Ohio's Report Card Fails to Recognize 70% of 2016 Blue Ribbon Winners

The Ohio Department of Education Tweeted this out

Here is how the Federal Department of Education describes this prestigious Blue Ribbon award

U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. today announced the 329 National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2016. The award is based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

"National Blue Ribbon Schools are proof that we can prepare every child for college and meaningful careers, King said in a video message to honorees. "Your schools are on the cutting edge, pioneering innovative educational practices—professional learning communities, project-based learning, social and emotional learning, positive behavior systems—making you shining examples for your communities, your state and the nation."

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap. The award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content. The National Blue Ribbon Schools flag gracing a school's building is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning. National Blue Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and a model for schools still striving for excellence.

Now in its 34th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this coveted award on fewer than 8,500 schools. On Nov. 7 and 8, the Department will formally recognize the 279 public and 50 private schools at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

We decided to take a look at how each of these schools fared on the new report card. Two Schools listed (St Edwards and Worthington Christian are private schools so no data is available).

Building Name Performance Index
Grace L Roxbury Elementary School B
Leighton Elementary School B
Madeira Elementary School A
Samuel Bissell Elementary School B
Scioto Ridge Elementary School A
Summit Road Elementary B
William Mason High School B

Only 2 of 7 managed to score an A on Ohio's new report card system. In 34 years only 8,500 schools nationwide have received this award, making these 7 schools remarkable, yet ODE's report card says 70% of them don't deserve an A.

November 2016 School Levies and Issues

A pretty typical number of levies and issues will appear on voters ballots this November.

Question Type New Renewal Total
Income Tax 3 7 10
Bond 22 22
Combo 16 16
Levy 31 72 103
Total 72 79 151

Here is the complete list of school related issues.

County Subdivision Name Question Type Description
Allen Bath Local Levy Renewal
Allen Lima City Levy Renewal
Allen Perry Local Levy Renewal
Allen Spencerville Local Levy Renewal
Ashland Ashland City Levy Renewal
Ashtabula Jefferson Area Local Levy Renewal
Ashtabula Jefferson Area Local Levy Renewal
Athens Alexander Local Income Tax New
Athens Athens City Levy Renewal
Auglaize Minster Local Levy Renewal
Auglaize Minster Local Income Tax Renewal
Belmont Bellaire Local Levy Renewal
Brown Fayetteville-Perry Local Income Tax New
Butler Monroe Local Levy Renewal
Clark Clark-Shawnee Local Bond New
Clark Southeastern Local Levy Renewal
Clark Tecumseh Local Levy Renewal
Clermont Bethel-Tate Local Levy New
Columbiana Lisbon Exempted Village Income Tax New
Cuyahoga Bay Village City Levy New
Cuyahoga Berea City Bond New
Cuyahoga Cleveland Hts - University Hts City Levy New
Cuyahoga Cleveland Municipal Levy Renewal
Cuyahoga Cuyahoga Valley Career Center Levy Renewal
Cuyahoga Euclid City Bond New
Cuyahoga Fairview Park City Combo New
Cuyahoga Garfield Heights City Levy Renewal
Cuyahoga Independence Local Levy Renewal
Cuyahoga Mayfield City Levy New
Cuyahoga North Royalton City Combo New
Cuyahoga Olmsted Falls City Combo New
Cuyahoga Parma City Levy Renewal
Cuyahoga Polaris Career Center Levy New
Cuyahoga Strongsville City Levy Renewal
Cuyahoga Westlake City Combo New
Darke Mississinawa Valley Local Income Tax Renewal
Defiance Ayersville Local Income Tax Renewal
Defiance Central Local Levy Renewal
Defiance Northeastern Local Levy Renewal
Delaware Big Walnut Local Bond New
Erie Perkins Local Levy New
Erie Sandusky City Combo New
Fairfield Amanda-Clearcreek Local Income Tax Renewal
Fairfield Fairfield Union Local Levy Renewal
Franklin Bexley City Levy New
Franklin Columbus City Combo New
Franklin Hilliard City Combo New
Franklin Westerville City Levy Renewal
Fulton Four County Joint Vocational Levy New
Geauga Cardinal Local Levy New
Geauga West Geauga Local Levy Renewal
Greene Fairborn City Combo New
Greene Greene County Vocational Levy Renewal
Greene Xenia Community City Bond New
Guernsey Cambridge City Levy Renewal
Guernsey Rolling Hills Local Levy Renewal
Hamilton Cincinnati City Levy New
Hamilton Deer Park Community City Bond New
Hamilton Madeira City Levy New
Hamilton Norwood City Combo New
Hamilton St. Bernard-Elmwood Place City Combo New
Hamilton Sycamore Community City Levy New
Hamilton Winton Woods City Bond New
Hancock Riverdale Local Income Tax Renewal
Holmes East Holmes Local Levy Renewal
Huron New London Local Levy Renewal
Huron Norwalk City Levy Renewal
Jefferson Jefferson County Joint Vocational Levy Renewal
Jefferson Steubenville City Levy New
Knox Centerburg Local Bond New
Knox East Knox Local Levy New
Lake Auburn Vocation Levy New
Lake Riverside Local Bond New
Licking Licking Heights Local Levy New
Licking Northridge Local Combo New
Licking Southwest Licking Local Bond New
Logan Bellefontaine City Levy Renewal
Logan Bellefontaine City Levy Renewal
Lorain Amherst Exempted Village Bond New
Lorain Clearview Local Levy Renewal
Lorain Elyria City Bond New
Lorain Lorain County Joint Vocational School Levy Renewal
Lorain North Ridgeville City Levy New
Lucas Anthony Wayne Local Bond New
Lucas Sylvania City Levy New
Mahoning Boardman Local Levy Renewal
Mahoning Sebring Local Income Tax Renewal
Marion Elgin Local Levy Renewal
Marion Pleasant Local Levy Renewal
Marion Ridgedale Local Levy Renewal
Marion Tri-Rivers Joint Vocational Levy Renewal
Medina Buckeye Local Levy Renewal
Miami Milton-Union Exempted Village Levy Renewal
Montgomery Brookville Local Levy Renewal
Montgomery Jefferson Township Local Bond New
Montgomery Oakwood City Levy New
Montgomery Valley View Local Bond New
Montgomery West Carrollton City Levy New
Morrow Mt. Gilead Exempted Village Bond New
Ottawa Benton-Carroll-Salem Local Levy Renewal
Ottawa Genoa Are Local Levy Renewal
Ottawa Put-In-Bay Local Levy Renewal
Paulding Antwerp Local Levy Renewal
Portage Aurora City Levy Renewal
Portage Crestwood Local Levy New
Portage Field Local Levy New
Portage Field Local Levy New
Portage Ravenna City Levy New
Portage Rootstown Local Levy Renewal
Portage Streetsboro City Levy Renewal
Portage Waterloo Local Levy New
Preble Preble Shawnee Local Combo New
Preble Tri-County North Local Levy Renewal
Preble Twin Valley Community Local Income Tax Renewal
Richland Lucas Local Levy Renewal
Richland Ontario Local Levy Renewal
Richland Plymouth-Shiloh Local Levy Renewal
Richland Shelby City Local Levy Renewal
Sandusky Fremont City Bond New
Sandusky Woodmore Local Levy Renewal
Seneca Fostoria City Levy Renewal
Seneca Old Fort Local Levy Renewal
Seneca Tiffin City Levy Renewal
Shelby Sidney City Levy New
Stark Massillon City Bond New
Stark Sandy Valley Local Levy Renewal
Summit Cuyahoga Falls City Levy Renewal
Summit Norton City Levy New
Summit Revere Local Bond New
Summit Stow-Munroe Falls City Levy New
Summit Tallmadge City Bond New
Summit Tallmadge City Bond New
Summit Woodridge Local Levy Renewal
Trumbull Champion Local Levy Renewal
Trumbull Champion Local Levy Renewal
Trumbull Hubbard Exempted Village Levy New
Trumbull Lakeview Local Levy Renewal
Trumbull Mathews Local Combo New
Trumbull McDonald Local Levy Renewal
Trumbull Warren City Levy Renewal
Tuscarawas Dover City Combo New
Tuscarawas Indian Valley Local Levy Renewal
Tuscarawas Strasburg-Franklin Local Levy Renewal
Union Fairbanks Local Bond New
Van Wert Crestview Local Levy Renewal
Warren Kings Local Levy New
Washington Warren Local Combo New
Wayne Green Local Levy Renewal
Wayne Wayne County Joint Vocational Levy New
Wood Perrysburg Exempted Village Levy Renewal
Wood Rossford Exempted Village Combo New

Here's Why Ohio School Report Cards Should Receive An F

An analysis of the Ohio Schools report card data by Dr. Howard Fleeter of the Ohio Education Policy Institute proves that despite changes, ODE and the legislature continue to create measurement systems that measure poverty and not educational quality.

OEPI’s initial analysis of the FY16 Report Card data focuses on the relationship between
the percentage of economically disadvantaged students in each school district and the
district’s Performance Index (PI) score and PFS percentage. 

The graph above is self-evident. As poverty declines in a school district, that district is likely to see significantly improved results using the ODE school report card measure. Here's the conclusion from the analysis

This analysis is far from the first to demonstrate a strong negative correlation between
student achievement and socioeconomic status. However, this data shows that in Ohio,
the negative correlation between socioeconomics and student achievement has proven all too persistent over time. 

"Raise the bar" all you want, but unless you have policies to address this socioeconomic fact, results are going to continue to persist. Ohio needs a funding model that works for all students, not constantly changing measurement systems coupled with test and punishment rubrics.

OSBA Agrees, according to a Gongwer report, Director of Legislative Services Damon Asbury said

"Changes need to be made to close the gap between low-income and wealthy districts. Our organizations want to work with our members to improve school district report cards and solve problems, but what we do not want to lose in the recent confusion over report card results is the continuing performance gap we see between students in low-wealth districts and those in higher-wealth districts, we hope the OEPI report will serve to inform and encourage lawmakers to take action."

Couldn't agree more. Below is the full analysis

Study: Teachers Unions Raise Teacher Quality And Increase Kids’ Educational Attainment

A new study by Eunice S. Han, Wellesley College, finds that teachers unions raise study and teacher quality, and that attacks on teachers unions intended to weaken them, are likely to have detrimental effects.

From the conclusion

This study examines the relation between teachers unions and teacher turnover and assesses union effects on US public schools. The significant contributions of this study to literature include the provision of a theoretical framework of unions’ roles in both voluntary and involuntary teacher turnover, the diverse measurements of unionism from all 50 US states, the controls for various district-specific and teacher-specific demographics available from district-teacher matched data, and the use of panel data.

A simple two-period job matching model with positive renegotiation costs predicts that teachers unions raise the dismissal of low-quality teachers because higher wages give districts a greater incentive to select high-quality teachers but lower the attrition of high-quality teachers, as they negotiate higher wages for teachers. The unique district-teacher matched panel data enable me to utilize the within-state and within-district variation of unionism and instrumental variable regressions to identify the union effects on the educational system.

The empirical evidence confirms these predictions. I find that districts with strong unionism dismiss more underperforming teachers and have lower teacher attrition than districts with weak unionism.

Through the dynamics of teacher turnover, unions ultimately raise teacher quality, as unionized districts can better retain good teachers and dismiss more underperforming teachers. Two pieces of empirical evidence support this hypothesis: districts with strong unionism have more teachers with stronger qualifications and lower dropout rates than districts with weak unionism. I also find that the recent legal change weakening unionism in four states affects the teacher turnover pattern and teacher quality negatively, confirming unions’ positive role in the US educational system.

This research, therefore, suggests that restricting the legal boundary for unions’ activities may not be the appropriate approach in improving educational outcomes. Rather, promoting union-friendly environments may create more encouraging economic conditions for teachers and provide districts with incentives to select better teachers, eventually raising teacher quality.

Here's the full study

Resistance To Corporate Education Reform Drives the Opt-Out Movement

Columbia University Teachers College have performed a survey of the Opt-Out movement. The first of its kind. The goal was to determine what was driving the sentiments and actions of those engaging in what has been a growing movement.

The survey notes that the results:

"reveals that supporters oppose the use of test scores to evaluate teachers and believe that high-stakes tests force teachers to “teach to the test” rather than employ strategies that promote deeper learning. The new survey also reports concern among supporters about the growing role of corporations and privatization of schools."

Those conducting the survey also went on to say that the Opt-Out movement encompasses a broad range of issues, issues those who follow JTF will be familiar with

“For activists, the concerns are about more than the tests,” said Oren Pizmony-Levy, TC Assistant Professor of International and Comparative Education, who co-authored the study with Nancy Green Saraisky, Research Associate and TC alumna. “We were surprised that the survey reveals a broader concern about corporate education reform relying on standardized test-based accountability, and the increased role of ‘edu-businesses’ and corporations in schools.”

Results within the survey appear to confirm these conclusions

Here's the full survey report

Report By Charter School Lobby Association Finds eSchools Are Disaster

A new report published by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, find that Charter eSchools are a disaster for students. The report specifically looked at eSchools in Ohio. Here's what they found

  • Compared to traditional public school students, full-time virtual charter school students have much weaker academic growth overall. Full-time virtual charter school students experience 180 fewer days of learning in math and 72 fewer days of learning in reading in comparison to traditional public school students.viii Put another way, these data show that in a given year full-time virtual charter school students overall make no gains in math and less than half the gains in reading realized by their peers in traditional public schools.
  • Full-time virtual charter schools perform worse than traditional public schools in most states. Of the 17 states included in the state level results in the “Online Charter School Study” by CREDO, full-time virtual charter schools performed worse than traditional public schools in 13 states in reading, performed better in only two states, and the differences were not significant in two states. In math, full-time virtual charter schools performed worse than traditional public schools in 14 states, while the differences were not significant in three states.
  • All subgroups of students have weaker academic growth in full-time virtual charter schools than in traditional public schools. All subgroups of students – white, black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American, multi-racial, those in poverty, English-language learners, and special education students – perform worse in full-time virtual charter schools than in traditional public schools.
  • The vast majority of full-time virtual charter schools perform worse than traditional public schools. In reading, 67 percent of full-time virtual charter schools have weaker growth than their comparison schools. Only 2 percent outperform their comparison schools, while 32 percent perform no differently.
  • In math, a full 88 percent of full-time virtual charter schools had significantly weaker growth than their comparison schools, with the remaining 12 percent performing no differently.
  • The average full-time virtual charter school student stays for a short time. On average, students spend two years in full-time virtual charter schools.
  • The mobility rates for students after they leave full-time virtual charter schools are extremely high. Full-time virtual charter school students have a mobility rate of 36 percent, meaning that students who leave full-time virtual charter schools have a more chaotic school experience after they leave full-time virtual charter schools than they did before they enrolled in such schools.

When the organization whose main focus is to defend charter schools beings producing devastating reports like this one, the writing simply must be on the wall for ECOT, OVA and their ilk. Too many students are being harmed each year.

Here's the full report