Education News for 04-23-2012

Statewide Education News

  • Ohio's education leaders want to overhaul 12th grade so students are ready for college, training (Plain Dealer)
  • Ohio's top education leaders want to "reinvent" the senior year of high school so that instead of cruising through their final year, students get involved in technical training, apprenticeships or college classes. "We want to have no distinction between the senior year of high school and the first year of college," said Stan Heffner, superintendent of the Ohio Department of Education, at a meeting this week of the Ohio Board of Regents, which oversees higher education. Read More…

  • Ready for college? (Warren Tribune Chronicle)
  • Tim Saxton said he's not surprised by the number of high school graduates who need to take at least one remedial course when they get to college to "catch up." Although Saxton, superintendent at Brookfield Schools, said he's not sure how many students graduating from his school district need remediation he realizes there's definitely a gap between high school and college. "I know it's a concern and we need to work on closing that gap," he said. Read More…

Local Issues

  • 2 charter schools, TPS mend relations (Toledo Blade)
  • Frayed relations between Toledo Public Schools and two charter schools it sponsors appear improved and the schools’ once-possible defection to the Ohio Department of Education apparently is off. Phoenix and Polly Fox academies’ boards have approved agreements to keep them affiliated with TPS until 2014. Read More…

  • Special-needs students seeking new vouchers (Dispatch)
  • Special-needs students from 11 of Franklin County’s 16 school districts have applied for new taxpayer-funded vouchers to attend private schools. That includes Bexley, Dublin, Hilliard, Upper Arlington and Worthington — suburban districts where most students haven’t been eligible to use a private-school voucher before. Twenty students who live in the Westerville district applied. In Columbus, 32 did. Read More…

  • Funding, school jobs linked to state tests (Dayton Daily News)
  • During the next three weeks, every third- through eighth-grader in Ohio will take state-mandated tests that are increasingly impacting every level of public education — student achievement and retention, school and district state report card ratings and, as early as next year, teacher evaluations. Read More…

  • Cuts force schools to nix gifted programs (Hamilton Journal News)
  • Although school districts are mandated to provide a variety of services for students with disabilities, and are given funds by the state and federal government to provide those services, there is no requirement to provide services to gifted students. An examination by the JournalNews found some Butler County school districts provide specific programs for gifted students, but others, because of budget constraints, don’t provide specific programs. Read More…

  • District saves thousands by using college tutors (Springfield News Sun)
  • Springfield City School District is saving thousands of dollars on afterschool tutoring by using work-study or volunteer college students from local colleges as tutors to staff the program. “There is no more money, so you’ve got to use what we have,” said Springfield City School District Superintendent David Estrop. “You can re-purpose it or you can find a different way of doing something. But you can’t say we need to spend more money doing this because there is no more money.” Read More…

  • It's almost summer: New teachers near end of first year (Chillicothe Gazette)
  • It's usually during this time of the school year -- the home stretch -- that the weather improves, students become restless and the world outside their classroom has a greater appeal. Summer vacation was looming large over Bishop Flaget School on Friday, where the signs of the season were visible on the school uniforms of students in the computer lab. One boy's blue khakis were torn and smeared with dirt from kickball. Another boy's white shirt sported a bright-green grass stain. Read More…

  • Paying more attention to printed word pays off for youngsters learning to read (Akron Beacon Journal)
  • When preschoolers gather on the rug for story time to hear a storybook such as I Stink! about a New York City garbage truck, they mostly focus on the pictures and the sound of the teacher’s voice telling the story. “They’re most likely looking at the pictures on the page,” said Shayne Piasta, assistant director of the Children’s Learning Research Collaborative at Ohio State University. “They may not understand where the words are coming from because they haven’t yet made that connection between the printed words on the page and the words that you are speaking.” Read More…

  • Budget Challenge teaches kids finance (Cincinnati Enquirer)
  • As an undergraduate environmental science and public policy major at Harvard University, Palmira Buten found herself in credit card debt, mismanaging her cash flow and bouncing checks. Dave Buten was a chemical engineering student at Purdue University when he first bounced a check. “How could that happen when the ATM said he had money in his account?”, he questioned. “I was smart,” Palmira Buten says. “But you just don’t know this stuff.” Read More…

  • Students avoiding healthful lunches (Dispatch)
  • Grandview student Kyle Modlich’s meal, left, is from a restaurant while Trevor Voelker chows down on his packed lunch. Schools across the state have ditched deep fryers and high-calorie meals this school year in favor of foods the state deems nutritious. But in some districts, as calorie levels have dropped, so have lunch sales. Particularly in schools where students can leave for lunch, sales have declined sharply as students pass up entrees such as pita and hummus for lunches packed at home or bought at restaurants. Read More…

  • TPS students rally, rev up for Ohio academic testing (Toledo Blade)
  • It's testing season again in Toledo. Thousands of students in grades three through eight will immerse themselves in test booklets starting Tuesday, as Toledo Public Schools administers the state mandated Ohio Achievement Assessments. The math, reading, science, and social studies exams provide the bulk of data used to rate schools on the state's report cards and under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Read More…

  • More riding on state-mandated tests (Middletown Journal News)
  • During the next three weeks, every third- through eighth-grader in Butler County will take state-mandated tests that are increasingly impacting every level of public education — student achievement and retention, school and district state report card ratings and, as early as next year, teacher evaluations. Read More…

Editorial & Opinion

  • Don’t wait (Dispatch)
  • Protests from school officials and teachers who want a reprieve from tougher grading standards are predictable, but that doesn’t make them valid. The Ohio School Boards Association, teachers’ unions and others are asking for a delay in applying new performance standards proposed by Gov. John Kasich for school grade cards to be issued this summer. The new system, which places more emphasis on whether poor, minority, special-education and other categories of students are catching up to mainstream students in test-passing rates, is likely to lower the overall grade for most districts and charter schools. Read More…

  • Ohio bottoms out in preschool funding: Brent Larkin (Plain Dealer)
  • Gov. John Kasich wants Ohio to become a winner in the federal government's Race to the Top competition for public schools. But in funding for one key component to educational success, Ohio has tumbled to the bottom. Rock bottom. The positive impact that quality preschool programs have on learning is no longer a theory. Read More…

  • Measuring performance (Dispatch)
  • If teachers are to be evaluated based in part on how much academic progress their students make in a year, schools need a fair way to measure that progress. That’s the central challenge of a state-law provision that requires teacher evaluations by 2014 to be at least 50 percent based on student growth, and it ought to be a top priority for education experts throughout the state. Read More…

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