Doing more with less in K-12 education: A timely discussion for Ohio

This week 140+ local school district leaders and members of the business and philanthropic communities gathered in northern Ohio to take part in two Doing More with Less in K-12 Education events. The events, one held at Cleveland State University and the other at Lorain County Community College, were intended to help local education, business, and community leaders identify ways to think smart about cuts to schools spending while still staying focused on student achievement.? The event was moderated by our own Chester E. Finn, Jr. and featured three panelists: Nate Levenson (co-founder of District and Community Partners- a consulting group that helps district improve their special needs programs while reducing costs); Steven Wilson (founder and president of Ascend Learning- a charter school management organization); and Paolo DeMaria (principal at Education First Consulting and former executive vice chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents). All three panelists brought a unique and different viewpoint, helping attendees grasp what it means to do more with less in K-12 education. These events could not have been timelier as school districts around the state have to learn how to operate with fewer resources.? The event can be watched in its entirety here and the presentation can be viewed here. The following are some of the best tweets and photos from the events. You can view the Twitter stream using #morewless.

Terry Ryan: spending/achievement conundrum - spending more $ but achievement flat #morewless

Levenson: This may seem obvious, but spending thoughtfully is not the norm #morewless

Levenson: Even when $ is tight, need to invest in better data systems #morewless

Levenson says that about less than 1 in 25 CFOs/leaders he talks to can say how much they're spending & what the outcomes are

Levenson: Tests & standards are expensive, but nothing is more expensive than a kid not learning (and not having data to know it) #morewless

Levenson: We've created system in which kids who need the most get teachers who are not the most successful; we give them small class size

Wilson: Fiscal crisis = incredible opportunity to fundamentally redo K-12, especially in urban areas #morewless

Wilson: Small increases in class size can have profound savings #morewless

Wilson: So how do we make teachers more productive? Frequent evals, radical overhaul of PD, extend reach of effective teachers

Wilson: Rotating bad teachers from one school to the next is an obscenity #morewless

DeMaria: Districts can't just hold themselves over for 1-2 years; NEW NORMAL means long-term financial challenges #morewless

DeMaria: Standards, assessment & accountability hugely important (Checker asked if these were luxury goods during tight times)

(Cleveland State University event)

(Lorain County Community College event)

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