Education News for 04-18-2013

State Education News

  • School funding plan from Ohio House headed to a vote with many details still unclear (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
  • The school funding proposal created by Ohio House leaders is scheduled for a vote Thursday, along with the rest of the state budget…Read more...

  • Patrolman’s substitute-teaching job might start security trend (Columbus Dispatch)
  • When Columbus Police Officer Bret Wilson encountered teens on the job, he found them to be disrespectful, rude to their parents…Read more...

  • Legislator’s sex-ed proposal baffles some educators (Columbus Dispatch)
  • Some local school administrators say it’s unclear how a ban on teaching about “gateway sexual activity” would change sex-education lessons in their districts…Read more...

  • Coleman balks at school-takeover legislation (Columbus Dispatch)
  • Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman opposes a legislative plan that would allow him to pick two of the five members of a state panel that could take over Columbus City Schools…Read more...

  • Teachers see movement in state reading requirements (Mansfield News Journal)
  • Helping struggling readers master the skill is becoming more difficult for some Ohio teachers, even as lawmakers try to make it easier…Read more...

  • Conotton Valley debuts student helpline (New Philadelphia Times-Reporter)
  • Conotton Valley Union Local Schools has launched an anonymous helpline where students can report threats of violence, illegal activity, depression or bullying situations…Read more...

  • Bring Your Own Device pilot starting soon (Newark Advocate)
  • Newark City Schools is running a pilot for the Bring Your Own Device initiative in select classrooms at the high school. The students in the pilot will be encouraged to bring their own…Read more...

  • Budget bill contains proposal for state takeover of schools (Toledo Blade)
  • Proposed legislation could lead to a state takeover of Toledo Public Schools and eight other districts because of its data-reporting practices…Read more...

Local Education News

  • Phila school board gets ‘EverFi’ update (New Philadelphia Times-Reporter)
  • Members of the New Philadelphia Board of Education got an update on the EverFi Program…Read more...

  • Local groups could gain, schools lose under tax exemption (Zanesville Times-Recorder)
  • Some local fraternal organizations could save thousands of dollars each year if they are exempted from paying property taxes, dollars that could be directed to other charitable work in the community…Read more...

School related election issues today

24 counties have issues on the ballot today, a majority of those issues are school related.

30 Tax levy questions (20 are school issues)
1 Combination question (This is a school bond issue with a tax levy question)
4 income tax questions (2 are school income tax questions)

We'll bring you the results tomorrow.

Teacher Attitudes about Compensation Reform

We want to bring to your attention 3 study papers from The National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER). Some of it is pretty dense reading and probably isn't for everyone on a sunny summer's day. However we are heading into a period where lots of these issues are now front and center in how it impacts the teaching profession. It's worth a few minutes to simply read the conclusions if the entire paper is a little too much.

As Ohio moves towards high stakes teacher evaluations using student test scores, and of course, merit pay based on these high stakes evaluations it will become increasingly important for educators to understand these issues. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses and the state of current understanding will be crucial, for it is certain that there are lots of corporate education reformers who care less about whether new approaches actually work, and care more about profit seeking or their ideologically driven agendas.

The first paper looks at Value-Added Models and the Measurement of Teacher Productivity, and unsurprisingly finds that while VAM has some interesting uses, the data and measurement techniques are not mature enough to be reliable for high stakes decision making.

Value-Added Models and the Measurement of Teacher Productivity

The second paper looks at Teacher Attitudes About Compensation Reform, and finds that

We conclude with a reminder that our analysis says nothing of the politics of adoption. Whether a district is able to successfully adopt compensation reform clearly depends on its relationship with its teachers union, not just the attitudes of individual teachers. And while the WSTCS presents these various incentive plans as if they are separate from each other, if compensation reform is to have the types of effects that advocates and reformers hope for, various combinations of incentives may need to be considered: not just merit pay alone but merit‐pay combined with subject‐area pay and/or combat pay and/or NBPTS incentives. Teacher opinions about such combinations are an important topic for future research.

The final paper we want to bring to your attention covers Stepping Stones Principal Career Paths and School Outcomes, simply to highlight that school and student performance is affected by many complex variables, including school leadership itself.

We hope you continue to find the research we bring to your attention useful and informative and if you are aware of any research we haven't uncovered please let us know.