Posts by: Greg

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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When the Ohio budget bill (House Bill 64) was finally adopted by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Kasich, it included a very specific provision prohibiting the use of certain value-added ratings in teacher and principal evaluations.  This was considered a victory as the ratings would have been based on the now-scrapped PARCC assessments from this past school year and the not-yet-created AIR tests scheduled to be administered this coming school year.

Our initial take on the provision was that it meant that teacher and principal evaluations over the next two years would not include any value-added ratings […]

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Political gamesmanship.

And, of course, the almighty fundraising dollar.

The Ohio Senate Education Committee worked “overtime” after the passing of the state budget bill to try and pass House Bill 2 at the end of June (which they had been sitting on for nearly three months).  Nevertheless, the committee made huge progress in a short amount of time and combined House Bill 2 with the Senate’s version of charter school accountability, Senate Bill 148, which had been sitting in a Senate subcommittee since late April.  The actions to pass the bill through the Senate and get it to the House before the summer recess […]

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After the Ohio House removed language from the original version of the Ohio budget bill (HB64), Senate Bill 148 was created, proposing many of the long-overdue reforms to the charter school system that the House dropped.  SB148 received strong support from a diverse group of backers, including the Cleveland Plain Dealer editorial board, StudentsFirst Ohio, The Fordham Institute, and the Ohio Education Association.  Even Darlene Chambers, president of the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools, expressed support for most of the components of the bill in a May 7 Columbus Dispatch article:

“It is […]

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Buried deep within the Ohio Budget Bill (HB64), and as agreed upon by the Conference Committee working out the details between the House and Senate versions, is the following language:

Of the foregoing appropriation item 200597, Education Program Support, $2,000,000 in each fiscal year [of the two-year budget] shall be distributed to Teach For America to increase recruitment of potential corps members at select Ohio universities, train and develop first-year and second-year teachers in the Teach for America program in Ohio, and expand alumni support and networking within the state.

Teach for America already charges school districts taxpayer-funded dollars as a […]

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As part of a long list of amendments to House Bill 64 (state budget bill) yesterday, the Senate Finance Committee included some education “reforms” that would take place starting next school year.  One of the most significant changes is to the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System framework and implies that legislators’ faith in the PARCC standardized assessments is waning fast.

Here is the proposed language in its entirety (page 377 of the omnibus):

(A)(1) Notwithstanding anything in the Revised Code to the contrary and except as provided in division (A)(2) of this section, the board of education of a school […]

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In the Senate’s version of the State Budget Bill (House Bill 64), the author’s decided to include bonus money for charter schools and school districts based on two specific items: four-year graduation rates and third grade reading proficiency (based on whatever third grade reading test the state will be using).

For graduation rate, the formulas are fairly simple: “The school/district’s four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate on its most recent report card x 0.05 x the formula amount x the number of the district’s graduates reported to the department … for the same school year for which the most recent report card was issued”.

The “formula amount” is also being increased […]

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In the Ohio Senate’s version of the state budget bill, House Bill 64, a controversial provision added in by the Ohio House was left unchanged:

Sec. 3301.078. (B) No funds appropriated from the general revenue fund shall be used to purchase an assessment developed by the partnership for assessment of readiness for college and careers for use as the assessments prescribed under sections 3301.0710 and 3301.0712 of the Revised Code.

The “partnership for assessment of readiness for college and careers” is better known as PARCC, the consortium that administered the new state tests in Ohio and many other states this year and was […]

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