Education News for 02-20-2013

State Education News

  • State aid for Columbus schools uncertain (Columbus Dispatch)
  • What initially looked like a $29 million boost for the Columbus school district under a proposed state funding plan could really be more like $4.4 million…Read more...

  • Taxes, Medicaid, education focus of Kasich address (Dayton Daily News)
  • Gov. John Kasich used his third State of the State address on Tuesday to convince Ohioans and state lawmakers that his budget plan is the right mix of smart government service…Read more...

  • School technology struggles with digital learning push (Hamilton Journal-News)
  • As the state prepares to move to computer-based standardized testing by 2015, officials at some Butler County school districts say they that don’t have the computers…Read more...

  • Senior volunteers mentor students in reading (Lima News)
  • A pilot program pairing senior citizen volunteers with students to improve childhood literacy has been introduced in Ohio…Read more...

  • Kasich Outlines School Funding Plan, Budget In State Of State (WBNS)
  • Ohio Gov. John Kasich is calling his school-funding proposal an objective plan that applies equally to all districts based on their property tax wealth, residents' income…Read more...

Local Education News

  • Upper Arlington lays out job cuts, athletic-fee hikes (Columbus Dispatch)
  • The Upper Arlington school district will cut almost $3 million from the budget next school year under a plan the superintendent outlined…Read more...

  • Coleman’s panel wants city schools to put superintendent search on hold (Columbus Dispatch)
  • Mayor Michael B. Coleman and several members of his Education Commission have told the Columbus school board to halt its efforts…Read more...

  • Elida board approves reductions; higher pay-to-play costs (Lima News)
  • Elida schools will cut $465,569 from its budget next year by restructuring two central office positions, replacing retiring staff with people…Read more...

  • Law enforcement, schools share safety tactics (Lima News)
  • School safety has been pushed to the forefront for many concerned parents and local officials…Read more...

  • Perrysburg Board of Education concerned with governor's school funding formula (Toledo Blade)
  • Perrysburg Superintendent Tom Hosler sat in a car with other local superintendents digesting a statewide education meeting held recently in Columbus…Read more...


  • ‘Trigger’ for parents (Akron Beacon Journal)
  • Reformers in recent years have proposed different ways to hold public schools accountable for performance…Read more...

  • Stop investigating Franklin's school chief (Cincinnati Enquirer)
  • Speaking freely is a near-sacred American right, enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution. That’s why the decision of the Warren County prosecutor…Read more...

  • Stuck with the check (Columbus Dispatch)
  • During his re-election campaign, President Barack Obama paid many visits to Ohio State University and other colleges around the country…Read more...

More cheating exposed

No sooner had we pegged cheating scandals as our number 4 story of the year, than a new scandal emerges, this time in Georgia.

A new investigative report details a second major standardized test cheating scandal in a Georgia school system, implicating 49 educators, including 11 principals. A key reason for the “disgraceful” cheating, investigators said, was pressure to meet No Child Left Behind requirements.

The probe (see here and here) by the Georgia governor’s Special Investigators team into cheating in the Dougherty County School System concluded that “hundreds of school children were harmed by extensive cheating.”

“While we did not find that Superintendent Sally Whatley or her senior staff knew that crimes or other misconduct were occurring, they should have known and were ultimately responsible for accurately testing and assessing students in this system. In that duty, they failed,” the 293-page report says.

Wherever we have corporate education reforms we find unsavory corporate behaviors.

Test Scores Often Misused In Policy Decisions

Education policies that affect millions of students have long been tied to test scores, but a new paper suggests those scores are regularly misinterpreted.

According to the new research out of Mathematica, a statistical research group, the comparisons sometimes used to judge school performance are more indicative of demographic change than actual learning.

For example: Last week's release of National Assessment of Educational Progress scores led to much finger-pointing about what's working and what isn't in education reform. But according to Mathematica, policy assessments based on raw test data is extremely misleading -- especially because year-to-year comparisons measure different groups of students.

"Every time the NAEP results come out, you see a whole slew of headlines that make you slap your forehead," said Steven Glazerman, an author of the paper and a senior fellow at Mathematica. "You draw all the wrong conclusions over whether some school or district was effective or ineffective based on comparisons that can't be indicators of those changes."

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SB5 language In budget to get the axe?

Gongwer is reporting that house Republicans are not too keen to put S.B.5 language in the budget bill

House Republicans are resistant to the idea of tucking additional components from the recently passed collective bargaining law into the pending state budget bill, Speaker Bill Batchelder (R-Medina) said Wednesday.

The speaker, who had previously had indicated it was a possibility that provisions from the contentious union measure (SB 5) could end up in the voluminous biennium spending plan (HB 153), said after session that his members do not want to thwart the will of the voters in that regard. "At this time that is not contemplated, but obviously the committee is still working," he said, adding: "It would be extremely premature for me to make a bottom line on that."

Before we get to excited by this positive development, we need to be on gaurd to ensure that some of the provisions currently in the bill do get stripped out.

Current language in the budget bill (HB 153) will totally eliminate the ability of local associations to bargain salary. Instead, it would provide the authority to local school boards to annually adopt a teacher’s salary schedule with a minimum and maximum salary for each category of licensure (e.g. resident, professional, senior and lead) and designate salary placement for each teacher based on yet-to-be-determined evaluations, “highly qualified” status, and any other relevant factors, such as class size or assignment to hard-to-staff districts, subjects or at risk students.

These requirements supersede conflicting provisions of collective bargaining agreements entered into on or after the effective date of the bill (ORC 3317.14).