Education News for 08-21-2012

State Education News

  • National firm to lead hunt for Ohio education boss (Canton Repository)
  • The Ohio school board opted Monday to conduct a thorough national search for a new state superintendent…Read more...

  • Ohio school report cards delayed during data investigation (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
  • Parents and school officials are going to have to wait longer than usual to see how their public schools fared on the latest state report cards…Read more...

  • Data chaos delays report cards on schools (Columbus Dispatch)
  • Releasing Ohio’s school report cards this month simply wouldn’t be fair, the state’s education leaders have decided…Read more...

  • Executive-search firm to help find next state school chief (Columbus Dispatch)
  • The State Board of Education didn’t use an executive-search firm before hiring Stan Heffner as state superintendent last year…Read more...

  • Teacher evaluations to be time-consuming (Lima News)
  • Elida High School Principal Greg Leeth has 37 teachers in his building. And when the new Ohio Teacher Evaluation System begins next school year, he and his assistant principal will have to evaluate each of them twice a year…Read more...

  • New school year, new chance to stress early learning (Marion Star)
  • As kindergarten students start school, teachers are asking parents to continue their learning at home. Students who haven’t gone to preschool will get their first taste of school this week…Read more...

  • School report cards delayed (Toledo Blade)
  • The Ohio Board of Education voted unanimously Monday to indefinitely delay the release of school report cards in the wake of a statewide investigation into reports of data manipulation…Read more...

  • Pay-to-play fees abound in area school districts (Willoughby News Herald)
  • Only a few days remain before students are back to school, with some districts starting as early as Wednesday. After spending money to ensure children have the supplies they need for the new year…Read more...

Local Education News

  • Ashtabula board puts brakes on transportation (Ashtabula Star-Beacon)
  • Ashtabula Area City School Board unanimously voted Monday night to keep the 6.4-mill levy on the Nov. 6 ballot and to cut student transportation to local extracurricular activities…Read more...

  • CPS redistricting move angers Oakley families (Cincinnati Enquirer)
  • A dozen Oakley families are calling for policy changes after Cincinnati Public Schools redrew a school attendance boundary without notifying them and assigned them to a new school opening this week in Hyde Park…Read more...

  • Effort to repeal Westerville school levy makes ballot (Columbus Dispatch)
  • An effort to reduce a 3-year-old school tax in Westerville produced enough valid petition signatures to be placed on the Nov. 6 ballot by the Franklin County Board of Elections…Read more...

  • Hancock schools set policy for free, reduced-price meals (Findlay Courier)
  • Hancock County Local Schools has announced the 2012-13 policy for free and reduced-price meals for children unable to pay the full price of meals…Read more...

  • City loan fund out $221,665 on school (Mansfield News Journal)
  • County officials have filed to foreclose on the former Woodville Elementary School to collect $5,740 in delinquent property taxes…Read more...

  • Mobile literacy program keeps kids reading (New Philadelphia Times)
  • A new pilot reading program kept students focused on books this summer, despite being away from the classroom…Read more...

  • Dropouts offered 2nd chance (Toledo Blade)
  • Allison Hinds decided in her senior year that she and high school didn't mix. A teenager with attention deficit disorder and test anxiety, she found herself with a full schedule…Read more...

  • Information System Glitch Costs Columbus Schools Money For Mailers (WBNS)
  • Some parents in the Columbus City Schools said that the district is wasting time and money sending out busing information that is not complete…Read more...


  • Lifting up talent (Columbus Dispatch)
  • With a new school year starting, some central Ohio school systems are beginning to make a transition from seniority to merit as a basis…Read more...

The Disaster Capitalism Curriculum

Great piece

Welcome to other side of the looking glass, and into the Bizarro world of so-called "education reform" - an upside-down universe in which up is down, left is right and multimillionaire CEOs are civil rights heroes championing social justice, while public school teachers are corrupt fat cats, maintaining a status quo which oppresses students in poverty and racism.

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A different kind of investment

Education is often referred to as an investment in our future, and undoubtedly it is, as we prepare our young people to enter the workforce with creativity, energy and entrepreneurship. However, modest investment increases in public education also have an immediate, and direct, beneficial effect upon those making the investments.

A recent study by the Brooking's Institute revealed

An analysis of national and metropolitan data on public school populations and state standardized test scores for 84,077 schools in 2010 and 2011 reveals that:
Across the 100 largest metropolitan areas, housing costs an average of 2.4 times as much, or nearly $11,000 more per year, near a high-scoring public school than near a low scoring public school. This housing cost gap reflects that home values are $205,000 higher on average in the neighborhoods of high-scoring versus low-scoring schools. Near high-scoring schools, typical homes have 1.5 additional rooms and the share of housing units that are rented is roughly 30 percentage points lower than in neighborhoods near low-scoring schools.

This is clear evidence that investing a few hundred dollars per year to increase your local schools performance will have a dramatic effect on your home values - typically $11,000 per year, according to this study. The reason is no secret of course, people with school age children want to live in areas that have excellent schools, and are prepared to pay a premium for it. These results have been found to be true over and over. The St Louis Fed found

Traditional empirical models of the capitalization of education quality on house prices have established that the quality of primary school education is positively correlated with house prices. Recent capitalization studies have used various approaches to address concerns about omitted variable bias induced by failing to account for the correlation between school quality and unobserved neighborhood characteristics. Most of these variations on the traditional hedonic approach (including the boundary discontinuity regression) have assumed that the house price premium is constant because in all these models the contribution from school quality on house prices is constrained to be linear.

In this paper, we propose an alternative formulation that allows for nonlinear effects of school quality. We show that this formulation is preferred by the data over a baseline linear boundary fixed effects model and that the rate at which the house price premium rises increases over the range of school quality. In other words, the standard linear specification for test scores overestimates the premium at low levels of school quality and underestimates the premium at high levels of school quality.

In the St. Louis metropolitan area, houses associated with a school ranked at 1 SD below the mean are essentially priced on physical characteristics only. In contrast, houses associated with higher-quality schools command a much higher price premium.

Interestingly, and in contrast to many studies in the literature, the price premium remains substantially large, especially for houses associated with above-average schools. This is true even in our most conservative estimates, which complement the boundary discontinuity approach by explicitly controlling for neighborhood demographics. These estimates also reveal that the racial composition of neighborhoods is capitalized directly into house prices.

This then makes the move to downgrade Ohio's schools based on some new, arbitrary standard all the more baffling. Not only will this move potentially produce lower school ratings, it may also destroy tens of millions of dollars worth of housing value at a time when house prices are already under extreme stress and the economy struggling to improve.

Consider this then, when they vote one levies. A few hundred bucks could add thousands of dollars to the value of you home. One can only imagine the added wealth that could be created if the state lived up to its constitutional responsibilities and invested properly in public education too.

Administration destroying jobs to create phantom ones

One thing that hasn't changed in the Senate's budget revisions are the cuts. While they did manage to find another $100 million or so, that still leaves schools across the state suffering from an estimated $3 billion shortfall over the next 2 years. The results of which we are starting to see now as districts cut, cut, cut, cut and cut some more.

One of the plans the administration has in the budget was to lease the state liquer business and use those receipts to fund its new economic development program, "JobsOhio". The plan had been to lease it for $1.2 billion. Now it turns out that a people are starting to question whether that's a low ball number, and that maybe this valuable state asset could be worth a lot more. Hundreds of millions of dollars more in fact.

The state of Ohio needs to jack up the $1.2 billion price on its state liquor operations before selling them off to the newly hatched JobsOhio economic development board later this year.

That's the conclusion of Republican Sen. Tim Grendell and the Center for Community Solutions, a public policy think tank. Both have popped up in recent days with criticisms that the proposed $1.2 billion price tag for the state's liquor monopoly is far too low.

By some estimates the price might be $800 million too low. Sen. Grendell wants to amend the budget to increase the price to $1.5 billion and divert that extra $300 million to education. The Governor, through his spokesperson is having none of it.

Nichols also responded in an e-mail that creating jobs was more important than expanding government.

"For those who really understand that job creation is Ohio's greatest need right now, then the right focus is on making sure JobsOhio has every resource it needs to help create jobs and revive Ohio's economy," he wrote. "Ensuring a fair transaction on the liquor enterprise is a given, but a preoccupation with that to the detriment of JobsOhio's success is just another example of people failing to realize that creating jobs is more important than growing government."

This is nonsensical. Getting more money from the sale of a state asset in order to preserve thousands of middle class education jobs is economic development. To block this move and call it "growing government" is incomprehensible, and should cause everyone to pause and consider what the administrations true motives are.

Ohio Budget Watch has more on this privatization scheme.