November 2014 School Levy Results

November school levies and issues in 2014 continued the pattern of higher passage rates. This year they passed at a 65.2% rate and increase over last years 60.1%, which was itself an increase over 2012 (54.7%). This is evidence that voters continue to support their schools and are prepared to make up for state cuts with local efforts.

N/R Failed Passed Pass %
New 45 21 31.8%
Renewal 12 86 87.8%
Grand Total 57 107 65.2%


Here's the full list of unofficial results


County District Type N/R Result
Allen Elida Local School District Levy New Failed
Ashland Hillsdale Local School District Levy Renewal Failed
Ashland Loudonville-Perrysville EVSD Levy New Passed
Ashland Mapleton Local School District Income tax New Failed
Ashtabula Ashtabula Area City School District Levy Renewal Passed
Ashtabula Conneaut Area City School Distrct Levy Renewal Passed
Ashtabula Grand Valley Local School District Levy Renewal Failed
Ashtabula Grand Valley Local School District Levy New Failed
Ashtabula Jefferson Area Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Ashtabula Pymatuning Valley Local School Dist Levy Renewal Passed
Belmont Bridgeport Exempted Village SD Levy Renewal Passed
Belmont Union Local School District Income tax New Failed
Brown Ripley Union Lewis Huntington LSD Levy New Passed
Carroll Brown Local School District Levy Renewal Failed
Champaign Urbana City School District Bond New Passed
Champaign Graham Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Champaign Mechanicsburg Ex Vill School Dist Levy Renewal Passed
Champaign Triad Local School District Levy New Failed
Clark Greenon Local School District Levy New Passed
Clark Greenon Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Clark Southeastern Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Clark Tecumseh Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Clinton Clinton-Massie Local School District Levy New Failed
Columbiana East Liverpool City School District Levy Renewal Passed
Columbiana Salem City School District Levy Renewal Passed
Columbiana Southern Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Coshocton River View Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Crawford Crestline Exempted Village SD Income tax New Failed
Cuyahoga North Olmsted City School District Bond New Passed
Cuyahoga Cleveland Municipal School Dist. Combo New Passed
Cuyahoga North Royalton City School District Combo New Failed
Cuyahoga Bedford City School District Levy New Passed
Cuyahoga Berea City School District Levy New Failed
Cuyahoga Brecksville-Broadview Hts. City SD Levy Renewal Passed
Cuyahoga Cuyahoga Community College Levy Renewal Passed
Cuyahoga Garfield Hts City School District Levy New Failed
Darke Franklin Monroe Local School Dist Levy Renewal Passed
Darke Ansonia Local School District Income tax Renewal Passed
Darke Arcanum Butler Local School Dist Income tax Renewal Passed
Defiance Northeastern Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Delaware Buckeye Valley Local School District Bond New Failed
Delaware Delaware City School District Levy Renewal Passed
Erie Sandusky City School District Combo New Failed
Erie Huron City School District Levy Renewal Passed
Erie Margaretta Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Fairfield Walnut Twp Local School District Levy Renewal Failed
Fairfield Liberty Union-Thurston LSD Income tax Renewal Passed
Fayette Miami Trace Local School District Combo New Failed
Franklin Gahanna-Jefferson City School Dist Levy New Passed
Franklin Grandview Heights City School Dist Levy New Passed
Franklin New Albany-Plain Local School Dist Levy New Failed
Geuaga Ledgemont Local School District Levy New Failed
Geauga Newbury Local School District Levy New Passed
Geauga Berkshire Local School District Income tax New Failed
Geauga Ledgemont Local School District Income tax Renewal Passed
Greene Beavercreek City School District Levy Renewal Passed
Hamilton Winton Woods City School District Bond New Failed
Hamilton Forest Hills Local School District Combo New Passed
Hamilton Cincinnati City School District Levy Renewal Passed
Hamilton Lockland Local School District Levy New Failed
Hamilton Mariemont City School District Levy New Passed
Hancock Van Buren Local School District Bond New Failed
Hancock Liberty-Benton Local School District Combo New Failed
Harrison Conotton Valley Union LSD Levy Renewal Passed
Harrison Conotton Valley Union LSD Levy Renewal Passed
Harrison Harrison Hills City School District Levy Renewal Passed
Henry Patrick Henry Local School District Levy Renewal Failed
Highland Bright Local School District Income tax New Failed
Huron Monroeville Local School District Combo New Failed
Jefferson Edison Local School District Levy Renewal Failed
Jefferson Toronto City School District Levy Renewal Passed
Knox East Knox Local School District Combo New Failed
Lake Fairport Harbor EVSD Levy Renewal Passed
Lake Madison Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Lake Willoughby-Eastlake CSD Levy Renewal Passed
Licking Southwest Licking Local School Dist Levy Renewal Failed
Logan Indian Lake Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Lorain Keystone Local School District Levy New Failed
Lorain Oberlin City School District Levy New Passed
Lorain Sheffield-Sheffield Lake CSD Levy New Failed
Lucas Maumee City School District Levy New Passed
Lucas Oregon City School District Levy New Failed
Lucas Springfield Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Lucas Springfield Local School District Levy New Failed
Lucas Toledo City School District Levy New Passed
Lucas Washington Local School District Levy New Passed
Madison London City School District Income tax Renewal Passed
Mahoning Boardman Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Mahoning Campbell City School District Levy Renewal Passed
Mahoning Jackson Milton Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Mahoning South Range Local School District Levy New Failed
Mahoning Springfield Local School District Income tax Renewal Passed
Marion Pleasant Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Marion River Valley Local School District Levy New Failed
Marion Tri-Rivers Jt. Vocational School Dist Levy New Failed
Mercer Marion Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Miami Bethel Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Miami Miami East Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Miami Milton-Union Ex Village School Dist Levy Renewal Passed
Miami Bethel Local School District Income tax Renewal Failed
Miami Covington Ex Village School District Income tax Renewal Failed
Monroe Switzerland of Ohio Local SD Income tax New Failed
Montgomery Brookville Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Montgomery Brookville Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Montgomery Huber Heights City School District Levy New Failed
Montgomery Jefferson Twp Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Montgomery Kettering City School District Levy Renewal Passed
Montgomery Miamisburg City School District Levy Renewal Passed
Montgomery Northmont City School Disitrict Levy Renewal Passed
Montgomery New Lebanon Local School District Income tax Renewal Passed
Muskingum Franklin Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Muskingum Zanesville City School District Levy Renewal Passed
Ottawa Genoa Area Local School District Levy New Failed
Perry Southern Local School District Levy New Failed
Portage Field Local School District Levy New Passed
Portage Field Local School District Levy Renewal Failed
Portage Ravenna City School District Levy New Failed
Portage Ravenna City School District Levy New Failed
Portage Rootstown Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Portage Streetsboro City School District Levy Renewal Passed
Portage Streetsboro City School District Levy Renewal Passed
Portage Windham Ex Village School District Levy Renewal Passed
Putnam Columbus Grove Local School Dist Income tax Renewal Passed
Putnam Fort Jennings Local School District Income tax Renewal Passed
Richland Lucas Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Richland Pioneer Jt. Vocational School Dist Levy Renewal Passed
Ross Zane Trace Local School District Income tax New Failed
Sandusky Woodmore Local School District Bond New Failed
Sandusky Bellevue City School District Levy Renewal Passed
Sandusky Clyde-Green Springs Ex Village SD Levy Renewal Passed
Sandusky Gibsonburg Ex Village School District Levy Renewal Passed
Shelby Jackson Center Local School Dist Combo New Passed
Shelby Anna Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Stark Massillon City School District Bond New Failed
Stark Fairless Local School District Levy New Failed
Stark Marlington Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Stark Osnaburg Local School District Levy New Failed
Stark Tuslaw Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Stark Northwest Local School District Income tax Renewal Passed
Summit Coventry Local School District Levy Renewal Failed
Summit Cuyahoga Falls City School District Levy Renewal Passed
Summit Mogadore Local School District Levy New Passed
Summit Springfield Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Summit Springfield Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Summit Springfield Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Trumbull Lakeview Local School District Combo New Failed
Trumbull Bloomfield-Mespo Local School Dis Levy Renewal Passed
Trumbull Bristol Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Trumbull Bristol Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Trumbull Howland Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Trumbull Lordstown Local School District Levy New Failed
Trumbull McDonald Local School District Levy New Passed
Trumbull Mathews Local School Distrct Levy Renewal Passed
Trumbull Southington Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Trumbull Trumbull Career & Tech Center Levy Renewal Passed
Tuscarawas New Philadelphia City School Dist Levy Renewal Passed
Tuscarawas Newcomerstown Ex Village SD Levy Renewal Passed
Warren Warren Co Jt Voca School District Levy Renewal Failed
Washington Frontier Local School District Levy New Failed
Wayne Southeast Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Williams Edon Northwest Local School Dist Levy Renewal Passed
Wood Perrysburg Ex Village School Dist Bond New Passed
Wood Lake Local School District Levy Renewal Passed
Wood Rossford Ex Village School District Levy New Failed

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Report urges revamping student testing

A new report suggests overhauling how school and student success is measured in the United States.

The report, by the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and the National Center for Innovation in Education at the University of Kentucky, recommends alternatives to annual standardized tests. It says there should be far more emphasis on ongoing assessments of students as part of regular classroom instruction.

Schools should focus more on “formative assessments,” the curriculum-based problems and quizzes that teachers give to students throughout the school year for feedback on how students are doing, in addition to locally developed alternatives to assessments, the report argues. The latter could include science experiments, literary essays, classroom projects and, by the senior year of high school, internship experiences and portfolios that students can present to employers and colleges.

You can read the report below

Accountability College and Career Readiness Developing New Paradigm

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Value Add Reports Screwed Up In Ohio

A number of readers sent us this message they have been receiving from SAS, the company that develops and deploys the secret, proprietary VAM system in Ohio
Subject: PLEASE READ - Important Message Concerning Teacher Value-Added Reports

As a precaution, the 2013-2014 Teacher Value-Added Reports that were released Tuesday are being taken down from the EVAAS website. Some of the teacher-student linkage data was not included in the analysis when the reports were produced. These reports will be corrected, verified and re-posted as soon as possible. The school and district reports will remain on the site and are accurate.
This is just one more reasons why this formula needs to be open and available for scrutiny. Educators whose careers depend upon these scores have no way of knowing if the calculations are accurate and correct. It is also another good reason why delaying the implementation of high stakes testing should be adopted, and thankfully a bill to do just that has been introduced.

Rep Teresa Fedor has introduced HB 642
To amend section 3302.036 of the Revised Code and Section 13 of Am. Sub. H.B. 487 of the 130th General Assembly to provide a three-year performance rating safe harbor for school districts and schools, to provide a three-year student academic growth rating safe harbor for teacher evaluations and when making decisions regarding teachers' employment and compensation, and to declare an emergency.
It has already attracted a number of co-sponsors, including Representatives Clyde, Bishoff, Stinziano, Hagan, R., Lundy, Hood, Gerberry, Barborak, Mallory, Slesnick, Phillips, Ramos, Foley, Cera, Antonio, Patterson, Driehaus, Sheehy, Rogers. It has also been openly welcomed by the Ohio Education Association, which represents 121,000 teachers, faculty members and support professionals in Ohio's public schools, colleges and universities.
“As Senator Peggy Lehner, the chair of the Senate Education Committee, has noted – ‘we are over-testing our kids’,” said OEA President Becky Higgins. “We urge state lawmakers to hit the pause button and determine which tests are actually needed and which are also appropriate for the grade level at which they’re being administered.”

OEA believes that with the use of the new Common Core standards in Ohio schools and the prospect of even more tests being conducted, it is important to take more time to make sure the implementation of these standards goes well.

“We’ve seen what has happened in other states where the hasty implementation of Common Core and the related testing has led to a backlash among parents, students and educators,” continued OEA President Higgins. “We support Ohio’s New Learning Standards, but we want to make sure Ohio gets it right. That’s why we think taking the time to ‘test the tests’ would be a prudent course to follow.”

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High-Stakes Testing, Lack Of Voice Driving Teachers Out

Contrary to popular opinion, unruly students are not driving out teachers in droves from America’s urban school districts. Instead, teachers are quitting due to frustration with standardized testing, declining pay and benefits and lack of voice in what they teach.

So finds a Michigan State University education scholar – and former high school teacher – in her latest research on teacher turnover, which costs the nation an estimated $2.2 billion a year.

Alyssa Hadley Dunn, assistant professor of teacher education, conducted in-depth interviews with urban secondary teachers before they quit successful careers in teaching. In a pair of studies, Dunn found that despite working in a profession they love, the teachers became demoralized by a culture of high-stakes testing in which their evaluations are tied to student scores and teachers have little say in the curriculum.

Many policymakers say the dominant emphasis on standardized testing is needed to make U.S. students more globally competitive. But “preparing students to answer multiple choice questions,” Dunn argues, is not true learning.

“Those are not the skills that created Silicon Valley and Facebook,” Dunn said, “and I don’t believe the child who will eventually cure cancer will achieve that by learning to choose between A and B.”

Frustration with high-stakes testing and top-down educational policies is part of what led Dunn, in 2009, to leave her job as an urban high school English teacher in Atlanta. According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, the teacher turnover rate in poor schools is about 20 percent per year – roughly 50 percent higher than the rate in affluent schools.

While previous research has examined why teachers quit after the fact, Dunn wanted to explore the issue while teachers are wrestling with the decision, to get a real-time take on the problem. In one of her studies, which appears in the Urban Review, the teachers she interviewed said the factors that made them want to continue teaching included their students, colleagues, commitment to the profession and worry about pursuing a new career in hard economic times.

“As previous research has shown, it is not, contrary to popular opinion, students who drive teachers out of the classroom,” Dunn said.

But the negative factors – including lack of quality instruction time and low salaries – outweighed the positive aspects of teaching and led the teachers to quit. The average U.S. teacher salary decreased 1.3 percent between 2000 and 2013 – to $56,383, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Further, the United States ranked 22 out of 27 participating countries in a 2011 study of teacher salaries by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

In addition, lack of support contributed to teachers’ decision to quit. Dunn said teachers need more than professional development – they also need personal support, even if that’s a colleague or an organized group to talk to about the pressures they face.

“How can teachers and administrators support each other in having courageous conversations about what teaching is doing to them,” Dunn said, “and how can they work together to ease some of the common stressors?”

In the other study, which appears in Teachers College Record, Dunn interviewed one of her brightest former teaching candidates, Samantha Durrance, who went on to become an urban middle school teacher – only to quit after just two years in the classroom.

Like Dunn, Durrance found the high-pressure environment of standardized testing to be detrimental to both her and her students.

“The reality I found was one in which there are far too many standards and far too little time to teach,” Durrance said. “I have given all of myself to this for too short a time to already be so drained. Fighting against the myriad of forces that drag our students down is just too much for me.”

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The Core of the problem is the tests

Earlier this week (October 14th, 2014) the Ohio house Rules Committee held its 7th hearing on HB597 - commonly referred to has the "Common Core Repeal bill", but in actuality is replete with all manner of extreme pieces of legislation only tangentially related to educating students. This hearing was committed to hearing from opponents of common core, including teachers. Here's how Gongwer reported their testimony
Teacher Tracy Yereb said one of her kindergarten students, Julia, had to sit beside the trash can daily because she vomited from stress. Her student Daniel came from a home where both parents were addicted to drugs and in and out of jail.

"Yet we asked Daniel to give his best performance on a 52-minute test to have documentation that he mastered the Common Core standards," she said in testimony. "Really? All Daniel could think about was wanting to have food and to live in a safe environment.
Another teacher testified
Vicki Brusky, a first-year teacher from Lorain County, said she has opted her son, who has Asperger's syndrome, out of taking the state tests because of the anxiety they cause.

In working with IEP students, she said she administered the third-grade reading test to two students who were granted extended time. She spent the day - 9 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. - administering the test to them and while one gave up, the other spent the end of the day rushing to fill in bubbles, she said.
And a third teacher
Steve Parlin, an English teacher from Marietta, said he thinks students are becoming more dependent and less self-directed.

"They are taking fewer risks, and instead hold out for the correct answer to be given to them, for that is all that matters," he said. "Indeed, the test-driven mania that dominates our school culture communicates one clear message above all others: The only thinking and learning that matters is that which can be measured. The only learning that matters is what will be tested."
What is striking about this so-called "anti-common core" testimony is how little of it is opposed to the standards, but rather the explosion of testing that is taking place in our schools. It should be obvious to all by now that the corporate reformers have created an over-testing crisis in our schools. In their desire to "hold teachers accountable" what they have instead achieved is holding back student learning so they can take test, after test, after test. It's time that madness ended, and the corporate reformers were sent back to their billionaire backed board rooms to leave the real business of education our children to the experts.

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Teacher retention is critical to school quality

When Reynoldsburg teachers went on strike, the issue of teacher retention came to the forefront of discussion. It was reported that almost 1 in 5 teachers had left the district. A rate of turnover far exceeding other districts in the area.

An EdWeek article discussing research on the issue of retention:

The panelists also stressed that teacher shortages are not a recruitment issue so much as a retention issue, as Ingersoll has demonstrated in his oft-cited studies on teacher-retention rates. Ingersoll's research finds that 45 percent of turnover occurs in only 25 percent of schools.
[...]
"We have the wrong diagnosis and the wrong prescription ... It's not that we produce too few [teachers,] it's that we lose too many," Ingersoll said.

He emphasized that any solution to school understaffing needs to focus not on making teaching more attractive to potential teachers but on retaining teachers once they enter the workforce. I said that the way to fix the problem "is to improve the quality of teachers and teaching, and the way to do that is to improve the quality of the teaching job."

That starts with administration.

"The key factor that matters," said Ladd, "is school leadership," particularly "transformational leadership" that focuses on more than simply instructional issues.

McWalters agreed, suggesting that leaders create environments where teachers can better collaborate with each and have more power in decision-making processes.
The variables mentioned for creating an environment conducive for retaining top talent seem obvious, but are also clearly lacking in Reynoldsburg. As evidence, even now that a contentious strike is over, the District led by first year Superintendent Tina Thomas Manning continues to disrespect its teaching force and act unilaterally
“Despite good-faith efforts to resolve this issue, the district decided to act unilaterally once again,” Kim Cooper, co-president of the Reynoldsburg Education Association, said in a statement on the union’s Facebook page yesterday.

“The district told us on Friday that they would not be able to make any decisions on a plan to address the missing pay until Monday,” Cooper said. “In good faith, we decided to give them that time to come up with a proposal. Instead, like so many times before, the district decided to act on its own and do whatever it wanted.”
When researchers examined the reasons for teaching staff turnover, the found the following:

The top four reasons were all primary reasons that led to the strike in Reynoldsburg, yet instead of addressing these issues the district instead sought to divide teachers using a merit pay system that has repeatedly been demonstrated to not work, and to further the insult, eliminate health benefits.

This battle with corporate reformers have been going on for a long time now, yet all the evidence continues to point away from their prescribes "solutions". There are now quick fixes to improving educational quality. It requires professional teachers, with manageable class sizes, ample preparation time and collaboration with colleagues, resourced with modern tools and supported by school management that is constantly open to meaningful dialogue. None of this is sexy, it's hard work, sometimes costly - but if you truly are interested in improving educational quality for all students this is where you must first look.

If you address the problems of teacher retention you are directly addressing school quality.

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