Education News for 11-06-2012

State Education News

  • Finding new head of schools a challenge (Columbus Dispatch)
  • For the third time in less than five years, Ohio has a job opening for state superintendent of public instruction. Attracting good candidates could be a challenge…Read more...

  • Health care costs rising by $700K in some districts (Hamilton Journal-News)
  • All Butler County schools enrolled in a countywide health care consortium are facing a 12 percent hike in insurance premiums…Read more...

  • Common questions voters have on schools (WKYC)
  • Every election, voters ask why there are school levies on the ballot when the Ohio Lottery and casinos help fund the schools?…Read more...

Local Education News

  • Somber Canton BOE names Allison to replace late Chris Smith (Canton Repository)
  • A somber Board of Education met Monday evening to grieve its loss of Superintendent Chris Smith and name a successor to continue Smith’s vision for the City Schools…Read more...

  • Rossford schools to consult voters on upgrades (Toledo Blade)
  • The Rossford schools could come to the voters next November with a levy request, but this would happen only after a community survey…Read more...

  • Boxing Legend Pushes CMSD Levy Passage (WJW)
  • Legendary boxing promoter and Cleveland native Don King was in the city Monday, going door to door and pressing the flesh, pushing for the passage of the controversial school levy…Read more...

An Open Letter to Ohio Women

Playing fair and playing by the rules are two of the most important lessons we teach our children. Unfortunately, Ohio politicians don’t want to play fair and they want to make their own rules. The system is rigged to allow the majority party to draw Statehouse and Congressional district lines to protect their own seats and their political party. Drawing district lines that determine who gets elected is how the politicians hold on to their power. In effect, they have turned our government from “We the People” into “We the Politicians”.

Passage of State Issue 2 will establish a system that takes the power away from politicians and gives good, decent people who want to fix our problems a real chance to compete against career politicians and win. We all want an impartial process AND WE CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN! The choices we make on November 6 will have a profound effect on the lives of our children and grandchildren.

Politicians will come and go, but the passage of State Issue 2 will help ensure that neither party can unfairly dominate state politics. When elections are fair and balanced the people of Ohio win.

In this election, you will have an opportunity to take a stand and vote YES on Issue 2. The system that decides who our elected officials are should be open to the public, transparent and without partisan manipulation.

As women, one a Republican and one a Democrat, we invite you to unite with us around issues of fairness and accountability. There is much wrong with politics but how we choose our elected officials should not be one of those wrongs. We can fix this problem once and for all.

Collectively, we must stand up and be heard. We must do this for our communities, our children, our values and our future. We have the chance to make a big difference in this election. Not in one politician’s life–but in the lives of all Ohioans.

Please help us by talking with your friends and neighbors about this important issue and share this message on Facebook, Twitter and your other social networks. To volunteer or learn how you can become more engaged on this issue, please email and a Voters First representative will get back with you right away.

Leave a legacy. Vote for fairness, vote for our future, and vote YES on ISSUE 2.

Joan Lawrence
Former Member Ohio House of Representatives
League of Women Voters of Ohio, since 1957 State of Ohio

Frances Strickland
Former First Lady, State of Ohio

Data proves voters increasingly supporting schools

Since we launched Join the Future almost one year ago, we have been tracking Ohio's school levy election results. Below we have plotted the passage rates for New and Renewal levies, and the combined results. As you can see, passage rates have been steadily increasing since the May 2011 primary. Let's hope that voters continue to support our public schools in ever greater numbers, despite the Governor's inexplicable call to vote against school funding.

Levy Date New Renewal All
May 2011 35.3% 91.8% 58.9%
Aug 2011 19.0% 100% 32.0%
Nov 2011 28.4% 88.6% 50.8%
Mar 2012 56.6% 98.1% 75.2%

Levy Trend Results

New criteria for dropout schools proposed

Charter operators have long used a loophole in Ohio's lax charter laws to skirt and avoid accountability. Some of those loopholes are getting smaller. Gongwer

Dropout recovery charter schools have long been shielded from Ohio's closure laws for poor performance but the Department of Education revealed details Monday on how it might fairly grade those schools.

Advocates for the schools that serve students age 17 to 22 who either dropped out of school or who are at risk of doing so have said their institutions should be graded differently from traditional schools because they work with challenging student populations.
ODE staff laid out eight criteria by which they said the state could score the dropout recovery schools in an equitable manner.

The eight criteria are as follows:

  • Academic growth, If this standard were adopted, however, it would only apply to students who are engaged and participating a certain number of days out of the year.
  • The schools' graduation test passage rate as a cumulative rate. It would not be the same indicator as for traditional schools, which is first-time passage of the test in 10th grade.
  • The schools' extended graduation rate. Designed to give schools credit for graduating students in four years, five years, six years, seven years."
  • Credits earned as an indication of progress toward a diploma.
  • College and career readiness with the former including apprenticeships and two-year and four-year degrees.
  • Community collaboration. A measure of working on an individualized education plan for these students and measuring whether those (plans) exist for students.
  • Sustained enrollment and attendance, which addresses that challenge of getting students to participate.
  • Sponsor rating, which would attempt to address the uniqueness of dropout recovery schools in their mission and population.

Only time will tell if these criteria are meaningful enough and vigorously pursued to have any meaningful impact on students academic achievements.

Top 3 Today

The top 3 news stories for you today.

  1. Savings fostered by collective-bargaining law anything but a sure thing

The Administration uses fuzzy math to calculate savings from S.B.5 - savings that come out of paychecks in the form of eliminated step increases and increased health premium contributions. The Administration then claims the savings don't come from salaries.

"He can't have it both ways," said Dennis Willard, spokesman for We Are Ohio, the coalition pushing the November referendum, arguing that the governor cannot say there will not be pay cuts but at the same time promote the kind of savings that will come out of workers' paychecks.
  1. 1 signature vs. 3,000
Just two business days after Kasich signed SB 5, We Are Ohio was able to collect more than enough signatures to start the referendum process. Now we wait the ten business days to see if Secretary of State Husted will certify at least 1,000 valid signatures and if Attorney General DeWine will certify the proposed summary.
  1. Rally supports referendum on SB 5
DAYTON — More than 200 representatives from local unions, community and religious groups opposed to the passage of Senate Bill 5 gathered in the auditorium of Teamsters Local 957 Monday night to rally support for a referendum on the November ballot.

The rally was one of more than 1,000 labor events across the country commemorating the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tenn., where he had gone to stand with striking sanitation workers.

News for March 9th,2011

As the first House committee meeting for SB5 got underway, the Dispatch reports that it is expected to easily gain passage, that of course would eventually setup a referendum to overturn this radical law that upsets decades of collective bargaining. To gain that "easy passage" however, more radical steps were taking by the majority

House Speaker William G. Batchelder replaced two Republicans on the committee: Reps. Richard Adams of Troy and Ross McGregor of Springfield. Unlike in the Senate, where committee changes were made to get the bill passed, House GOP leaders said the changes were made because the two need to focus on the Finance Committee, which will start budget hearings next week.

Business Journal Daily has some of the political implications of this radical legislation

Republicans might have made a mistake by using a sledgehammer when a scalpel might have been more appropriate, Sracic said. Rather than going after collective bargaining rights, which recent poling shows Americans largely support, Republicans could have gone after retirement contributions or other issues, "things that would have been acceptable," he said. "The problem [for Republicans] is unions have been very good about making this about their right to collective bargaining," he remarked.

Swing voters in the middle also tend to act as governors in the system, "so any sort of extreme action is going to be resisted," he added.

In response to Governor Kasich's first state of the state, a crowd of over 3,000 people protested this ongoing assault on working people, as the Latern reports

Thousands of protesters flooded the lawns in an attempt to drown out Gov. John Kasich as he gave his State of the State address.
After encouragement from protest leaders, hundreds of protesters filed into the Statehouse at about noon today. The protesters were in opposition of Kasich and Senate Bill 5.

You can follow daily news and updates on twitter @jointhefutureOH