ....Akron Beacon Journal
A local court ruling has allowed a high school football player, suspended for underage drinking during the summer, to return to the football team. The Cincinnati Enquirer said the ruling may have implications for all Ohio school districts. The order granted a preliminary injunction that allowed the student to continue playing, "subject to the football discretion of the coaches" of the high school. As a result of the ruling, the student has played all seven games this season, according to the Enquirer. The school district has appealed the local court ruling.
In 2007 the State Board of Education created the Subcommittee for Education in the Global Economy (EDGE) to examine the question: "Looking ahead to 2020, what will be the most important skills, knowledge and behaviors for students to acquire to provide Ohio with competitive advantages in the global economy?" EDGE conducted a study from September 2007 through April 2008, which included an extensive literature review, 16 interviews with Ohio business and government leaders and an online survey. The result of this work is a Top 10 list of the most important skills, knowledge and behaviors students will need to succeed in the global economy, and ways to strengthen the education system to better meet students’ needs.
The following is the Top 10 list from the EDGE subcommittee.
- Critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and applied knowledge for practical results.
- Mastery of rigorous academic content, especially in literacy, mathematics, and information technologies.
- Innovative and creative thinking, including entrepreneurial skills.
- Communication skills, both oral and written.
- Team learning and work, relationship building, and interpersonal social skills.
- Alignment of education with the needs of economic development, including better communications and cooperation between educators and business people.
- Personal responsibility, including good work habits, work ethic, knowing how to be flexible and continue learning, and financial literacy.
- Global awareness, languages, and understanding other cultures (including history, economics and geography).
- Communications and better interfaces between PK-12 public education and post-secondary/higher education to make high school graduates better prepared for the next stages of their education and lives.
- Teacher education, preparation, and professional development to support content mastery and skill development, including applied learning (or problem-based learning) across disciplines in a global context.
According to reports, EDGE is part of a larger initiative of the State Board of Education to develop a comprehensive education reform plan.
Source: Ohio Department of Education
The $700 billion financial-assistance package (H.R. 1424-Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008) approved by Congress and signed by the President includes a $3.3 billion reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools (national forest counties) and Community Self-Determination Act, which provides federal aid to make up for diminished timber-tax revenues in school districts that are home to national forests. The rural schools measure would renew the program through 2011.
The bill also includes an extension for two years of the Qualified Zone Academy Bond (QZAB) program, which provides $400 million a year in tax credits to holders of bonds that can be used for school construction and renovation, developing curricula, purchasing equipment, and training school personnel in schools that have 35% or more of their students eligible for the National School Lunch Program. The credits are meant to cover the costs of interest on the bonds.
And the bill includes a two-year extension of a $250 income-tax credit to help teachers purchase books and other supplies for their classrooms. Without the extension, both the QZBA program and teacher tax provisions will expire at the end of 2008.
Sources: American Association of School Administrators and Education Week
Who are the two final candidates for Ohio's State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Deborah S. Delisle
Deborah S. Delisle was named Superintendent effective March 1, 2004. Immediately prior to this, Delisle served as Interim Superintendent beginning August 1, 2003. Prior to this position, she served as the District’s Associate Superintendent for Educational Services beginning in fall 2001.
Before joining the Cleveland Heights-University Heights staff, Delisle was Director of Academic Services in the West Geauga School District. She also held the positions of Director of Curriculum & Professional Development and Elementary Principal in West Geauga. Her prior experience includes Language Arts Specialist for the Orange School District 1988-1995 and Coordinator of K-12 Gifted & Enrichment Program, in Shaker Heights from 1985-1988. She has taught graduate level courses at Kent State University, Ursuline College, University of Northern Colorado and Simon Fraser University.
She is an active member of many educational associations and committees, including the Greater Cleveland Educational Development Center. She served on the editorial board for Roeper Review, a journal on gifted education research, on the Advisory Board of Midwest Talent Search at Northwestern University and the Language Arts Standards Council for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. She has given numerous professional presentations as far away as Hong Kong, China.
Delisle’s broad range of experience includes producing publications and grant writing. Her most recent publication Growing Good Kids received a Parent Choice award. She has written and received over one million dollars in grants from a variety of sources.
She has been listed several times in Who’s Who of Professionals and Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, was selected as one of America’s Top Twenty Educators by Learning Magazine, was a Finalist for Ohio Teacher of the Year and received the Golden Apple Achiever Award from Ashland Oil Co.
Mrs. Delisle received her Bachelors degree from Springfield College in Massachusetts, and a Masters degree in Special Education from Kent State University, where she continues to pursue postgraduate studies in administration and curriculum development. Her husband, Jim, is a professor in the College of Education at Kent State University. Her son, Matt, lives in San Francisco, where he works in the film industry.
Catherine Cross Maple
Dr. Cross Maple serves as the Deputy Cabinet Secretary of Learning and Accountability for the New Mexico Public Education Department. Previously, she was the Assistant Secretary for New Mexico Vocational Rehabilitation. She also has served as a senior administrator for the Albuquerque Public Schools.
She has extensive experience and is considered an expert in strategic leadership and visionary planning; continuous improvement methodologies; educational administration and curriculum; and the disability/special education field. Noted as an accomplished presenter, speaker and facilitative leader, she has a reputation for effectively working among diverse groups about complicated issues.
Dr. Cross Maple received her doctoral degree (Ph.D.) from the University of New Mexico in Educational Administration, Special Education and Research; her Masters in Education from the University of Nevada, Reno; and her Bachelors degree from Montana State University, Billings.
Those who attended the September 16th CORAS meeting in Logan may recall the video clip of Washington D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee.
The Associated Press (AP) reports that Chancellor Rhee has announced a series of measures aimed at allowing her to more easily fire ineffective teachers. According to AP, Rhee has proposed linking teacher pay to student achievement. But teachers would have to give up seniority and spend a year on probation, exposing them to the possibility of dismissal. The measures announced this week include creating a new teacher evaluation system based primarily on student achievement. It would allow for the removal of teachers regardless of tenure. Rhee also says she will more aggressively use the so-called "90 day plan," in which a teacher is given three months to show improvement or face dismissal. The union is divided on the plan, AP said.
The discussion about linking teacher pay to student achievement, or merit pay, is gathering momentum across the country. Both Presidential candidates have injected the issue into their campaigns.
Mark your calendar for Tuesday, October 28, 2008. The second in the series of CORAS programs, "Value-added Analysis," will be held at the Olde Dutch Restaurant in Logan. The program begins at 9:00 a.m. and will conclude following a buffet lunch at noon.
The Topic: “Highly-Effective Teaching Revealed and Replicated Through Classroom-Level Value-Added Analysis”
Description of the Presentation: What does preliminary research suggest about the characteristics and practices of teachers whose students produce exceptional academic gains? How do these teachers use value-added analysis to guide their professional development and personalize instruction? Attend this session to learn about T-CAP (Teachers Connecting Achievement & Progress), a classroom-level value-added initiative. Learn how this group of Ohio educators is piloting the use of classroom-level value-added information to accelerate progress and maximize opportunity for their students.
Presenters: Battelle for Kids: Dr. Mike Thomas, Senior Director of Innovative Solutions, and Dr. Mary Peters, Director of Value-Added Services
Registration materials will be mailed to CORAS members next week. Registration may also be completed by contacting Lori at: Phone: 740-593-4414, FAX: 740-593-9698, Email: email@example.com, or by mail: CORAS, 313E McCracken Hall, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 45701. There is a $15.00 registration fee that includes the continental breakfast, buffet lunch and handouts.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported this morning that Cleveland Heights-University Heights schools Superintendent Deborah Delisle and Catherine Cross Maple, deputy secretary of learning and accountability for the New Mexico Public Education Department, are the two finalists for the state superintendent's job. Both were called back for a second interview with the State Board of Education yesterday.
State Board of Education President Jennifer Sheets said she expects the board to make a final decision at its regular meeting October 12. In the interim, a search firm that has been working with the board will make final background checks, Sheets said.
The Akron Beacon Journal reported today that the federal government is now ready to name three northeast Ohio counties part of Appalachia. The United States Senate has approved a measure that would add Ashtabula, Trumbull and Mahoning counties to the Appalachian Regional Commission's (ARC) jurisdiction.
Lawmakers announced the move yesterday and, according to the Beacon Journal, the President is expected to sign the bill. The House approved the measure earlier this year. The ARC's goal is to fight poverty in the Appalachian region. The additional three counties would qualify 32 of Ohio's 88 counties for money from the commission to pay for job training and economy development.
The Des Moines Register reported Sunday, "An increasing number of
school officials want to shorten the school week to four days to reduce costs." The policy "has caught on in other states," and "seems to have its biggest supporters in small districts, where enrollment has shrunk and budgets have been beaten by increasing fuel costs." School districts in 17 states run on a four-day schedule, national data show. In most of the states with the four-day school week, the length of the school day has grown from about 6 1/2 hours to eight hours, according to the article.
The Columbus Dispatch reported this morning that the State Board of Education will interview five candidates for Ohio's Superintendent of Public Instruction at meetings in Columbus tomorrow and Monday.
According to the Dispatch, the five candidates are:
- Michael Johnson, superintendent of the Bexley City School District
- Deborah S. Delisle, superintendent of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District.
- Patricia Brenneman, superintendent of the Oak Hills School District near Cincinnati.
- Donna Durno, executive director of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit in Pittsburgh, an education service unit that serves 42 school districts.
- Catherine Cross Maple, deputy secretary of education with the New Mexico Public Education Department.
The five candidates were among 39 to submit applications during a six-week national search by Worthington-based search firm Hudepohl & Associates. The firm distributed resumes and other candidate information to board members yesterday, the Dispatch said.
The candidates will interview with a subcommittee of the 19-member board headed by President Jennifer Sheets. The panel includes Governor Strickland's chief of staff, John Haseley. The interviews will be conducted in an executive session that is not open to the public, according to the Dispatch article.
According to the Gongwer News Service, economic advisors are telling Governor Strickland to expect more of the same next year. Gongwer said private sector economist told the Governor yesterday that the state's financial outlook wasn't very promising. If the economists are right, and from all indications in Columbus and Washington they are, flat funding or funding cuts for schools are probable for the FY 2010-2011 biennium.
The New York Times reported yesterday that a Harvard economist, Roland G. Fryer Jr., has often complained that there has been little money spent on efforts to scientifically test educational theories. He will now lead a $44 million effort, called the Educational Innovation Laboratory, "to bring the rigor of research and development to education." The initiative will team economists, marketers and others interested in turning around struggling schools with educators in New York, Washington and Chicago.
"The research is intended to infuse education with the data-driven approach that is common in science and business," Fryer said. He compared the current methods of educational research to the prescriptions of an ineffective doctor. “If the doctor said to you, ‘You have a cold; here are three pills my buddy in Charlotte uses and he says they work,’ you would run out and find another doctor,” Fryer said. “Somehow, in education, that approach is O.K.”
The new institute, backed by the Broad Foundation and other private groups, would be able to identify what works so that educators across the country could prioritize their spending, according to Fryer.
Read the New York Times article. Click: New Effort Aims to Test Theories of Education
At last evenings school board meeting, the Hamilton City School District Board of Education President ask State Senator Gary Cates what he thought of the next biennium budget, which covers fiscal years 2010 and 2011. His response:
Senator Cates said Governor Strickland doesn't present that budget until February 2009 and, in reference to legislative seats up for election in November he said, "Whoever is elected this fall will have to deal with that budget." Cates added, "If things don't pick up revenue wise, a lot of agencies, including school districts, could receive flat funding and some may see actual cuts from the previous year."
"That's going to be a challenge for the governor," Cates said. "It's days like this that I think he feels like he's the only one on the bridge of the ship and he hopes he doesn't see any icebergs."
Source: Hamilton News Journal
More students are taking algebra in eighth grade but not necessarily learning more math, according to a new study released yesterday by the Brookings Institution. The study finds that many of the nation's lowest-performing middle-schoolers are in way over their heads. They take algebra and other advanced math courses before they've mastered basic skills such as multiplication, division and problem-solving with fractions.
A Brookings Institution researcher looked at the skills of eighth-graders taking advanced math and found that nearly 29% were taking advanced math, despite having very low skills. How low? "On par with a typical second-grader. They lack a solid foundation in multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, rounding or place value. Yet they were tackling fairly sophisticated math. It's hard to teach a real algebra class if you have kids who don't know arithmetic," the researcher said.
Nearly seven years after the No Child Left Behind Act became law, two-thirds of state education departments report that they don’t have adequate capacity to help low-performing schools, says a study released Wednesday by the American Institutes for Research (AIR). "The AIR study reinforces what earlier research and anecdotal evidence from chief state school officers have found: State departments are struggling to meet the technical requirements of the law (NCLB) and provide help to struggling schools in the face of shrinking budgets and staff limitations," an Education Week article said
The AIR news release said, "The study, conducted with a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, found that states, which were already struggling with shrinking budgets, were constrained to design their NCLB support systems around what they thought they could accomplish. This leaves open the question of whether the supports provided were those needed by schools."
Read the AIR research brief. Click: State Capacity for School Improvement
Nearly seven years after the No Child Left Behind Act became law, two-thirds of state education departments report that they don’t have adequate capacity to help low-performing schools, says a study released Wednesday by the American Institutes for Research (AIR). "The AIR study reinforces what earlier research and anecdotal evidence from chief state school officers have found: State departments are struggling to meet the technical requirements of the law (NCLB) and provide help to struggling schools in the face of shrinking budgets and staff limitations," an Education Week article said
The AIR news release said, "The study, conducted with a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, found that states, which were already struggling with shrinking budgets, were constrained to design their NCLB support systems around what they thought they could accomplish. This leaves open the question of whether the supports provided were those needed by schools."
Read the AIR research brief. Click: State Capacity for School Improvement
The Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools held its first meeting of the school year Tuesday, September 16th at the Olde Dutch Restaurant in Logan. The program featured the first of four sessions being presented by Battelle for Kids. Dr. Jim Mahoney was the featured presenter on Tuesday, addressing the topic: A Look at the National Landscape - What Does It Mean for My District? Dr. Mahoney discussed four major issues: (1) Leadership; (2) High School Reform; (3) Teacher Quality; and (4) Differentiated Compensation. In addition, Jerry Klenke, BASA Executive Director, provided an informative overview of BASA activities for 2008-09 and a legislative update.
Sixty-eight area educators registered for the program with 58 attending. The aftermath of Sunday's windstorm forced several who planned to attend to remain in their districts. Fourteen (14) administrators have signed on for the new CORAS/Ohio University program offering graduate credit to those attending all four-sessions of the Battelle for Kids series. Registration for graduate credit remains open until September 22nd, for those who attended the September 16th program. You may register for credit by contacting Lori at 740-593-4414.
The second program in the Battelle for Kids series will be held on Tuesday, October 28, 2008 at the Olde Dutch Restaurant In Logan. The topic to be addressed will be: Highly-Effective Teaching Revealed and Replicated Through Classroom-Level Value-Added Analysis. Mark this date on your calendar.
Your organization continues to grow! CORAS membership is running well ahead of past years with over 110 new and renewal memberships to date. The Coalition is hoping to surpass 140 members this year. If your district has not already submitted your membership dues, please do so ASAP.
The following Bills were introduced in the Ohio House/Senate yesterday.
HB 618 SPECIAL EDUCATION - To specify that the school district of residence bears the burden of persuasion and the burden of production in an administrative hearing regarding the provision of special education and related services to a child with a disability.
SB 363 SCHOOL AID
- To pay an additional transitional aid amount in fiscal year 2009 to a city, exempted village, or local school district that experiences growth of more than one hundred students from fiscal year 2008 and to make an appropriation. Read SB 363. Click: As Introduced
Yesterday, Governor Strickland ordered an additional $540 million in budget cuts and spending reductions across state government. Earlier this year the governor cut state spending by $733 million. This means the state is looking at a $1.27 billion shortfall out of a two-year, $52 billion budget that ends in July 2009.
Yesterday's order is for a 4.75 percent cut across the board in all agencies except education, Medicaid, prisons and certain other priority budget line items. According to the Governor's website, the specific line items that are fully exempted from the cuts include the Department of Education line items for foundation funding, pupil transportation, gifted pupil program, special education enhancements and career/technical education enhancements and Board of Regents line items for OCOG, OIG, SSI and capital component.
Agencies with the biggest cuts are
• Job and Family Services: $79.9 million
• Department of Education: $25.9 million
• Board of Regents (universities): $22.2 million
• Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities: $16.9 million
• Mental Health: $10.4 million
Agencies are being given until September 22 to identify their cuts and until October 1 to implement them.
Read the press release, Governor Orders $540 Million in Adjustments to Preserve Ohio's Balanced Budget. Click: 9.10.08:
Sources: Governor's office and Columbus Dispatch
"While the State Board of Education complied with the governor's request to propose a budget with considerably lower funding, members also unanimously expressed support Tuesday for a spending plan that envisions moderate increases." ...Gongwer News Service
"Sen. Barack Obama proposed yesterday doubling federal money to start charter schools, including those managed by for-profit companies, which Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland and teachers unions oppose. But by pledging to shut down failing charter schools, Obama has Strickland and those unions on board with his plan. ' ...Columbus Dispatch
"Amid stepped-up school accountability pressures under the No Child Left Behind Act, many teachers appear to be adjusting how they do their jobs. But principals and district leaders are not necessarily in control of those instructional changes, a new study concludes." ...Education Week Read the EW article. Click: Leadership Gap Seen in Post-NCLB Changes in U.S. Teachers
"Creating a 21st century education system that prepares students, workers and citizens to triumph in the global skills race is the central economic competitiveness issue currently facing the United States, a new report says." ....Partnership for 21st Century Skills.
Read the report. Click: See 21st Century Skills, Education & Competitiveness Report
The following data from the Ohio's Local District Report Cards, released recently by the Ohio Department of Education and compiled by Tom McGuire, Athens County, show that students in public schools, and charter schools run by public schools, are outperforming students in all other charter schools. In addition, the data show that students attending charter schools run by for-profit entities are trailing all other students. See data below.
Summary of Public and Charter School Data From the 2007-2008 Report Cards
|Public school districts
|Excellent with distinction
|Excellent (both) and Effective
|Academic Watch and Emergency
|NOTE: Public school data excludes College Corner, Kelley's Island, North Bass Island, and Middle Bass Island Local School Districts
|Non profit charter schools run by entities other than public school districts
|Excellent with distinction
|Excellent (both) and Effective
|Academic Watch and Emergency
|Non profit charter schools run by public school districts
|| # schools
|Excellent with distinction
|Excellent (both) and Effective
|Academic Watch and Emergency
|For-profit charter schools
|Excellent with distinction
|Excellent (both) and Effective
|Academic Watch and Emergency
"This summary demonstrates that in all respects, students in public schools
and entities run by public schools are outperforming students in charter
schools. Students attending charter schools run by for-profit entities are
trailing all other students." ....Tom McGuire
Source: Data compiled by Tom McGuire (re-printed with permission)
"State [Ohio] revenues again fall short of estimates in August, with continuing weakness in income and sales taxes. It wasn't as bad as last month [July], but the state's revenue intake for August continued the downward trend for fiscal year 2009, with personal income and sales taxes failing to meet budget office estimates." .... Gongwer News Service, September 5, 2008
September 5, 2008- Local District Report Card School Building Rating
How did Ohio public school buildings rate, including the number of students in each category, on the 2007-08 Local District Report Cards?
SCHOOL BUILDINGS STUDENTS
%Buildings # Buildings %Students #Students
Excellent With Distinction...................................................4.22% ( 158 ) 4.72% ( 82,496 )
Excellent........................................................................ 29.82% (1,116) 35.79% (624,939)
Excellent (Total)...................................................... 34.04% (1,274) 40.51% (707,435)
Effective...........................................................................31.10% (1,164) 30.55% (533,452)
Continuous Improvement.............................................15.76% ( 590) 15.24% (266,191)
Academic Watch.................................................................. 6.14% ( 230) 5.82% (101,618)
Academic Emergency...................................................... 6.28% ( 235) 4.37% ( 76,304)
Not Rated..............................................................................6.68% ( 250) 3.51% ( 61,216)
Total buildings and students........................................ (3,743) (1,746,216)
Data Sources: Ohio Department of Education and Tom McGuire
The following "Point of View" was written by Rick Palsgrove, editor of the Southeast Messenger and managing editor of the Columbus Messenger Newspapers.
Point of View: What's the point? School rating system convoluted
(by Rick Palsgrove, Southeast Editor - August 30, 2008)
Is there anything more convoluted and nonsensical than the state school report card and its accompanying array of ever changing tests, rules, procedures, and seemingly make-it-up-as-you-go scoring system?
The closest thing to it may be the dreaded and reviled Internal Revenue Service with its twisted tax codes that indecipherably change every year...and we all know how beloved the IRS is, don't we?
The state's school rating system and tests, along with the burdensome federal rules, are bureaucratic torture at its worst. From the sea of Orwellian acronyms and titles associated with it to the ominous sounding "No Child Left Behind," teachers, administrators, students, and most of all, taxpaying parents and citizens, are left pondering what this mish mash of numbers means. Why must we all be put through this statistical meat grinder each school year? In the bigger scheme of things, the state report card is a meaningless measuring stick of arbitrarily imposed artificial numbers created by politicians and career bureaucrats far removed from the classroom setting.
This is a system that sets public schools up to fail because no matter how well a school performs, it can still get a low rating, as happened last year to some schools. One could have an excellent school district and not be rated as such merely because one or two statistical slots don't meet bureaucratic muster. A swing of a handful of student scores in some categories can result in a devastating and undeserved ranking that unfairly tarnishes a school district.
Why must this rating process be so complicated? Why do we have it at all? For decades, centuries even, the public school system under local control produced educated students without Big Brother watching over them.
Good teachers and good administrators can tell if a student is not learning. Now, in our so called modern world, state and federal government "educrats," who never see students, think a teacher, who works with a student every day for 180 days and knows the child's strengths and weaknesses, cannot take the necessary steps to help this kid learn. Isn't it better to measure a student's growth and knowledge based on a full school year's worth of work rather than a student's performance on one day taking a standardized test?
Teachers have to spend an inordinate amount of time "teaching to the test" for the students. Instead of teachers spending their time thinking about courses of study that will expand a child's mind, they are forced to plan how to make a student fit into a rigid standardized test oriented curriculum.
I can't help but think something is being lost in the educational process. Time spent drilling for the state tests could be spent on reading more great literature. It could be time spent on exploring the common sense beauty of mathematics. It could be time spent learning more foreign languages and cultures to realize one's place on the planet.
It could be time spent on more field trips to give students a sense of the real world that awaits them.
This whole mystical system makes me wonder. Are kids being taught to think and reason, or are they being trained in this process to be good little drones and follow procedures by regurgitating the information the tests feed on?
Learning is a broad process that need not be subjected to the narrow machinations of the bureaucratic mind. Remove this state report card yoke from around public schools. Let teachers teach. Let students learn.
Rick Palsgrove is editor of the Southeast Messenger and managing editor of the Columbus Messenger Newspapers.
September 3, 2008- Hard Times For Students & Schools
The New York Times said this week that "as 50 million children return to classes across the nation, crippling increases in the price of fuel and food, coupled with the economic downturn, have left schools from California to Florida to Maine cutting costs. Some are trimming bus service, others are restricting travel, and a few are shortening the school week. And as many districts are forced to cut back, the number of poor and homeless students is rising."
“The big national picture is that food and fuel costs are going up and school revenues are not,” said the executive director of the National School Boards Association. “We’re in a recession, and it’s having a dramatic impact on schools.”
According to the NY Times article, Detroit has laid off at least 700 teachers, Los Angeles 500 administrators and Miami-Dade County hundreds of school psychologists, maintenance workers and custodians. Schools in many states have cut bus stops to save diesel fuel. Districts in California and Ohio have gone further and eliminated bus service either completely or for high schools, leaving thousands of students to find their own way to school. In Maine, officials worried about the cost of heating their classrooms this winter have restricted travel for field trips to save money. Districts in Louisiana, Minnesota and elsewhere have taken a more radical measure and adopted four-day school weeks. Hundreds of districts, responding to higher food prices, are charging more for cafeteria meals.
In addition, many districts are serving increasing numbers of needy students. Nationally, 14.9 million students qualified for free lunches last year, according to data from the Agriculture Department; the administration's budget estimates that an additional 283,000 students will be eligible this year.
Read the article. Click: Hard Times Hitting Students and Schools
Source: New York Times
September 2, 2008- Research Questions Validity Of Ohio Report Card Ratings
According to an article in Sunday's Dayton Daily News, research conducted by Youngstown State education professor Randy Hoover, show Ohio has a large poverty gap in test performance between poor students and their wealthier classmates, regardless of race or ethnicity. Hoover said the correlation of nonschool factors like median income with test performance was off the charts.
"This is an extremely high correlation for social science research," he said. "I've never seen anything this high." Hoover's findings support a Dayton Daily News 2006 study of test performance and poverty in Ohio's 610 school districts that produced similar results. For that study, the newspaper's computer analysis of the impact of several student characteristics on test scores found median income of the district had by far the most powerful impact on its test performance. Hoover's study went further. The three factors he found were most likely to predict test performance were the percentage of single parent wage earners, the percentage of poor children and the median family income in the district.
Hoover claims that his study of testing data suggests Ohio cannot validly claim schools are improving or slipping. He argues the study shows Ohio draws invalid conclusions about the quality of school districts by using tests that largely measure how poverty impacts each district. In fact, he found far more high poverty districts scored well and more wealthy district scored badly after controlling what he called "lived experience" factors such as single parents, number of poor children and income. "There are as many school districts with advantaged students significantly underperforming as there are school districts with disadvantaged populations," Hoover wrote. "The stakeholders reading the Ohio school report cards have no way of knowing if the schools and districts are actually advancing academic achievement."
Karla Warren, a state education department spokeswoman, said "The Ohio Department of Education doesn't support the findings of this study, and we stand by our tests," she said. "Our tests undergo a detailed review process," the Dayton Daily News reported.
Read the article. Click: Student achievement gap exaggerated, prof claims
Source: Dayton Daily News
August 29, 2008- Receive Tuition Free Graduate Credit! Register Now For CORAS Program
PLEASE DISTRIBUTE THIS INFORMATION TO BUILDING ADMINISTRATORS AND OTHER INTERESTED PERSONS.
HAVE YOU REGISTERED FOR THE TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2008 CORAS PROGRAM?
Program descriptions and registration materials (see attached materials that may be reproduced)
are attached. The Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools, Battelle for Kids
and the Ohio University College of Education are offering a unique opportunity to CORAS
member school district administrators, faculty and staff to receive graduate credit, tuition free
, for attending the first four CORAS
programs listed below. Please give special attention to the information below and the attached support materials. We're hoping for a good response so that this offering can be continued into the future! If you have questions e-mail Dick Fisher, CORAS
Executive Director at: firstname.lastname@example.org
OHIO UNIVERSITY WILL GRANT GRADUATE CREDIT, TUITION FREE, TO CORAS MEMBER SCHOOL DISTRICT ADMINISTRATORS, FACULTY AND STAFF FOR ATTENDING THE FOUR CORAS PROGRAMS LISTED BELOW.
CORAS has arranged with Battelle for Kids to conduct four interconnected programs that can also stand alone as four separate presentations. Those attending all four programs will receive one (1) quarter hour graduate credit from Ohio University (a $387.00 savings). Those seeking graduate credit must submit payment of $145.00 prior to September 16, 2008, which includes a one-time $85.00 Ohio University fee and a $15.00 CORAS registration fee for each of the four sessions. Those not seeking graduate credit may pay the $15.00 by P.O. or at the door, as in past years. The $15.00 registration fee is to cover the cost of materials, continental breakfast and buffet lunch.
Each session will begin with registration/continental breakfast at 9:00 AM and conclude following a buffet luncheon at 12:30 PM. All four sessions will be held at the Olde Dutch Restaurant in Logan. See attachments for more detailed information about the programs.
The dates and programs are:
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
A Look at the National Education Landscape - What Does it Mean for My District?
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Highly-Effective Teaching Revealed and Replicated Through Classroom-Level Value-Added Analysis
Tuesday, January 27, 2008
Help Your District Develop a Vision for Assessment Excellence
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Leadership for Results
DON'T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY. REGISTER TODAY
Send the attached registration form to: CORAS, McCracken Hall, Room 313E, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701
August 28, 2008- How Do The Appalachian Districts Compare?
The following data compares the Ohio Appalachian school districts Local District Report Card ratings with (1) all school districts in Ohio and (2) the Ohio non-Appalachian school districts.
2007-08 Local District Report Card Ratings for Ohio School Districts (610 Districts, 88 Counties)
74 Excellent With Distinction
83 Continuous Improvement
9 Academic Watch
0 Academic Emergency
2007-08 Local District Report Card Ratings for Ohio Appalachian School Districts (127 Districts, 29 Counties)
3 Excellent With Distinction
29 Continuous Improvement
0 Academic Watch
0 Academic Emergency
The three (3) Ohio Appalachian school districts receiving an Excellent With Distinction rating are: East Holmes Local (Holmes); Dover City (Tuscarawas); and Wheelersburg Local (Lawrence).
School Year 2007-08
How do the Ohio Appalachian school districts compare, by percentage in each category, to all school districts in Ohio and to the non-Appalachian Ohio school districts in 2007-08?
||All Ohio Districts
|| (610 Districts)
|Excellent With Distinction
Rating factors in 2007-08 included 30-Performance Indicators, Performance
Index, Performance Index Improvement, Adequate Yearly Progress and
Value-Added. In addition, school districts that miss AYP for three
consecutive years in more than one student group in the most
recent year can be rated no higher than Continuous Improvement.
(Note: Value-added included in rating system in 2007-08)
School Year 2006-07
How did the Ohio Appalachian school districts compare, by percentage in each category, to all school districts in Ohio and to the non-Appalachian Ohio school districts in 2006-07?
||All Ohio Districts
|| (610 Districts)
Rating factors in 2006-07 included 30-Performance Indicators,
Performance Index, Performance Index Improvement,and Adequate Yearly
Progress. In addition, school districts that miss AYP for three
consecutive years in more than one student group in the most recent
year can be rated no higher than Continuous Improvement.
August 27, 2008- 2008 ACT/SAT Results Remain Relatively Flat
Average scores on the ACT college entrance exam dipped slightly for the high school class of 2008 as the number of students taking the exam jumped by 9 percent compared to last year. The average ACT composite score was 21.1 for the class of 2008, compared to 21.2 a year ago, on a scale of 1 to 36. A record 1.42 million, or 43 percent of this year's high school graduates took the ACT, up from 42 percent in 2007. Last year 1.3 million students took the ACT.
This year's results reveal that more than three in four test-takers will likely need remedial help in at least one subject to succeed in college. The percentage of ACT-takers in the class of 2008 meeting college-readiness benchmarks stayed steady. Only in English, in which the proportion of test-takers meeting the benchmark dropped 1 percentage point, decreased.
In Ohio, the average ACT score rose by one-tenth of a point above 2007, to 21.6. About two-thirds of Ohio seniors take the ACT and about half of all high schools have an average composite score between 20.1 and 22.1, according to the Ohio Department of Education.
The class of 2008 scored an average of 515 out of a possible 800 points on the math section of the SAT college entrance exam, a performance identical to graduating seniors 2007. Scores in the critical reading component among last spring's high-school seniors also held steady at 502. Average scores also remained constant on the writing portion of the SAT, which was added in 2006. For the second year in a row, the average score was 494, a three-point drop from 2006.
Ohio's SAT scores remain higher than the national averages, but the College Board says the two should not be compared because the state has a smaller percentage of test-takers. College-bound seniors from Ohio improved their math score by two points, for a mean score of 544. Their reading mean score dropped two points, to 534, while the writing score declined by a point to 521.
August 26, 2008- 2007-08 Local District Report Card Ratings
According to the unofficial results, 518 Ohio school districts, or 85 percent, received an "effective" rating or higher on the 2007-08 local district report cards. Seventy-four of the 518 school districts earned the new "excellent with distinction" designation. For the third year in a row, no districts were rated "academic emergency," and only nine districts were designated "academic watch."
The new value-added calculation was used for the first time this year. According to the Columbus Dispatch, about 44 percent of schools statewide did not make a year's worth of growth.
Sources: Zanesville Times Recorder, Columbus Dispatch and Canton Repository
August 25, 2008- Psychologist Says Non-Certificated Coaches Lack Ample Training
An Ohio psychologist, concerned that coaches aren't getting training in boundaries with their athletes, is pushing mandated psychosocial training for high school coaches in Ohio. "So many coaches come from outside of the school system, as much as 60-75%, and in many cases the age of coaches is getting younger," said Chris Stankovich of Columbus, and according to his website, a national authority in sport psychology. "Yet they have in many cases, zero training to work with kids. As a result, there have been a spike in the number of inappropriate relationships." Stankovich is concern that coaching certification programs are geared more toward first-aid than ethics and behavior.
According to USA Today, Stankovich and the staffs of State Senator Steve Stivers (Columbus) and State Representative Larry Flowers (Canal Winchester) are meeting with the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) this week to discuss additional training for Ohio coaches. " We're hoping that no law is required to get this done," said Shawn Busken, a legislative aide to Stivers. "There's no draft of legislation, but we see that a lack of training is available."
USA Today reported that OHSAA Commissioner Daniel Ross said the state is in the process of requiring training for non-certified coaches, using the National Federation of State High School Association's Fundamentals of Coaching Course, and it isn't the best time to add additional requirements for coaches. "We have to learn to crawl before we can walk," Ross said. "This is a big first step."
Source: USA Today
August 22, 2008- Tax Credits For Graduates To Stay In Ohio
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported yesterday that two members of the Ohio legislature have proposed a tax credit they hope will reverse the trend of college-educated young people fleeing Ohio for jobs elsewhere. The idea was unveiled Wednesday at a Statehouse news conference held by State Representative Josh Mandel, a Lyndhurst Republican, and State Representative Jay Goyal, a Mansfield Democrat.
Under the legislation, according to the Plain Dealer, college graduates who pledge to live in Ohio would earn a nonrefundable state income tax credit of up to $3,000 per year for up to 10 years. The plan would offer tax credits totaling $5,000 for those earning an associate's degree, $20,000 for a bachelor's degree and $30,000 for a master's degree or higher. The credits would be spread over 10 years, and if graduates weren't at first earning enough to use the full yearly credit, it could roll over within the decade-long window. Graduates would have to stay in Ohio for at least five years or risk having to pay the money back. The lawmakers said they were open to starting a similar program for those earning high-school degrees, but wanted to first target the more desirable, higher-skilled graduates. Neither lawmaker could offer a price tag for the program.
Both Maine and Oklahoma have begun programs in recent years in which college graduates are given tax incentives to stay in state, the Plain Dealer said.
August 21, 2008- Highlights Of The 40th Annual PDK/Gallup Public Schools Poll
A greater number of Americans think that Senator Barack Obama would be more likely than Senator John McCain to improve public schools as president, according to the PDK/Gallup poll being released today. The survey, conducted by Phi Delta Kappa International and the Gallup Organization, reports that 46 percent of respondents viewed Senator Obama as the candidate for the White House better able to strengthen public education, compared with 29 percent for Senator McCain. Twenty-five percent of respondents said they didn’t know which candidate would be better able to handle school policy.
Highlights of the 40th PDK/Gallup Poll:
Presidential Candidates — Americans view Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama as much more supportive of public schools than Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
Federal Funding — Americans support an increased use of federal funds to maintain local public schools.
No Child Left Behind — Fewer than 2 of 10 Americans believe the No Child Left Behind legislation should be continued without significant change.
Biggest Problems — Lack of funding for schools tops the list of “biggest problems facing schools” for the sixth year in a row.
International Comparisons — Americans’ impressions of public schools in Europe and Asia are very positive with almost 50% assigning grades of A’s and B’s, as compared with lower grades assigned to our nation’s schools.
College Courses for High School Students — Americans are supportive of high school students taking college-level courses and earning college-level credits while still in high school.
Paying for College — Even though college costs have increased significantly, seven of 10 American parents believe they will be able to pay for college for their oldest child, a finding consistent with the response 13 years ago when it was last asked .
Assessment — In a change from nine years ago, Americans believe written observations by teachers, as opposed to scores on standardized tests, are a superior way to document student academic progress.
Teacher Pay — Almost three of four Americans believe teachers should be paid higher salaries as an incentive to teach in schools identified as ‘in need of improvement.’
This year’s PDK/Gallup poll results mirror another recent survey that was released this week, which found that 62 percent of Americans believe that Democrats are more likely than Republicans to improve schools. The poll, conducted by the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University, is scheduled to be published in the fall issue of Education Next, a journal of research and opinion published by the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
To view the PDK/Gallup poll report, Americans Speak Out — Are Educators And Policy Makers Listening? The 40th Annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll Of the Public’s Attitudes Toward The Public Schools, click: Poll 40 2008
August 20, 2008- Appalachian Ohio STEM Initiative Update
On July 10th, Al Cote, SEOCEMS Director, participated in another meeting with the Ohio STEM Learning Network. The email message below from Shaun Yoder and the attachments provide a good summary of this meeting and some of the future activities being planned.
During the meeting participants were told that the next round of funding for Ohio's STEM Initiative would be announce by Mid-September. In anticipation of the release of the second round of STEM RFPs it was decided to hold a series of meeting across the Appalachian region in early in September. Brenda Haas, with her OACHE connections, and Cara Brooks, through her Appalachian Ohio Foundation economic and business connections, and CORAS/SEOCEMS, with our connections to schools, are to invite participation to these regional meetings.
Dear Southeastern Ohio STEM Stakeholders
Pursuant to our productive strategy meeting on July 10 at the Education Council in Columbus, attached please find a full summary of the meeting detailing our discussion, key questions, suggested PowerPoint presentation, and immediate next steps.
As promised, I’ve also attached a full spreadsheet that includes all of the Southeastern Ohio stakeholders which the OSLN has been in contact with over the past several months. This should be helpful as we begin to think about attendees and connecting all the dots for the upcoming September meetings.
Per my discussions with Brenda Haas, we are tentatively holding September 9, 10 and 11 for the three Southeastern Ohio STEM meetings in each economic development region.
In terms of next steps, my understanding is that the “program” team is working to harvest the data needs identified in the July 10th meeting – see attached summary for a complete list. Additionally, Brad Mitchell is working to schedule a conference call with the team for sometime next week.
The “logistical” team, through Brenda Haas’s leadership, is strategizing on locations and attendees for the three September meetings. OACHE plans to start the invitation list this week. OACHE will design and mail invitations (by August 20) to all invitees. Invitations will include a location and brief overview of the meetings. The full group will have an opportunity to vet and discuss invitees.
As we move forward, let’s stay in touch via email. Additionally, ongoing conference calls by teams – as demonstrated by the “program” team – might be necessary to keep things moving.
You may RSVP by calling 866-GO-OACHE (toll-free), or by emailing email@example.com
Regional STEM Engagement Meetings
Economic Development Region 7 - September 9, OSU Endeavor Center, Piketon
Economic Development Region 10 - September 10, West Elementary School, Newcomerstown
Economic Development Region 11 - September 11, Rio Grande Community College, Meigs County Bernard V. Fultz Center
What does STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) mean for Appalachian Ohio? You are invited to be part of a discussion involving partners in and beyond the region that will look at our STEM education capacity, as well as STEM-related jobs and economic growth potential, in Appalachian Ohio’s three State Economic Development Regions (7,10 and 11). We will also discuss next steps—one of which could include seeking state funding for STEM initiatives. Our discussion will take place in three engagement meetings (one in each Economic Development Region) on September 9, 10 and 11. Representatives from K-12, higher education and business are being invited, and the meetings will be open to the public. Please join us at one of these engagement meetings to discuss how to move Appalachian Ohio forward in STEM education and economic development.
Ohio Appalachian Center for Higher Education, Shawnee State University,
Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, Governor’s Office of Appalachia, Business Alliance for
Higher Education and the Economy, Educational Council, CORAS, SEOCEMS, ITAAO
August 19, 2008- Ohio Public-Private Collaborative Commission Report
The Public-Private Collaborative Commission, convened last year by the Governor and Legislature, says the way the state thinks about education has to change. The Commission issued a report yesterday urging schools, superintendents and their communities to make improving education a priority. The Commission Vision: "All Ohio learners will have access to and reap the benefits of a birth-to-career, student centered, performance-based education system, with responsibility for results shared by communities, families and schools."
To prepare students for this new environment, the Commission’s recommendations are structured around "four game-changing action priorities" that keep the best of today’s education system at the same time that a 21st-century learning system is created efficiently, effectively and quickly. The priorities are:
Action Priority #1 Create a new culture of learning in which entire communities share responsibility for the well-being and educational performance of every student.
Action Priority #2 Meet the learning needs of all students through a system of extended, accelerated and connected learning.
Action Priority #3 Make dropout prevention, early intervention and recovery a priority in every Ohio school and school district, beginning in the early grades.
Action Priority #4 Enhance school leaders’ willingness and capacity to build strategic bridges with families and communities.
The report acknowledges that the Commission’s proposed actions are substantial in scope and ambitious in design. Carrying them out will be difficult because they will take time, they require sustained commitments and resources, and they cannot be implemented in a piecemeal fashion."
Read the Public-Private Collaborative Commission's executive summary. Click: executive summary
Read the full report, Supporting Student Success: A New Learning Day in Ohio. Click: full report
August 13, 2008- Poll Finds Drop In Public's Regard For Schools
Americans express less confidence in the nation’s public schools and less support for the renewal of the No Child Left Behind Act than they did a year ago, according to the results of an opinion poll released yesterday. The poll, a project of the Hoover Institution, Education Next at Stanford University and the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University, shows that 26 percent of respondents give public schools a grade of D or F, compared with just 20 percent who give the schools an A or a B. When a similar poll by the same research group asked the same question last year, 27 percent gave the nation’s schools an A or a B. The poll also shows that Americans are more likely to give favorable grades to the local police force and the post office than they are their local schools. The nationally representative survey of 3,200 people has a margin of error of 1 percentage point. Other poll findings include:
Sixty-two percent of Americans believe Democrats are more likely than Republicans to improve the schools. This finding marks a shift in attitudes since 2000, when surveys showed that Americans’ opinions were much more closely divided on which party was more likely to improve schools.
Fifty-six percent of the public say that the local public schools are heading in the right direction, compared to 44 percent who believe they are on the wrong track.
The public is divided on the future of the No Child Left Behind Act, with half saying the federal law should be renewed as it is or with a few adjustments, and the other half saying it needs major changes or should be abandoned altogether.
Public school teachers, who constituted 700 of the people surveyed, are far less supportive of the law, which requires schools to meet annual targets on standardized tests. Only 26 percent would like to see the act renewed with minimal changes, 33 percent are in favor of a complete overhaul, and 42 percent of the teachers surveyed think Congress shouldn’t renew the NCLB law.
Americans are supportive of academic standards and of holding schools accountable through tests. Sixty-nine percent of the respondents said they are in favor of national standards and tests in math, science, and reading.
Respondents were also asked for their opinions of educating students with emotional or behavior problems in regular classrooms, known as mainstreaming. Only 28 percent of respondent, and 25 percent of teacher, were in favor of the idea.
Sixty-four percent of respondents said they favor using online education to help high school students in rural areas gain access to more courses, and 68 percent said they favor students’ using online education to earn college credit. But support dropped significantly, by more than 20 percentage points, for giving high school dropouts and home-schooled students access to Web-based courses.
Read the Hoover Institution, Education Next poll news release.
Click: opinion poll
Sources: Hoover Institution, Education Next, Program on Education Policy and Governance and Education Week
August 12, 2008- Bits & Briefs
"NO CHILD LEFT OUTSIDE" Outdoor and environmental educators across the nation are ramping up pressure on Congress and their state lawmakers to add funding for nature learning. The effort dubbed "No Child Left Inside" could mean millions more for environmental education, and a major windfall for nonprofits hoping for more federal help getting kids outside. ....Associated Press
CHALLENGE FOR RECRUITERS A high turnover among top state school officers nationwide is posing a challenge for recruiters seeking people with the right mix of educational acumen and political savvy to fill the vacant or soon-to-be-vacant spots. Nine state schools chiefs, including Ohio, have left their posts or have announced their intent to step down this year, because of retirement, political pressures, or simply a desire to move on. ...Education Week
INDIANA TAX OVERHAUL Tax overhaul legislation signed into law this year in Indiana, calls for the state to pick up 100 percent of the funding formula rather than just 82 percent as it has done in the recent past. The state will support the general fund where most of day-to-day operating expenses come from such as teacher salaries and programs. However, property tax revenue will continue to support other school funds such as the transportation, capital projects and debt service fund. ....Northwest Indiana Times
RISING FOOD EXPENSES Nationwide, more than 31 million children eat the U.S. Department of Agriculture's free or discount lunches at school. According to the U.S. Consumer Price Index, in the first six months of this year food expenses rose at a rate of 8.7 percent. However, USDA announced this summer it would pay only about a dime more than last year's per-meal subsidy, paying a maximum of $2.34 per meal for a discount lunch and $2.74 for a free one. ....The Arizona Republic
August 11, 2008- 2008-09 CORAS Meetings/Graduate Credit
member superintendents and others on the CORAS
mailing list will receive the following letter, along with program descriptions and registration materials, this week via U.S. Mail. The Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools, Battelle for Kids
and the Ohio University College of Education are offering a unique opportunity to CORAS
member administrators, faculty and staff to receive graduate credit, tuition free
, for attending CORAS
meetings. Please give special attention to the letter below and the support materials that you will receive. We're hoping for a good response so that this offering can be continued into the future! If you have questions e-mail Dick Fisher, CORAS
Executive Director at: firstname.lastname@example.org
COALITION OF RURAL AND APPALACHIAN SCHOOLS
313E McCracken Hall
Athens, Ohio 45701
To: CORAS Members
From: Dick Fisher, Executive Director
Re: 2008-09 Membership Meetings
Date: August 11, 2008
OHIO UNIVERSITY TO GRANT GRADUATE CREDIT, TUITION FREE, TO CORAS MEMBER ADMINISTRATORS, FACULTY AND STAFF FOR ATTENDING 2008-09 CORAS PROGRAMS
The format will be different for the first four CORAS membership meetings during the 2008-09 school year. CORAS has arranged with Battelle for Kids to conduct four interconnected programs that can also stand alone as four separate presentations. The programs are:
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
A Look at the National Education Landscape-What Does it Mean for My District?
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Highly-Effective Teaching Revealed and Replicated Through Classroom-Level Value-Added Analysis
Tuesday, January 27, 2008
Help Your District Develop a Vision for Assessment Excellence
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Leadership for Results
Each session will begin with registration/continental breakfast at 9:00 AM and conclude following a buffet luncheon at 12:30 PM. All four sessions will be held at the Olde Dutch Restaurant in Logan. A more detailed description of the program is attached.
The Ohio University College of Education has agreed to grant one (1) quarter hour graduate credit, tuition fee, (a $387.00 savings) to administrators and employees of CORAS member schools who attend all four sessions. However, there will be a one-time $85.00 Ohio University fee, plus a $15.00 CORAS registration fee for each session. The latter fee is to cover the cost of materials, continental breakfast and buffet lunch.
Attendance at all four sessions is required to receive one (1) quarter hour of graduate credit from Ohio University. Those seeking graduate credit must submit payment of $145.00 prior to September 16, 2008, which includes the $85.00 Ohio University fee and the $15.00 CORAS registration fee for each of the four sessions. Those not seeking graduate credit may pay the $15.00 by P.O. or at the door, as in past years.
August 8, 2008- Constitutional Amendment Proposed In Oklahoma
A petition drive to force extra spending on public schools kicked off in Oklahoma in late July. The HOPE, or Helping Oklahoma Public Education, campaign seeks to amend the Oklahoma Constitution and require the Legislature to fund public education to at least the per-pupil average of neighboring states. Oklahoma provides per-pupil funding of $6,900, while the average investment of surrounding states is $8,300 per pupil, according to the Oklahoma Education Association. Petition supporters want to collect 200,000 signatures by the first week of November, well above the 138,970 need to place the question on the ballot.
Source: The Associated Press
August 7, 2008- August 5th Election Results
Only 9 of 32 school tax issues (28.1%) passed in Tuesday's August special election. Requests for new money showed 2 issues passing and 13 failing, a 13.3% passing rate. Four of twelve (33.3%) bond issues passed. Three of five renewal issues were successful.
According to the Ohio Department of Education, there were 21 school ballot issues in August 2007 with 14.3% passing. In August 2006, 31 school issues were on the ballot and 29% passed. Fifty-one school issues appeared on the 2005 August ballot and 37.3% passed.
Source: Ohio Department of Education
August 6, 2008- Two Quotes, Though Out Of Context, Can Stand Alone
"The intense competition of the global economy demands that all of America’s young people receive the kind of education they need and deserve. Yet to make that happen, the United States must confront the fact that inequality continues to plague its public schools." ....Education Week
Educational funding is being allocated on the basis of "staff allocations, program-specific formulae, squeaky-wheel politics, property wealth, and any number of other factors that have little to do with the needs of students." ....Thomas B. Fordham Institute
August 5, 2008- School Tax Issues On Tuesday's Ballot
There are 32 school issues appearing on today's August special election ballot. Below is the list of the school issues broken down by type:
- 12 School Bond issues. To view school districts, click: Bond Issues
- 18 School Property Tax Issues. To view school districts, click: Tax Issues
- 2 School Income Tax Issues. To view school districts, click: Miscellaneous questions
According to the Ohio Department of Education, there were 21 school ballot issues in August 2007 with 14.3% passing. In August 2006, 31 school issues were on the ballot and 29% passed. Fifty-one school issues appeared on the 2005 August ballot and 37.3% passed.
Source: Ohio Secretary of State and Ohio Department of Education
August 4, 2008- Families, In Addition To Schools, Struggle
As the economy worsens and unemployment rises, it is becoming less likely that additional money for schools is on the horizon. Ohio's June unemployment rate was 6.6 percent, up from 6.3 percent in May, the highest since October 1993. The state's unemployment rate increased a full percentage point from April to June, the largest two-month increase in Ohio since 1981. In several Ohio Appalachian counties the unemployment rate is in the 10 percent range.
The nation's unemployment rate rose to 5.7 percent, up from 5.5 percent in June, sending unemployment to its highest rate in four years. The nation's unemployment rate for teenagers jumped to 20.3 percent, the highest since 1992.
In addition to higher unemployment numbers, costs for most everything are rising at an accelerated rate.
- A report from the National Center for Education Statistics shows the 2006 unemployment rate in the U.S. for adults (25 years old and over) who had not completed high school was 6.8%, compared to 4.3% for those who had completed high school and 2.0% for those with a bachelor's or higher degree.
- A report commissioned by the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies released last Wednesday provides a snapshot look at how much money it takes for average families to survive in each of Ohio's 88 counties. Entitled "The Self-Sufficiency Standard for Ohio 2008," the report compares cost-of-living statistics from around the state with the federal poverty level, minimum wage and median family incomes. Read the report. Click: Ohio Self-Sufficiency Report (PDF)
Sources: Associated Press, Columbus Dispatch, Chillicothe Gazette, Zanesville Times Recorder, Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies and National Center for Education Statistics
August 1, 2008- More Students To Attend Private Schools At Taxpayer Expense
More than 10,450 public school students in Ohio will attend private schools at taxpayer expense this fall, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Last year about 7,000 students used vouchers to enroll in private schools. The vouchers are worth up to $4,375 for elementary and middle school tuition, and up to $5,150 for high schools. The report said only students who attend schools that have been rated in Academic Watch or Academic Emergency for at least two of the last three years qualify. The Ohio Educational Choice scholarships (vouchers) program is in its third year.
Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
July 31, 2008- Media Commentaries Worth Repeating
"Over-reliance on local property taxes to fund public education creates tremendous inequalities around Ohio from one district to the next. It cheats the young people of our state of the best possible education we can provide." ..... Bucyrus Telegraph Form
"For more than a decade, school funding in Ohio has been like the weather. We love to talk about it. But no one does anything about it. That simply must change. One difference this time could be [Governor] Strickland will represent himself at the "listening table" more often than not. Hopefully, that will make a difference." ....Bucyrus Telegraph Forum
"[Governor] Strickland acknowledged the financial challenges inherent in most of the ideas, but said it's imperative to talk about reforming education before tackling school funding itself, which was his campaign pledge in 2006." ...Cincinnati Enquirer
"He [Governor Strickland] also continues to challenge voters to judge him on his efforts to address the education funding conundrum. It is the rare politician that reminds voters of his or her campaign promises long after the final votes have been tabulated." ....Akron Beacon Journal
July 30, 2008- Fuel Prices Force Schools To Weigh Cuts
A survey by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) finds 99% of superintendents contacted say they're feeling the pinch from high fuel costs and 77% say they're not getting any help from their state. The AASA survey of 546 superintendents, released yesterday, follows an informal poll last month that found fuel and heating costs rising from 10% to 32% over last year. Other surveys have found that transportation costs are up by as much as 40% in the nation's 14,100 school districts.
The percentage of superintendents who say their school districts are taking the following steps to counteract rising fuel prices:
59% Various energy conservation measures
44% Cutting back on student field trips.
37% Cutting back on heating and air conditioning
35% Consolidating bus routes
34% Limiting staff business travel
33% Eliminating/modifying support personnel jobs
31% Cutting back on purchasing supplies
29% Delaying facility upgrades and repairs
29% Eliminating or modifying teaching positions
21% Eliminating/modifying administrative jobs
15% Eliminating bus routes
15% Eliminating/modifying extracurricular offerings or sports.
15% Considering moving to a four-day school week.
Sources: USA Today and American Association of School Administrators Fuel and Energy Snapshot Survey
July 29, 2008- Is Denver Merit-Pay Model In Trouble?
An article in this week's edition of Education Week said Denver’s performance-pay system for teachers has long been hailed as a model, in good part because it was jointly conceived and implemented by the school district and the local teachers’ union. But, according to the article, that collaborative spirit is now in jeopardy, with union and district leaders engaged in a protracted battle over proposed changes to the system. The impasse in Denver is significant at a time when performance-pay, or merit pay, has gained popularity among politicians, including Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain, who have spoken out in favor of performance pay.
It was pointed out that the only study relating to the effectiveness of the Denver performance-pay system, conducted by an assistant professor of education at the University of Colorado, found that teachers who opted into the program raised student test scores only slightly compared with their peers who did not take part in the pay plan. However, that study looked at only two years’ worth of data.
Read the article. Click: Denver Merit-Pay Plan Embroiled in Conflict
July 28, 2008- Reforming Public Education And School Funding In Ohio
From "Featured Commentaries," Akron Beacon Journal
"As a former congressman and lifelong resident of Appalachia, he [Governor Strickland] understands that your place of birth and where you are raised in this state predetermines the quality of your educational opportunity."
"Lawmakers have been reluctant in the past to address school funding in any meaningful way in large part because the current system burdens local school boards and superintendents with asking voters for tax increases and frees lawmakers to run on anti-tax platforms."
"But with so much at stake, and the lack of any leadership on this issue from previous governors, it is not too much to give Strickland the benefit of the doubt and trust he is sincere. It is really the only hope we hold."
....Dennis Willard, Akron Beacon Journal, July 27, 2008
Read the commentary. Click: Dennis Willard: Governor's 12-city tour seems sincere
From "Columns," Akron Beacon Journal:
"He [Governor Strickland] spoke memorably about ''the anemic . . . cowardly political structure that is unwilling to take the bold action that needs to be taken . . . to make elementary and secondary education adequately and fairly funded in our state.''
"Say, the governor puts forward a reasonable plan, one meriting discussion, inviting compromise, offering the possibility of improving a funding system that has been punishing to schools and the state. Will Republicans choose to be part of the solution?"
"Ted Strickland wants to get beyond much of the here and now. He wants to engage Ohioans in something larger, their capacity to compete and prosper, the quality of life they will leave to the next generation. He's doing what a governor should do."
....Michael Douglas, Akron Beacon Journal, July 27, 2008
July 25, 2008- "School Funding Still Ridiculous" & "Talking With Ted"
From the editorial in the Thursday, July 24, 2008, Ironton Tribune, School funding still ridiculous
"More affluent school districts have more prepared students to work with and more resources to teach them. Poorer districts have fewer resources to teach many students who have more needs and it’s necessary for the government to recognize the correlation between economics and educational performance. Furthermore, the system appears to be backwards. More funding, not less, is required for these districts to devote the necessary resources to students who may need more attention."
From the editorial in the Friday, July 25, 2008, Akron Beacon Journal, Talking With Ted
"Again, much high-minded talk has been uttered, and many rocky paths remain, interest groups defiant, even destructive. Yet here is a governor mobilizing his office in a vigorous way, seeking to rally its considerable power. The governor plans a second set of conversations in the fall specifically about funding. Yes, he may fail, ultimately. For now, Ohioans are right to consider: Maybe this time will be different."
July 24, 2008- Governor: School Funding Discussions To Be Held This Fall
Governor Strickland told an Akron audience yesterday that a discussion on school funding will take place in a second series of conversations this fall, but he wants to know what kind of education system he's funding before he talks to voters about how to pay for it. ''We're going to be more successful if we can say to people, this is what we want to provide educationally, and this is how much we think it's going to cost or how we think it ought to be financed,'' the Governor said. ''I think that's a better argument than just simply implying that we want more money to do whatever we're already doing. We're already spending a lot of money to do what we're already doing.''
July 23, 2008- Governor's Conversation On Education Schedule And Video Connections
Governor Ted Strickland has scheduled 12 statewide meetings to help develop his education plan . The Governor has invited business leaders, educators, parents and students to attend the meetings to be broadcast on some public television stations and live on the Internet. The first meeting was held yesterday in Columbus with another meeting this afternoon in Akron, Monday in Cincinnati and Tuesday in Dayton.
The meetings will address education policies. The focus is on six principles the Governor spelled out in his State of the State address earlier this year. They are:
-- Strengthen the commitment to public education;
-- Link education to economic prosperity;
-- Identify the strengths of schools;
-- Consult and follow the lead of teachers;
-- Develop specific, personalized education programs appropriate to a student's needs and abilities; and
-- Use testing to understand a student's capabilities, weaknesses and growth.
A second set of meetings this fall will explore changes to Ohio's school-funding system.
Live video of each meeting will be broadcast on the homepage of this site (www.ConversationOnEducation.org), . In order to view the live video presentation, you must have a recent version of Adobe Flash Player and a broadband Internet connection. Upon completion, all meetings will also be saved in the media archive on the website above for later viewing. Visit the site above for information on how to sponsor a WATCH PARTY.
The times and locations for the remaining meetings are:
Akron--July 23, 2008 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Live web cast
Broadcast July 23 at 10:00PM
Cincinnati--July 28, 2008 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Live broadcast - Analog Channel 48 and Digital Channel 48.1
Live broadcast - 4:30 p.m. on CET digital 34.2, Time Warner 8 and 13 (Cincinnati) Time Warner 20 (Western Ohio).
Live web cast
Dayton--July 29, 2008 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Rebroadcast on 7/29 at 8:30 p.m. on Channel 16-Ohio (Digital 16.5, Time Warner-Dayton Channel 720, Time Warner-Cincinnati Channel 918) and 7/20 at 9 p.m. on Channel 14-World (Digital 14.5, Time Warner-Dayton 715).
Live web cast
Cleveland--August 6, 2008 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Zanesville--August 11, 2008 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Chillicothe--August 12, 2008 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Lima--August 15, 2008 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Marietta--August 18, 2008 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Toledo--August 20, 2008 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Live broadcast on analog 48 and digital 48
Live web cast
Youngstown--September 3, 2008 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Mansfield--September 15, 2008 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
July 23, 2008- Graduate Credit For Attending 2008-09 CORAS Meetings
OHIO UNIVERSITY TO GRANT GRADUATE CREDIT, TUITION FREE, FOR ATTENDING 2008-09 CORAS MEETINGS
The format will be different for the first four CORAS membership meetings during the 2008-09 school year. CORAS has arranged with Battelle for Kids to conduct four interconnected programs that can also stand alone as four separate presentations. The programs are:
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
A Look at the National Education Landscape-What Does it Mean for My District?
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Highly-Effective Teaching Revealed and Replicated Through Classroom-Level Value-Added Analysis
Tuesday, January 27, 2008
Help Your District Develop a Vision for Assessment Excellence
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Leadership for Results
Each session will begin with registration/continental breakfast at 9:00 AM and conclude following a buffet luncheon at 12:30 PM. All four sessions will be held at the Olde Dutch Restaurant in Logan, Ohio.
The Ohio University College of Education has agreed to grant one (1) quarter hour graduate credit, tuition fee, (a savings of nearly $400) to administrators and employees of CORAS member schools who attend all four sessions. However, there will be one-time $85.00 Ohio University fee, plus a $15.00 CORAS registration fee for each session. The latter fee is to cover the cost of materials, continental breakfast and buffet lunch.
Attendance at all four sessions is required to receive one (1) quarter hour of graduate credit from Ohio University. Those seeking graduate credit must submit payment of $145.00 prior to September 16, 2008, which includes the $85.00 Ohio University fee and the $15.00 CORAS registration fee for each of the four sessions. Those not seeking graduate credit may pay the $15.00 by P.O. or at the door, as in past years.
Mark your calendars today. Registration materials and more detailed information about each session will be mailed to CORAS members in early August.
July 17, 2008- More On Ohio's School Funding Gaps
An Education Trust website news release says Ohio, "not only closed their low-income funding gaps, they reversed them and began providing more funding to their highest-poverty districts."
We do not know what data were used by the Education Trust to arrive at this conclusion, but it doesn't measure up against data on the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) website. According to ODE data, a number of Ohio's wealthier school districts per pupil expenditure has increased by at least $5,000 to over $7,000 during the 10 year period since the DeRolph decision in 1997. The increase in the per pupil expenditure during the same period for the 10 lowest spending Ohio Appalachian school districts ranged from a low of $411 to a little over $2,800. In addition, a recent email from the E&A Coalition pointed out that from 1997 to 2008 the average expenditure per pupil in the 30 lowest expenditure districts increased $2705, while the 30 highest expenditure districts increased $5080. Bob Haas, a member of the River Valley Board of Education and guest columnist for the Marion Star, listed a variety of school funding inequities and said, "By almost every financial measure, there is no "equity" in funding for Ohio's public schools. The state of Ohio is supposed to have a public school system that provides similar educational opportunities for all Ohio children. We are not even close." To read his article click:
It may also be worth noting that the per pupil expenditure in some of the wealthier Ohio school districts has increased by more dollars since FY 1998 than the total 2007 per pupil expenditure for several Ohio Appalachian districts. Do not be deceived by reports that claim the school funding gap in Ohio has decreased even slightly. It is increasing!
July 16, 2008- School Supplies, Textbooks Costs Continue To Rise
A recent online survey by Huntington Bank found more than half of public school students underestimate the cost of buying school supplies. The bank estimates that parents need to be prepared to spend $385 for elementary school children, $551 for middle school children and $911 for high school students. The outlook isn't any better for college students. In the past two decades book prices have risen at twice the rate of inflation, according to a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. This school year, textbooks and supplies are expected to cost college students $805 to $1,229, according to the College Board.
July 15, 2008- Number Of Homeless Children Expected To Rise
The Ohio Department of Education recorded a 13 percent increase in student homelessness between the 2005-2006 school year and 2006-2007, the last year for which statistics were available. A total of 13,610 Ohio school children had experienced homelessness at some point during the 2006-07 school year, an increase of more than 1,600 over the previous year. Ohio had 9,887 homeless children in 2004-05 and 11,977 in 2005-06. Poverty issues are one of the main causes for homelessness, according to the youth advocacy program coordinator with the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio. However, because of the housing crisis, a much higher number of homeless children is expected this school year. The increasing numbers of homeless children extends beyond cities to rural areas, according to reports.
Source: Toledo Blade
July 14, 2008- "A Reality Check For Ohio k-12 Public School 'System' Funding"
The following article appeared in the Guest Columnist Section of the Sunday, July 13, 2008 Marion Star.
A reality check for Ohio's K-12 public school 'system' funding
Seventeen years ago, in May 1991, the DeRolph lawsuit, which challenged the way Ohio funds its public K-12 schools, was filed in Perry County. Just over eleven years ago, in March of 1997, the Ohio Supreme court declared the school funding system unconstitutional, and directed the Ohio legislature to create a new system, one that lessened the reliance of local property taxes for funding public schools.
What is the result?
The February 2008 Cupp report (available from the Ohio Department of Education Web site), which summarizes spending for public K-12 districts in Ohio, reveals the following facts:
Per-pupil revenue (the amount districts bring in) for school districts in Ohio ranges from just over $6,400 to just over $21,000. 155 districts bring in more than $10,000 for every student; 80 districts bring in less than $8,000 per student.
Per-pupil spending (the amount districts spend) ranges from $6,876 (Columbus Grove) to $18,750 (Cuyahoga Heights). 106 districts spend more than $10,000 per student; 145 districts spend less than $8,000 per student
The revenue-per-pupil raised by a 1-mill property tax ranges from $39 to $650. This means that the same tax rate (about $35 per year for every mill for someone who lives in a $100,000 house) will provide a substantially different dollar amount per pupil in different local school districts.
Inside millage in school systems - unvoted millage that allows school district revenue to grow as property values grow - ranges from a low of 0.35 mills to a high of 6.90 mills. In Marion County, there are five public school districts and five different inside millage rates - from 3.3 mills (Marion City Schools) to 6.0 mills (Pleasant Local Schools).
Voters in 172 districts have enacted an income tax that supports the local school system
By almost every financial measure, there is no "equity" in funding for Ohio's public schools. The state of Ohio is supposed to have a public school system that provides similar educational opportunities for all Ohio children. We are not even close.
It is time to consider some radical changes in school funding
Pooling a substantial portion of property taxes, either statewide or by region or county
Setting a consistent inside millage rate for all school districts
Consolidating districts or splitting large district
Shifting property tax revenue from "rich" districts to "poor" districts
Changing the law to allow for some additional revenue growth for districts (eliminate the "rollback" provision in HB920)
There is little support for any of these changes; that's one reason we are stuck with the funding system we currently have. School organizations (OSBA) are against "pooling;" rich districts understandably do not support any redistribution of their revenue; legislators and taxpayers do not support eliminating the rollback; few want to discuss consolidation.
Another problem with either providing additional funding or redistributing existing funding for schools is that it is difficult to say with certainty that a specific dollar amount will result in a corresponding gain in student performance (assuming we have an agreed-upon definition of performance). Learning and teaching are complex processes and improvements are not immediate. But to those who say that the per-pupil funding level doesn't make any difference, I propose a straightforward experiment - let's ask Cuyahoga Heights and Columbus Grove to swap funding levels for three years. Let's see if this will make any difference in student performance at those schools.
Ohio's children are not "raw material" that can be run through a "process" to create a consistent "product." Ohio's public schools have to meet students where they are and move students forward. Students in the same grade do not all start at the same place - each student is unique. There are teaching methods that work, but teaching and learning are not "one-size-fits-all" processes. Test scores cannot be the sole determinant of quality or performance.
To be fair, in the 17 years that have passed since the DeRolph decision, the legislature has taken steps to reduce inequities in funding, has provided significant state funding for buildings, and has tinkered around the edges of the funding system. The state of Ohio does try to account for the difference in local property tax valuation through the state foundation formula; low-wealth districts get a higher amount of state funding per-pupil than high-wealth districts. But the result of all of this is clear - significant funding inequities remain.
The governor has promised to release details of a new funding plan within the next few months, but as long as local property taxes are a primary source of revenue for local school systems, many schools will struggle. If we cannot fix Ohio's public school funding system to provide a more consistent education (yes, that means funding level) for every child enrolled in Ohio's public schools, it may be that we should just quit trying. Perhaps we need to create a "full disclosure" statement similar to the following:
Dear Ohio Public School Student:
Despite our best efforts, we have not been able to devise a way to fund Ohio's public schools so that every student will have a similar educational experience; some public schools will continue to have three times as many dollars-per-student as other public schools. This means the educational opportunities available to you in an Ohio public K-12 school will depend to a great degree on where you live. This does not mean your local community does not value education, or that your parents do not support your school - it just means that our funding system causes significant inequalities. Of course, every public school will do the best it can with the resources available.
We wish you good luck as you pursue your education,
Ohio's elected representatives, on behalf of the citizens of Ohio
Bob Haas has served as a member of the River Valley Board of Education since 1992. His opinions do not necessarily reflective of the opinions of the River Valley School Board or administration.
July 11, 2008- Fuel Costs, Forcing Busing Cuts, May Jeopardize Safety
Superintendents and boards of education are trying to cope with the soaring costs of fuel for school buses. A USA Today report said fuel costs are up 35%-40% since last year. As a result schools are requiring more students walk to school, cutting buses for extracurricular activities, and more are considering a four-day school week.
The USA Today report said more schools in Ohio are cutting back to the minimum requirement, which means buses only for kindergartners through eighth-graders who live more than 2 miles from school. The article said the number of Ohio students on daily buses is down 9 percent, from 1.1 million to 1 million. However, busing advocates say cutting basic bus service jeopardizes safety. About 800 students die each year going to and from school, but only about 20 deaths are bus-related, according to the National Academies of Sciences.
In 1997, the Ohio Supreme Court said, "In establishing such a system [an entirely new school financing system], the General Assembly shall recognize that there is but one system of public education in Ohio: It is a statewide system, expressly created by the state's highest document, the Constitution." If it is in fact one statewide system of public education, established by the Ohio Constitution, why does the state treat some of its school children better than others?
July 9, 2008- Districts With Low Property Valuation Left Behind
The DeRolph decision focused on the over-reliance on the property tax to fund schools. However, many districts with low property valuation have been left behind since that 1997 ruling. Using the Ohio Department of Education EFM (Expenditure Flow Model) per pupil expenditure, the following is a comparison of Ohio's highest (above $14,000 per pupil) school districts to the lowest (below $7,400 per pupil) Ohio Appalachian school districts. The chart shows the per pupil expenditure increases since the DeRolph decision in 1997.
Ohio's Highest (over $14,000 per pupil) 2007 EFM Per Pupil Expenditure Districts
Ohio Appalachian Counties Lowest (below $7,400 per pupil) 2007 EFM Per Pupil Expenditure Districts
| 1998 || 2007|| Increase|
|Cuyahoga Heights Local||$11,585||$18,761||$7,176 |
|Beachwood City||$12,969||$18,294||$5,325 |
|Orange City||$10,842||$18,247||$7,405 |
|Cleveland Hts-University Hts City||$ 9,509||$15,805||$6,296|
|Youngstown City||$ 7,829||$15,388||$7,559 |
|Shaker Heights City||$10,151||$15,151||$5,000 |
|Perry Local||$11,228||$14,930||$3,702 |
|Princeton City||$ 9,414||$14,434||$5,020 |
|1998|| 2007|| Increase |
|Ross Southeastern||$4,694||$7,129||$2,435 |
| Columbiana Exempted Village||$5,811||$7,168||$1,357 |
|Bethel-Tate Local||$4,723||$7,237||$2,514 |
|Union-Scioto Local||$5,377||$7,285||$1,908 |
|Western Brown||$6,905||$7,316||$ 411 |
|St. Clairsville-Richland City||$5,261||$7,324||$2,108|
|East Palestine City||$4,959||$7,365||$2,406 |
|West Muskingum Local||$4,955||$7,370||$2,415 |
|Strasburg-Franklin Local||$4964||$7,387||$2,423 |
|Zane Trace Local||$4,539||$7,390||$2,811 |
Data Source: Ohio Department of Education
July 8, 2008- Performance Pressure and Resource Allocation In Ohio
To explore how state and national performance expectations have altered educational resource decisions, the School Finance Redesign Project (SFRP) at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington conducted interviews of state, district, and school leaders in four states, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Washington, asking these leaders about their efforts to improve student performance and the constraints they face in implementing improvement reforms. The report, Performance Pressure and Resource Allocation in Ohio, released in February 2008, presents the findings of interviews conducted in Ohio.
The Ohio report concludes by saying, "Our findings also make clear that Ohio policymakers and legislators cannot continue to view education finance discussions as unproductive distractions divorced from the work of education reform; instead they must attend to the system’s structural problems if they are to reach the objective of bringing all students to standard. We hope that the findings of this and other SFRP reports will encourage policymakers, practitioners, and the public to overcome historical precedents, partisan politics, and resistance to change in order to create an educational system that truly makes student achievement the ultimate goal."
Read the full report. Click: Download Full Report (this report is long, but provides some insight for Ohio's education/school funding reform issues)
Source: Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington
July 7, 2008- "School Funding's Tragic Flaw"
“At every level of government, federal, state, and local, policymakers give more resources to students who have more resources, and less to those who have less,” states the new report, School Funding's Tragic Flaw, released in May 2008 by the University of Washington’s Center on Reinventing Public Education. “These funding disparities accumulate as they cascade through multiple layers of government, with the end result being massive disparities between otherwise similar schools.” “By perpetuating school finance systems that treat children from different districts so differently, by shackling students to the economic circumstances into which they were born, states are undermining the egalitarian goals of public education," the report concluded.
To illustrate how this three-layered K-12 funding benefits students and schools that are better off, the report says:
Federal policy – The Title I program, which provides money to school districts with high concentrations of poor students, contributes to the funding disparity problem. Title I allocations are dependent upon how much states and districts spend. States and districts with more money spend more money, so they get more federal dollars. States and districts that are poorer and, therefore, have less money to spend, get fewer federal dollars, penalizing poorer states.
State policy – Many states have adopted policies, some prompted by lawsuits, to equalize funding between richer and poorer school districts. However, laws allowing local districts to augment state funding with local property tax levies often mean those districts with higher property wealth wind up with more money. Also, when state funds are distributed according to staffing reimbursement formulas, wealthier districts that spend more typically benefit.
Local policy – Districts make decisions that determine how funding is distributed among individual schools, especially around budgeting for teachers. When teachers are allowed to choose where they work, they tend to go to lower-poverty schools where working conditions may be better. High-poverty schools typically have less experienced teachers and higher turnover rates, so the average teacher salary is usually much lower in those schools, resulting in significant per-student funding disparities between schools within districts.
The report offers a series of policy ideas to help remedy the problem of funding disparity at the three levels of government. While the study focuses on North Carolina and Virginia, it presents implications for all states.
Source: The Center on Reinventing Public Education, University of Washington
July 2, 2008- Governor's Conversation On Education Forums
Governor Strickland will hold televised, invitation-only forums across the state in July and August on reforming public education in Ohio. Educators, business leaders, parents and students, among others, will make up the live audiences. The meetings will be broadcast on local PBS stations and streamed live on the Web. In addition, each school district in the region is encouraged to organize at least one "watch party" for the broadcast or Webcast and conduct a facilitated group discussion following the forum. To have the voices in our region heard in Columbus,
we urge CORAS
member superintendents to host a "watch party" and provide feedback to the Governor. [For information for hosting a "watch party," "Click: How To Host a Watch Party
The Governor's Conversation on Education regional meetings scheduled in Ohio's Appalachian counties are:
Zanesville, Monday, August 11, 2008 - 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM - Location: Elson Hall at Ohio University -Zanesville
Chillicothe, Tuesday, August 12, 2008 - 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM - Location: Bennett Hall at Ohio University-Chillicothe
Marietta, Monday, August 18, 2008 - 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM - Location: To be announced
A second round of education forums will be held later in the fall of 2008 and will focus on how to properly finance public education in Ohio. The governor said he will unveil his plan for both reforming and funding education in 2009.
July 1, 2008- "Unique ID's" Proposed To Track Students
Earlier this year U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings announced she will take administrative steps to ensure all states use the same formula to calculate how many students graduate from high school on time, and how many drop out. According to the Associated Press (AP), the proposed new rules would require states to assign students a unique ID number to track the individual from ninth grade through graduation, or until that student drops out. The federal government has offered grants to state education departments to improve their data systems and help pay for a system to track students by unique IDs. The government gave a total of $62.2 million to 13 states in 2007 for data systems, according to a U.S. Education Department spokesman.
Washington state assigned a unique ID to every student four years ago. The class of 2008 will be the first with a graduation rate based on the method the U.S Education Department wants mandated for all states by the 2013-14 school year, AP said. Washington state officials don't know yet if the new method will help or hurt Washington's steady 70 percent on-time graduation rate, but say accuracy is more important.
Sources: Associated Press and U.S Department of Education