Education News for 09-20-2012

State Education News

  • Little Miami to appeal state ruling on transfers (Cincinnati Enquirer)
  • The financially troubled Little Miami Schools will appeal a state board ruling that may clear the way for a portion of its Warren County district to transfer…Read more...

  • 37 state schools to brainstorm on saving (Columbus Dispatch)
  • Officials from all 37 Ohio public colleges and universities are to meet today to discuss how they can reduce costs to students and taxpayers and improve efficiencies…Read more...

  • District warned of fiscal emergency (Youngstown Vindicator)
  • Nearly 100 residents, teachers and other school employees packed Mathews High School cafeteria Wednesday evening to hear an Ohio Department of Education official warn about the consequences…Read more...

Local Education News

  • Revere reaches contract with workers (Akron Beacon Journal)
  • The Revere school board has reached a new contract with one of its unions…Read more...

  • CPS approves teacher evaluation system (Cincinnati Enquirer)
  • The Cincinnati school board Wednesday unanimously approved a new teacher evaluation policy that grades teachers on their students' academic growth…Read more...

  • Cleveland parents get lessons in truancy and curfew dangers (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
  • Missing curfew and being truant might seem like small violations, but if students aren't where they are supposed to be, they're more likely to be in a place where they'll get into trouble…Read more...

  • School building study discussed (Findlay Courier)
  • The Arcadia school board was given a homework assignment Wednesday to study an analysis of its school facilities…Read more...

  • Drug test program is for volunteers (Warren Tribune Chronicle)
  • The new voluntary random drug testing program at the high school provides students with one more avenue for saying no to drugs, Principal Mary Walker said…Read more...


  • A flawed attempt at an in-school seclusion policy for Ohio (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
  • Thank goodness the Ohio Board of Education's first crack at outlining the appropriate use of restraints and seclusion to isolate troubled youngsters is just an ill-conceived draft…Read more...

  • Third-grade goal (Columbus Dispatch)
  • With a recent vote to set a cut-off score for Ohio’s new “third-grade reading guarantee,” the state Board of Education has drawn a reasonable line for determining which children are struggling…Read more...

Racing to the bottom by firing experience

With Ohio on the verge of adopting the worst aspects of Washington DC's teacher evaluation and merit pay system, more concerning revelations continue to surface. It's no secret that DC public schools were embroiled in a test cheating scandal under the leadership of corporate education reformer Michele Rhee. Now those falsified test results might be causing good teachers to lose their jobs

Student test scores from 100 District of Columbia public schools still under investigation for cheating were used in value-added calculations that were incorporated into some teachers' evaluations this year, according to DCPS spokesperson Fred Lewis. More than 200 D.C. teachers were terminated last week on the basis of their evaluation results.

Previously inflated student achievements are now falling back to earth, and the teachers tasked with catching them are being held responsible for the lower scores now legitimately being measured. In some cases, this is causing teachers evaluations to fall into the dangerous categories of being ineffective - where they are subject to dismissal.

When asked whether there was any chance the appeal decision could be made before the 2011-2012 school year begins, Lewis said:

"No, unfortunately, the appeals decisions will not be made before the beginning of the year. While this would be ideal, the window to file an appeal must be at least 30 days, which is after the first day of school. We also want to make sure we have all necessary evidence in order to ensure the process is comprehensive and fair. We do not want to rush."

Now that Washington DC is a few years into it's regular mass firing of teachers, recently released data from Department of Education shows an alarming result

DC Teacher Demographic

Almost half of Washington DC's teachers have 2 years or less experience! Does anyone still think corporate education reform and "teacher accountability" is about putting "Students First"? Or do we think administrators faced with harsh budget conditions are looking for any means possible to relieve themselves of more experienced and higher paid teaching professionals?

Left unchecked, Ohio's public education system will be in a race to the bottom, with students being served by teachers with little experience, few mentors, low pay, and all in a high pressure vocation. It may be a cheaper way to deliver "education", but at what true cost?