Ohio Policy

Fordham gives its advice to Governor-elect Kasich and the incoming leaders of the Ohio House and Senate as it relates to the future of K-12 education policy in the Buckeye State. To move Ohio forward in education, while spending less, we outline seven policy recommendations. 1) Strengthen results-based accountability for schools and those who work in them. 2) Replace the so-called “Evidence-Based Model” of school funding with a rational allocation of available resources in ways that empower families, schools, and districts to get the most bang for these bucks. 3) Invest in high-yield programs and activities while pursuing smart savings. 4) Improve teacher quality, reform teacher compensation, and reduce barriers to entering the profession. 5) Expand access to quality schools of choice of every kind. 6) Turn around or close persistently low-performing schools. 7) Develop modern, versatile instructional-delivery systems that both improve and go beyond traditional schools.

Each year the Thomas B. Fordham Institute conducts an analysis of urban school performance in Ohio. We found that in 2009-10, 26 percent of public school students (district and charter) in Ohio's Big 8 urban communities attended a school rated A or B by the state, 28 percent attend a C-rated school, and 47 percent attended a school rated D or F.

In partnership with Public Impact, we analyzed the 2009-10 academic performance data for charter and district schools in Ohio's eight largest urban cities:

Ohio Urban School Performance Report, 2009-10

Ohio Education Gadfly: Special Edition (our coverage of 2009-10 data)

We also conducted city-specific analyses:

Note: The pdf for Dayton's performance has been updated as of September 1,...

Though it serves the same challenged population as many urban schools, Citizens' Academy in Cleveland boasts an outstanding academic track record. Check out our video to learn what the school's teachers and leaders believe are the keys to the school's extraordinary success.

Citizens' Academy and seven other Ohio schools will be featured in Needles in a Haystack: Lessons from Ohio's high-performing, high-need urban schools, due May 2010 from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

--Eric Ulas

Eric Ulas

Duxberry Park Arts IMPACT Alternative Elementary is an arts magnet program in Columbus that delivers impressive academic results for its students, 84 percent of whom are economically disadvantaged, and 16 percent of whom have disabilities. Part of what makes Duxberry Park unique ??? beyond its emphasis in art, music, and drama throughout the curriculum???is the extent to which such programming fosters intense collaboration among staff across all subjects. Check out our video here to see what the school's leaders and teachers believe are the keys to its success.

Duxberry Park Arts IMPACT Alternative Elementary and seven other Ohio schools will be featured in Needles in a Haystack: Lessons from Ohio's high-performing, high-need urban schools, due May 25th from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

???Eric Ulas

OhioFlypaper

Just a reminder that today is the last day to vote for the White House's Race to the Top Commencement Challenge. The winning high school will receive a visit from President Obama where he will speak at their commencement.

Despite Mike's urging to send Obama back to Denver, our Ohio staff is rooting for Clark Montessori Junior and Senior High School in Cincinnati. You could call us somewhat biased ??? but as we've mentioned before the school boasts some pretty darn amazing stats. (100% of their 2010 graduating class is going on to college.)

The top three schools with the most votes will advance to the final round, where the President himself will select the winning school. A final announcement is expected Tuesday.

Online voting closes tonight at midnight. You can vote for your school of choice here.

-Fordham's Ohio Team

OhioFlypaper

Congratulations to Andrew Boy, the co-director and founder of Columbus Collegiate Academy, one of the six charter schools Fordham authorizes. Andy was just selected as a 2010 recipient of Columbus Business First's highly prestigious ???40 under 40' award. The award recognizes outstanding Columbus area leaders under the age of 40 who have demonstrated a high measure of success and are making a positive contribution to the community.

Andy stands among the few leaders in Ohio urban education committed and able to give disadvantaged students what they deserve ??? a top-notch education that prepares them for success in college. As a young teacher in Cincinnati, Andy improved the science proficiency scores of his fourth and sixth graders by 60 and 80 percentage points in three years, respectively. Today, Columbus Collegiate Academy ranks as one of the top performing schools in Columbus while serving a student body that is 94 percent economically disadvantaged.

Andy has achieved this success despite the serious challenges his charter school faced from the outset (opening in a time of budget cuts to charter schools, encountering obstacles related to school facilities, and dealing with tough student transportation issues). His school's recent selection as...

OhioFlypaper

Check today's Ohio Education Gadfly for a special Race to the Top analysis recommending strategies for the Buckeye State as it heads into round two of the competition. Ohio has exactly one month (that's when districts and charter schools must sign on) to improve its application. Fordham recommends that Ohio:

  1. Address the state's round-one areas of weakness directly. Ohio shouldn't just resubmit the same package of proposals but should be sure that its second-round application reflects substantive changes to the areas it scored lowest in. This will show Sec. Duncan and reviewers that the state can take constructive criticism seriously and change course when necessary to improve student performance.
  2. Pay particular attention to the ???Great Teachers and Leaders??? section. Ohio scored second to lowest of the 16 finalists states in this category. Compared to winning states (Tennessee and Delaware) and those scoring highest in this section (Rhode Island and Louisiana), Ohio hasn't enacted the type of bold reforms related to teachers and leaders that it needs to. Not sure what those reforms look like? Ohio Education Gadfly synthesizes six of the boldest teacher-related reforms and provides examples of each.
  3. Be aware that other states are moving quickly to improve
  4. ...
Eric Ulas

Today's Dayton Daily News featured an op-ed by Fordham's Terry Ryan on what Ohio can do to win in the next round of Race to the Top. In the op-ed, he provides three actionable points for moving forward:

1. Get more buy-in from districts and the teachers' unions.

2. Show bipartisan support for the state's application.

3. Improve the overall quality of Ohio's proposal.

Terry also reminds us not to lose sight of true purpose of Race to the Top:

???Too much of the conversation around Race to the Top has been about getting the money, when the real issue is launching sustainable reforms that can make a difference in the lives of children.???

-Eric Ulas

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