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This week in education cuts

Here's the stories of education cuts this week, as reported by local media

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Sunday, May 1st, 2011
  • Even JTF needs a break

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011
  • Primary election results snap shot
    Today's news is dominated by the results of the election yesterday. There's sure to be lots of fallout from the failed levy efforts around the state. We'll continue to bring you news as it develops.

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Friday, May 6th, 2011

The Columbus parent trigger profit motive

A smart and interesting post at Plunderbund, discusses which of the Columbus schools might be susceptible to a parental takeover, now that the Ohio house has reduced their statewide parent trigger provision to a trial in Columbus.
So how likely is that to take place? Consider some details:

As reported by ODE for 09-10, 21 percent of the students at Weinland Park are at the school for less than one year. That also means that the number of parents involved enough to sign the petition is around 80%, with the student population constantly changing. So if 50% of the parents need to sign, but only 80% are around, the parent(s) leading this effort must obtain the signatures of approximately 63% of the parents. And Weinland Park serves a population categorized as 93.7% “economically disadvantaged” in a building that already runs a non-standard year-round schedule. For additional perspective, the number of economically disadvantaged students is 43% statewide. I’m going to take a wild guess and project that these families have greater concerns than taking over a school. Just a guess.
This is a smart and reasonable observation, but as we pointed out in an article a while ago, it's not the only consideration to account for. Indeed, other provisions included in the budget bill could have a significant impact too.

The other question to be asked is this;

How much money could a for-profit charter make by sponsoring an effort to take over one of these Columbus schools?

With an empty promise to desperate parents to fix things, and a paid effort to garner the required parental support for the takeover, these schools might be easy marks, with easy profits to follow.

Can Teachers be Evaluated by their Students Test Scores?

More Value Add research, this time from the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, that should cause pause to those in a headlong rush to implement high stakes testing and measurmenet as a means of judging teaching effectiveness and compensation.

Prepared by Sean Corcoran, assistant professor of educational economics at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, and research fellow at the Institute for Education and Social Policy in collaboration with the Annenberg Institute

Value-added models have become increasingly popular in today’s policy environment as a way to evaluate, reward, and dismiss teachers. These statistical models aim to isolate each teacher’s unique contribution to their students’ educational outcomes based in part on student test scores.

But NYU professor Sean Corcoran uses data analysis to argue that value-added models are not precise enough to be useful for high-stakes decision making or professional development. Corcoran cautions policy-makers, in particular, to be fully aware of the limitations and shortcomings of these models and consider whether their minimal benefits outweigh the cost. (September 2010)

The Use of Value-Added Measures of Teacher Effectiveness - Executive Summary

The full report can be read here.

Back to School for the Billionaires

The richest man in America stepped to the podium and declared war on the nation’s school systems. High schools had become “obsolete” and were “limiting—even ruining—the lives of millions of Americans every year.” The situation had become “almost shameful.” Bill Gates, prep-school grad and college dropout, had come before the National Governors Association seeking converts to his plan to do something about it—a plan he would back with $2 billion of his own cash.


“A lot of things we do don’t work out,” admitted Broad, a product of Detroit public schools and Michigan State who made a fortune in home building and financial services. “But we can take the criticism.”

The bottom line? The billionaires aspired to A-plus impact and came away with B-minus to C-minus results, according to the NEWSWEEK/CPI investigation, which was based on specially commissioned data and internal numbers shared by the philanthropists’ foundations.

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Primary election results quick snapshot

We'll be bringing more in-depth coverage of the results from yesterdays election. In the mean time, the Dispatch reports - Voters say yes in six of 11 districts

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports - Parma, Garfield Heights voters pass school taxes, but Cuyahoga County voters defeat all other school issues

At the other end of the state, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports - Little Miami loses very close vote; Loveland, Norwood only winners out of seven

The Toledo Blade reports - Maumee levy fails; Sylvania's approved
  • Maumee City Schools - Failed
  • Sylvania City Schools - Passed
  • Woodmore - Passed
  • Wauseon - Passed
  • Benton-Carroll-Salem - Failed
  • Patrick Henry - Failed
  • Clyde-Green Springs - Failed
From Akron, reports - Only Nordonia Hills faces defeat in county. Highland squeaks out win in Medina. Portage levies fall. Full area results at the links below.

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