Education News for 04-01-2013

State Education News

  • Catholic schools embrace Common Core (Cincinnati Enquirer)
  • The Common Core isn’t just for public schools anymore. These days, private schools across the country are jumping on the public education standards bandwagon…Read more...

  • Lawmakers aren’t near a school-funding resolution (Columbus Dispatch)
  • Faced with an unpopular formula, a fast-approaching deadline, and an uncertain amount of money, Rep. Gerald Stebelton doubts a final school-funding plan can be crafted by the time the two-year state budget is approved…Read more...

  • Reports of child abuse, neglect increase (Columbus Dispatch)
  • Reports of possible abuse or neglect of children continue to rise in Franklin County, driven in part by more notices from schools, day-care centers and others who work with kids…Read more...

  • Ohio’s new chief educator is expected to seek change (Columbus Dispatch)
  • People who know Ohio’s new state school superintendent have called him provocative, direct and impatient…Read more...

  • Charter schools would receive 'F' in new standards (Newark Advocate)
  • Seven in 10 Ohio charter schools wouldn’t make the grade under Ohio’s new school rating system, which will replace ambiguous terms with an A-F scale…Read more...

Local Education News

  • Treasurer predicts fewer students will leave Akron for charter, private schools (Akron Beacon Journal)
  • Each year in May, Treasurer Jack Pierson prepares a five-year financial forecast for Akron Public Schools…Read more...

  • Lobbying not part of education panel’s expenses (Columbus Dispatch)
  • The Columbus Education Commission had spent just under $360,000 through February and had about $640,000 in city cash and pledges from the business community, officials said last week…Read more...

  • Campus Impact program helps students cope with bullying (Lorain Morning Journal)
  • In light of reports of bullying involving children, preventative programs such as Campus Impact are being sought locally to help students deal with the issue of bullying…Read more...

  • Linkage coordinators reflect on three years helping students stay in school (Newark Advocate)
  • In July 2010, Josh Devoll and Dava Kaltenecker became linkage coordinators…Read more...

  • Mathews teachers, board OK contract (Youngstown Vindicator)
  • Mathews schoolteachers and the board of education have ratified a three-year contract containing no salary increases for the duration of the contract and increased medical premiums in the third year…Read more...

  • Youngstown board members sound off on supt., each other (Youngstown Vindicator)
  • “Fractured” and “strained” are some of the adjectives city school board members used to describe their relationships with one another and with Superintendent Connie Hathorn — but so are “cordial” and "professional."…Read more...


  • Medina situation in a word: Disconnect (Canton Repository)
  • Medina residents are rightly upset about their school board’s lax policies on spending. They aren’t likely to rest until they’re satisfied that the board and administration are making resolution of this issue a top priority…Read more...

  • Give consideration to school consolidation (Lancaster Eagle-Gazette)
  • This past week, we raised the question: Does Ohio need 612 school districts? There is no clear-cut answer, but we believe it’s a question worthy of closer scrutiny…Read more...

Dispatch dodge disappoints

The Columbus Dispatch has cheered on the Governor's education "reform" plans every step of the way, from the draconian budget cuts, to SB5 - the Governor has had the full support of the state capital's newspaper of record. A need to improve the quality of Ohio's public education system, challenge the "status quo" has been their rally cry.

We were shocked then, to not read any editorial in this weekend's Dispatch criticizing the Governor for his appointment of an unqualified candidate to the State board of Education.

According to the Dispatch's own reporting, the Governor appointed Stanley Jackson, without ever having seen his resume. The Governor claiming Mr. Jackson's involvement in a charter school was qualification enough, only to discover that the charter school does not yet exist, and before Mr. Jackson can even spend one day on that job, he will resign from his fake school in order to avoid legal complications.

Furthermore, according to reports from NPR,

Kasich spokesperson Rob Nichols said Jackson is currently a candidate for an elected seat on the State Board of Education. Nichols said Jackson’s candidacy was what brought him to the attention of the governor’s office.

However, Jackson has not actually filed to run for state Board of Education, according to the Allen County Board of Elections. The deadline to file is Aug. 8.

StateImpact also reports that Mr. Jackson was an OSU dropout and never obtained his degree.

The State board of education has a full plate of policy to implement and guide, from common core, to teacher evaluations, and a new reading guarantee just for starters - it needs to have qualified people with a deep understanding of the issues in order to be successful, something Mr. Jackson does not posses.

Given these facts, why then has the Dispatch editorial board remained silent? Does their support of the Governor's education policies stop at the waters edge once criticism of their implementation is warranted?

Instead what the Dispatch editorial board decided to publish this weekend was another rehash of the SB5 fight, a sign that the Dispatch cares more about it's partisan politics than policies, even those it allegedly supports.


The ABJ manages to publish an appropriate editorial on this subject.


The pro SB5 campaign, building a better Ohio, is now at the center of a political firestorm, now being dubbed "GrannyGate", for airing one of the most deceptive and dishonest ads in Ohio political history. The ad has been deemed so dishonest that major TV stations WSYX, WTTE, WCMH in Columbus; WSAV, WCHS, and WVAH in Charleston; WTAP in Parkersburg; WTRF in Wheeling; WDTN and WBDT in Dayton and WTOL in Toledo are all refusing to air it

First reported on political news blog Plunderbund, the story has now gained mainstream attention, such as this report from WKYC 3

Marlene Quinn, the grandmother being illegally misrepresented by Building A Better Ohio had this to say

"I think it's dishonest and downright deceitful that they would use footage of me to try to play tricks and fool voters. It's insulting to the brave firefighters that saved the lives of my grandson and my great-granddaughter Zoey.

I'm outraged. They did not ask my permission. I feel violated.

I want to stop Senate Bill 5. Everyone should vote No on Issue 2.”

Cincinnati firefighter Paul Weber, one of the firefighters who rescued Marlene's granddaughter also had a strong rebuke

Despite all the negative news reports the Better Ohio campaign are now receiving, they continue to be unapologetic about their disgraceful actions.

Join the Future believes that this kind of campaigning has no place in the body politic of Ohio, and Better Ohio should immediately cease and desist from airing this, and all other misleading, dishonest ads and issue an unequivocal apology to Ms Quinn, the Cincinnati firefighters and the people of Ohio.

We are asking our supporters to contact Better Ohio's endorsers and politely ask them to request this course of action. It reflects badly on their organization to continue to support such disgraceful actions

Here's is a possible sample letter you can use or adapt.

To whom it may concern,
I am writing to you, because your organization has endorsed the Building A Better Ohio Issue 2 campaign. I wanted to make you aware of news reports regarding a dishonest TV ad that stations around the state are now refusing to air. While I am sure you are now aware of these reports, an example can be found here - report from WKYC 3.

As a concerned citizen I am requesting that your organization contact the Building A Better Ohio campaign and ask them to cease and desist from using this dishonest and deceptive ad, and apologize to the great grandmother they are using. This type of campaigning reflects badly upon supporters of Issue 2, and more broadly upon Ohio.

Thank you for your time and consideration

You can share any responses you receive from these organizations, in confidence, with us - You can also sign the We Are Ohio petition to request all TV stations cease airing this ad.

The weakest "linkage"

Many changes are starting to ripple down to the classroom level as Ohio moves forward with its efforts to implement corporate education reform. One of those changes is the creation and increasing use of teacher level value add reports. We provided some basic background on value add here if you need a refresher.

One of the most important steps in producing these complex reports for each teacher is to know which teacher taught which student, in which subject, and for how long. We need to know this for every student and every teacher. It's a process called "linkage". Without this linkage teachers could not be credited with the instruction they provided to each student.

By 2013, it will not be just RttT districts and Battelle for Kids’ projects that will require this linkage to occur, but all school districts must “implement a classroom-level value-added program (HB 153; Section 3319.112(A)(7)).

These teacher-level value-added reports will be used to determine teacher effectiveness and will be a significant factor in teacher evaluations. So it is clear that being able to accurately link student to teacher per subject is going to be critical if this system has any hope of working fairly.

If one imagines common scenarios such as students moving, teachers getting sick and having a sub, and one multiplies that by over 120,000 teachers in Ohio and almost 2 million students - the opportunity for linkage error is simply massive, only surpassed by the sheer magnitude of the administrative effort needed to keep this whole enterprise from unravelling.

Battelle for Kids has spent part of the summer providing some training and webinars on this issue.

In spring 2010, more than 125,000 rosters were verified by educators in South Carolina, Texas, Ohio and Oklahoma. Recent analyses of linkage results from schools across the country yield alarming results, including

Everytime a student moves, someone will have to go into a computer system and remove them from each teacher's roster, and then when that student enrolls in a new school, someone will have to go into a computer system and add them to each of their new teacher's rosters. Ditto for students changing classes, ditto for teachers needing to be replaced and on and on. Hundreds of thousands of changes throughout the school year will need to be performed, and all this on top of hoping the initial set up of millions of teacher/student linkages is error free each year to begin with!

Because Value add is longitudinal, i.e. results from previous years are used to make current year calculations, any errors from previous years will also be carried over, so it isn't like each year allows for a fresh start either. Indeed, as time rolls by, the errors may be compounding.

According to Battelle's own presentation this system hasn't worked to date in South Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma, nor Ohio - which is set to expand it to every school district.

How much confidence can anyone have in a system that will be used for high stakes decisions such as pay and employment, that relies on such gargantuan administrative tracking that has proven to be as utterly unreliable as this?

Link Before You Leap

Michelle Rhee, Inc.

At almost the exact moment Michelle Rhee took to a podium at a downtown D.C. hotel ballroom to announce her departure as the District’s schools chancellor in October, people working for her flipped the switch on a fancy new website, Facebook page, and Twitter account.

The well-choreographed roll-out was followed the next day with Rhee making the rounds on the network morning shows, marking the beginning of a media cycle that’s showed no sign of slowing since. Less than two months after her resignation, Rhee was sitting on Oprah’s comfy chairs announcing plans for a new advocacy group, StudentsFirst, that has already become a dominant force at the nexus between education and politics.

Just how was Rhee able to cement her brand as a national player so quickly? After all, there were reports from the Wilson Building that as of the morning after Adrian Fenty’s primary defeat, Rhee was still interested in staying on as chancellor. That, of course, wasn’t meant to be. She had become famous in three years at the D.C. Public Schools; as she shifted into the private sector, it became clear that she also had a ready-made organization standing by to keep her in the spotlight.

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