Education News for 5-29-2013

State Education News

  • Columbus school-levy bill advances in legislature (Columbus Dispatch)
  • After hearing testimony from two Columbus school-board members and others, the Ohio House Education Committee voted 16-3 yesterday to send a bill to the full House that would require a school district property-tax issue…Read more...

  • Gender split proves positive in Hamilton schools (Hamilton Journal-News)
  • The lunch period at any school can sometimes be a chaotic scene of boys and girls vying for each other’s attention…Read more...

  • Lorain Superintendent Tucker outlines comprehensive academic recovery plan (Lorain Morning Journal)
  • On the same day Superintendent Tom Tucker outlined his comprehensive academic recovery plan for Lorain City Schools, its treasurer presented a gloomy financial forecast…Read more...

  • Greenon follows trend on all-day kindergarten (Springfield News-Sun)
  • Kindergartners entering Greenon schools next year will get more time to learn as the district moves to all-day classes, following a state and national trend…Read more...

  • School Nurses Want Law To Help Them Save Students From Deadly Allergic Reactions (WBNS)
  • As the school year comes to an end, state lawmakers will be getting a bill backed by school nurses within the next few weeks. Nurses want to save the lives of students who have allergic reactions to food for the first time while at school…Read more...

Local Education News

  • Columbus board mum on hiring provost (Columbus Dispatch)
  • The Columbus Board of Education met privately at noon yesterday to discuss hiring Ohio State University Vice President and Provost Joseph Alutto to become acting superintendent…Read more...

  • Hancock School board to rescind some layoffs (Steubenville Herald-Star)
  • Three months after announcing teacher and other staff layoffs, the Hancock County Board of Education is poised to call some of those people back…Read more...

  • Struthers considers drug tests for athletes (Youngstown Vindicator)
  • The Struthers City School District may begin drug testing its student athletes in grades seven through 12 as soon as the 2013-14 academic year…Read more...

Education News for 04-23-2013

State Education News

  • Delays predicted in Common Core success (Cincinnati Enquirer)
  • There’s good news and bad news about the rise of the Common Core, that new system of math and English standards people hope will reshape and restore American education…Read more...

  • Lorain's Academic Distress Commission looks to set foundation for schools (Lorain Morning Journal)
  • Lorain’s Academic Distress Commission’s first meeting yesterday allowed the group to lay the foundation for its plan to dig Lorain schools out of its academic hole…Read more...

  • Common Core education goals come under fire (Marietta Times)
  • Three years after Ohio adopted the Common Core educational standards and a little more than 15 months from the start of the first year…Read more...

  • State superintendent OKs updated school recovery plan (Youngstown Vindicator)
  • Saying the city school district and the academic commission that oversees it have made progress, the state superintendent of public instruction has approved an updated academic recovery plan for the schools…Read more...

Local Education News

  • Free school lunches coming soon to some local elementary schools (Chillicothe Gazette)
  • Starting this fall, free lunches will be available to every student at Mount Logan, Tiffin and Worthington…Read more...

  • T.J. Lane appeals life sentence without possibility of parole (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
  • Convicted Chardon High School shooter T.J. Lane has appealed his sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole…Read more...

  • Dual enrollment options explained (Marietta Times)
  • Marietta High School students will have more ways to earn college credit without leaving campus next year…Read more...

  • Strongsville teachers union offered 'one-time' proposal to school board (Sun Newspapers)
  • The negotiation team for the Strongsville Education Association presented a new contract proposal to the school board…Read more...

  • Bay Village school district reaches contract agreement with teachers' union (Sun Newspapers)
  • The Bay Village school board Monday night approved a new three-year contract with the district’s teachers…Read more...

  • Boardman schools oppose state expansion of voucher program (Youngstown Vindicator)
  • The board of education approved a resolution Monday in opposition to two voucher programs included in Gov. John Kasich’s biennial budget…Read more...

SB316 analysis

The education portion of the mid biennium review (MBR), SB316, has now been completed. Below is the synopsis document produced by Ohio's legislative services commission (LSC).

Some of the highlights and lowlights:

  • Third-grade reading guarantee – retention
  • Requires the State Board of Education to determine the "cut" score, progressively adjusting it upwards until the retention requirements apply to students who do not receive at least a "proficient" score. Prohibits the State Board from designating a level lower than "limited." Not later than December 31, 2013, requires the State Board to submit to the General Assembly recommended changes to the scoring ranges of the state achievement assessments necessary for the successful implementation of the common core curriculum and assessments in the 2014-2015 school year.

    It's a huge unfunded mandated (only a paltry $13 million was attached to this effort), with only a few exceptions for students carved out. We suspect this provision will be revisited in the very near future once legislators start hearing from angry parents.

    Also included int he law is a section that, not later than February 28, 2013, the State Board of Education and the Early Childhood Advisory Council jointly to develop legislative recommendations on the state's policies on literacy education of children from birth to third grade. From birth!

  • District and building academic performance ratings
  • This didn't make the bill. The legislature received a lot of push back from a broad range of interests that didn't like the idea of downgraded schools in short order, right before tougher common core standards were also to be introduced.

  • Performance indicators for dropout prevention and recovery programs
  • These are some of the worse charter schools in the country, not just the state. They have avoided accountability for poor performance for a long time. Initially SB316 contained provisions to hold them accountable, however those provisions were also stripped and replaced with provisions requiring the adoption of performance indicators for dropout prevention and recovery programs operated by school districts and community schools with provisions for a separate rating system specifically for community schools that operate dropout prevention and recovery programs, to be used beginning with the 2014-2015 school year. No rush there, then.

  • Reports of district and school spending
  • This provision initially passed in the original budget has been delayed 12 months.

  • Teacher evaluations
  • This section of SB316 fixed a lot of the ridiculous provisions contained in HB153. You now have to actually be in a classroom at least 50% of the time to be covered, test scores of students who are absent more than 60 days (!) won't be counted, nor those defined as habitually truant. the new law makes quite a few structural changes and some nuanced changes. We urge educators to take a little time to read this entire section (page 19, thru 21)

  • Teacher retesting
  • Remember the provision that would have required all teachers in the bottom 10% of schools to retake the PRAXIS test? That's gone, replaced with a different retesting provision. It now applies, beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, to teachers employed by school districts when the teacher has been rated "ineffective" on evaluations for two of the three most recent years. (Retains the law applying the requirement to teachers employed by community schools and STEM schools when the teacher's building is ranked by performance index score in the lowest 10% of all public schools.) The law also adds that if a teacher employed by a school district passes the required exams, the teacher, at the teacher's own expense, must complete professional development targeted at the deficiencies identified in the teacher's evaluations. The district may terminate the teacher if the teacher (a) does not complete the professional development or (b) receives an "ineffective" rating on the teacher's next evaluation after the professional development.

  • Nonrenewal of teacher and administrator contracts
  • Extends the deadlines for a school district or educational service center (ESC) to notify a teacher that the person's contract will not be renewed for the following school year, from April 30 to June 1.

  • Charter schools
  • There is a host of provisions affecting charter schools starting on page 38 that we are still digesting.

SB316 bill analysis

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.