Posts by: Greg

House Bill 420 had not even had a single hearing before sponsor Kristina Roegner (R) entered a substitute that took a good bill and turned it on it’s head.  Roegner’s initial version of HB420 sought only to protect schools from being unfairly penalized by the increasing number of students opting out of Ohio’s standardized assessments.  That version of the bill received wide bi-partisan support.  Before the House Education Committee even got to consider the bill, however, Roegner dropped a bombshell of a substitute bill that seeks to penalize any school employee who dares to […]

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In December, the United States Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education sent a letter out to all “Chief State School Officers” (i.e., state superintendents) in order to “take this opportunity to remind you of key assessment requirements that exist under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (ESEA). These requirements will remain in place for the 2015-2016 school year, and similar requirements are included in the recently signed reauthorization of the ESEA, known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).”

One of Ohio’s State School Board Members, A. […]

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In the months leading up to the takeover of the Youngstown City Schools through the hijacking of House Bill 70, Governor Kasich, State Superintendent Dick Ross, and Youngstown Superintendent Connie Hathorn continually duped the public by claiming that solutions needed to “come from the community” while they worked in secret to create a puppet cabinet and the amended legislation.

Our station checked in with Youngstown City Schools to see if district leaders had heard from Kasich.

“Well I’m pretty sure that if the governor is going to do anything, he’s going to contact the school board first or the commission. I […]

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State Superintendent Dick Ross talked to the State Board of Education in July about the Youngstown Schools Takeover:

He said he did not tell the school board because it was not his proposal. He said he was given written ideas from the group there, offered advice, but is not sure who had the legal language for the bill amendment written.

“It came from Youngstown,” Ross told the board, adding: “I provided assistance.” (The Plain Dealer, July 20, 2015)

“…not his proposal.”
“…not sure who had the legal language for the bill amendment written.”
“It came from […]

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A couple of months after Dick Ross and staff from Governor Kasich’s office created the Youngstown Cabinet, the Youngstown Takeover Plan took shape.  The first appearance of the plan in email was a well-formed “draft” that was sent to Dick Ross from Buddy Harris, ODE Senior Policy Analyst, on the night of February 12.  That draft was updated and sent again on the morning of February 13.  The emails were not sent to the members of the commission by Ross or Harris, and the document was created at the Ohio Department of Education.  The emails and those two drafts are below:

[…]

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Over the past two days, we’ve revealed how emails and documents released by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) directly link outgoing State Superintendent Dick Ross to the creation of a Youngstown Cabinet that worked to enact a takeover of the Youngstown City Schools via the hijacking of House Bill 70.

The Youngstown Cabinet intentionally kept their membership a secret while Ross and ODE crafted the plans.  Not until after the bill was swiftly passed (in a single day) did they finally reveal their existence.  Minutes from the April and May meetings were released months ago that […]

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We reported yesterday that emails and documents released by ODE tie Dick Ross directly to the formation of the Youngstown Schools “cabinet” that eventually led to the takeover of the Youngstown City Schools, despite his testimony to the State Board of Education that the committee merely came to him for advice.  More emails and documents continue to defy those claims, showing that Dick Ross was part of a very small group that began the process and initiated the formation of the cabinet and its members.

A follow-up phone call occurred on September 27 with even fewer individuals than […]

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In July, after the state legislature passed a bill to change the process for Academic Distress Commissions, leading to a state takeover of the Youngstown City School District, Dick Ross told the State Board of Education that the plan was not his, was not led by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), and that “It came from Youngstown.  I provided assistance.”

Recently released emails and documents from ODE show that Ross actually did substantially more than that, collaborating with Governor Kasich’s office on a plan to overtake Youngstown and being intimately involved in the crafting of plans since […]

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House Bill 212 will get its first hearing this week in the Ohio House Education Committee now led by controversial chairman Andrew Brenner.  HB 212 was introduced last May by Andrew Thompson (R) who is best known for being both extremely conservative (i.e., Tea Party), but also for his extreme anti-Common Core stance which appealed to many parents and educators alike.

Thompson’s House Bill 212 includes many provisions that propose to change testing and curriculum in Ohio, though the majority of these provisions were already addressed when PARCC was eliminated and curriculum changes dictated this past summer in Ohio’s Budget […]

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When the FCI Academy abruptly closed this week, nearly 300 students and their parents were left in a lurch.  Many showed up for the first day of school on Wednesday to find a notice simply posted on the front door, with no one answering the door or the many repeated phone calls of parents looking for answers.  Some have even sought answers and assistance from the school’s sponsor, Education Service Center of Lake Erie West, located two hours north in Toledo, to no avail.

A parent we spoke with today expressed her frustration as she is now […]

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Exactly five full weeks ago, the day before David Hansen resigned from his post at the Ohio Department of Education after it was discovered that he withheld damaging charter school ratings from charter sponsor evaluations, we requested copies of his emails – both those he sent and those he received regarding the evaluations.

Despite the fact that those emails were supposedly reviewed internally at ODE, we have yet to receive a response.

Eleven days later, on July 28, we requested emails sent and received by Superintendent Dick Ross concerning the “Youngstown Plan” that he secretly (and illegally) […]

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