Ohio Policy

Increasingly, charter schools are being held to the accountability standards of traditional district schools and are now also subject to the newest requirements regarding student achievement and accountability under the No Child Left Behind Act. Unfortunately, few charter schools have the financial resources necessary to hire full-time testing coordinators to help them navigate the intricacies of state and federal testing requirements. This primer is designed to aid charter school leaders in coordinating testing and test data reporting procedures as required by state and federal guidelines. The report seeks to answer the following questions:

  1. What are the roles and responsibilities of charter schools under Ohio's new accountability system?
  2. What do charter schools need to know to effectively administer the test?
  3. What are the responsibilities of charter schools regarding testing?

This report presents a summary of the administration and results of annual pre- and post-testing of pupils enrolled in charter schools in Dayton and Springfield, Ohio during the 2001-2002 school year. The assessment activities were a project of the Education Resource Center of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce (DACC). The efforts of the DACC were supported in part via philanthropic gifts from the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation and other sources. The primary purposes of the assessment project were: 1) to help classroom teachers monitor individual student achievement and adapt instruction to promote learning; 2) to provide data for schools to assist them in gauging and improving their overall effectiveness; and 3) to foster public accountability and model the use of data to inform educational decision making.

This unique survey compares the views of parents with children in private, public and charter schools on the quality of their own schools as well as a range of education reform issues. Conducted in Dayton, Ohio,  home to one of the nation's fastest growing charter school programs as well as a strong private voucher program, the data show that, while public school parents are generally less satisfied with their children's present schools, the overwhelming majority of parents and non-parents support bold reform in the public school system. The survey also shows strong support among all groups for publicly funded vouchers, higher academic standards and performance pay for teachers.

Lisa Duty

One could argue that 2011 was the
year of “digital learning” in Ohio and across the nation. In September, the
White House announced its “Digital Promise” campaign, while a number of states
have been embracing initiatives and campaigns in this realm, aided and
encouraged by national groups like the Digital Learning Council and the
Foundation for Excellence in Education. Ohio’s biennial budget launched the
Ohio Digital Learning Task Force and charged it with ensuring that the state’s
“legislative environment is conducive to and supportive of the educators and
digital innovators at the heart of this transformation.”

Our two organizations –
KnowledgeWorks and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute – are committed to seeing
Ohio become a leader in the implementation of digital learning opportunities
for the state’s 1.8 million students. Ohio now stands at an important
crossroads and 2012 could be a pivotal year on whether we move forward in the
digital learning environment.

Our state has been a path-breaker
when it comes to availability of full-time e-school options that leverage
technology in learning. In fact, if all 33,000 children currently enrolled in
Ohio e-schools were in one school district they would comprise the state’s third-largest
district, just behind Columbus and Cleveland. Despite such numbers, Ohio has
yet to harness fully the potential of digital learning for all students. And,
given that digital learning can yield improvements in student achievement...

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