More and more people are starting to notice the troubling defunding of Ohio's public education system. Via Ohio.com
Two Washington, D.C., public policy groups say Ohio’s reductions in aid to public schools and the inequality among school districts have hampered efforts to boost graduation rates and cut in half the achievement gaps among low-income and minority students despite $204 million in additional federal funding.
Ohio lawmakers actually have allocated $165.6 million less in state aid this year than was set aside in 2008, according to a Beacon Journal analysis. Additional funding in the next two-year budget finally will surpass inflation-adjusted 2008 levels after six years of reduced aid.
Regardless, many schools have operated on less over the past five years.
Less funding equates to larger class sizes, less after-school and summer programming, and a stalled effort to implement national testing and teacher evaluations, Leachman said.
Efforts like the Straight A Fund are gimmicks designed to hide the true budget cuts schools are having to deal with.
The Straight A Fund is on a pretty fast track. Individuals, districts and groups that are thinking about applying for the $100 million dollars available this year, should begin that process immediately.
We remain skeptical that any lasting impact can come from one-time money, and would much rather see the legislature develop an adequate funding model for all schools, and not dog-eat-dog competitions. Districts and their personnel are already strained dealing with many new mandates from the state and the federal government, having to redirect even more resources towards dreaming up grant programs that fit the Straight A Funds very narrow scope is not going to be very beneficial towards the key mission - educating students.
According to a new poll by the National Education Association, the Common Core State Standards are strongly supported by its members. Roughly two-thirds of educators are either wholeheartedly in favor of the standards (26 percent) or support them with “some reservations” (50 percent). Only 11 percent of those surveyed expressed opposition.
All respondents cited a number of ways the new standards will affect their teaching. Thirty-one percent believe they will lead to more time taken up by standardized testing and 30 percent said they will allow teacher to delve into subjects more deeply. Others cited more time to teach process and problem-solving and having more time for instruction on fewer topics.
Even among many Common Core supporters, the thorny issue over new assessments is feeding their reservations. Fifty-five percent said their schools plan to use Common Core assessments to evaluate their performance, but an overwhelming majority (81 percent) favor a moratorium or grace period on accountability provisions, with 2-5 years being the most popular.
It seems right wing extremism surrounding the Common Core has reached all the way to the top levels of Ohio education policy circles. According to a Hannah report, a member of the State Board of Education, Mark Smith, had this to say
"My concern is that the PARCC assessments, if they are tied to some of this curriculum, then I see an agenda that's far more in the Common Core than just a curriculum of teaching. I see an underlying socialist, communist agenda -- sorry to use the terminology -- on some of those that are anti what this nation is about," said Smith, president of Ohio Christian University.
American families are becoming increasingly polarized along race, class and educational lines, according to a new report released Wednesday, a sign of growing economic inequality that was exacerbated by the Great Recession.
The report, “Divergent Paths of American Families,” found a widening gap in recent years between families that are white, educated or economically secure and minority families, those headed by someone with a high school degree or less, and poor families.
The concern, report authors say, is not that American families are becoming diverse. Advances in civil rights and women’s economic independence have opened up individual choice and transformed the American family in the past 50 years. The concern, they wrote, is that the divisions fall along race, class and educational lines and that they are accelerating.
“I was struck by how strong the divide has become in terms of education,” said report author Zhenchao Qian, a sociologist at Ohio State University. “The gap between the haves and the have-nots, and the children who excel and who lag behind, grew larger than ever in the 2000s.”
The gulf between the richest 1 percent and the rest of America is the widest it’s been since the Roaring ’20s.
The very wealthiest Americans earned more than 19 percent of the country’s household income last year — their biggest share since 1928, the year before the stock-market crash. And the top 10 percent captured a record 48.2 percent of total earnings last year.
U.S. income inequality has been growing for almost three decades. And it grew again last year, according to an analysis of Internal Revenue Service figures dating to 1913 by economists at the University of California, Berkeley, the Paris School of Economics and Oxford University.
In 2012, the incomes of the top 1 percent rose nearly 20 percent compared with a 1 percent increase for the remaining 99 percent.