Ohio Policy

Like other states, Ohio has over the past few years put into place a standards and accountability framework with the clear goal...
NOTE: This is the Foreword from Fordham’s latest report , released today. Over the past few years, states across the nation have...
The Education Trust recently responded to two analyses in which I looked at the relationship between overall and disadvantaged...
When Governor Kasich signed the budget on June 30, two significant changes to Ohio’s assessment system became law. First, safe...
It’s that time of year: Parents are perusing the back-to-school section with their perhaps not-so-eager-to-return-to-school...
In early May, a coalition of stakeholders from business, philanthropy, and education organizations in Cincinnati announced a bold...
Recently, ACT disaggregated its 2014 test results and college retention rates in order to get a closer look at the college...
Even though measures to improve charter school quality are currently stalled in the Ohio General Assembly , Fordham remains...
As ESEA reauthorization heads to conference committee, debate is certain to center on whether federal law should require states...
On June 30, Governor John Kasich vetoed forty-four items in the budget and signed the rest into law. Among the provisions that...
Trailing only Medicaid, school spending is the second-largest public expenditure in Ohio’s $65 billion annual budget . Over the...
A thorough overview of Ohio's teacher evaluation framework
The Ohio Education Research Center (OERC) recently r eported the teacher evaluation results from 2013–14, the first year of...
In the reauthorization debate, civil rights groups are pressing to have ESEA force states to "do something" in schools where...
For the past year, Ohio policymakers have been grappling with the issue of deregulating public schools. But what does...
Although charter schools were created to be laboratories of innovation, regulations and policies often prevent them from reaching...
Are states dutifully reporting the fraction of students who are on track for college or career? According to a new report from...
Intra-district choice has long been a type of school choice supported by many people who don’t really like school choice. Since...
By Deven Carlson and Stéphane Lavertu School Closures and Student Achievement: An Analysis of Ohio’s Urban District and Charter...

Anyone who has spent serious time within the U.S. public education system would likely agree that there are too many chefs in the school governance kitchen. Not only that, some of them are terrible cooks. Which means that great governance is scarce, consensus is hard to achieve, and significant change is rare. Yet our education governance system, lamented and disparaged as it often is, is one of the least understood aspects of American K–12 schooling.  So while it’s easy to agree that “bad” governance gets in the way of doing what’s best for kids, it’s...

Education policy is rarely a top issue in presidential campaigns. In the main, that's fine; most of the action takes place at the state and local levels. Still, last week's education policy summit hosted in New Hampshire by the education news website the Seventy Four and the American Federation for Children gave six of the seventy GOP presidential contenders the chance to burnish their K–12 credentials. (A second summit featuring Democratic candidates is slated for October in Iowa.)

To help the candidates hone their stump speeches, those of...

  • As traditionalist gift givers are no doubt aware, the tenth anniversary metal is tin. Last week, with a slew of ten-year retrospectives and events commemorating the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe, a longtime reform critic traded in her responsible commentator’s hat for one of those nifty ones made from tin foil. Business journalist Andrea Gabor, who has spent years grinding an axe against school choice and high standards, attempted to bury it in the back of the New York Times with a breathless op-ed decrying the “myth” of the post-hurricane New Orleans schools revival. The Seventy Four quickly
  • ...

A new study by economists at the Center for Household Financial Stability disseminates research on family savings and debt and finds that the attainment of a college education does not appear to “protect” the wealth of all American families equally.

This is a descriptive study that examines the income and wealth of different families and the stability (or lack thereof) of each. Analysts use survey data from the 2013 edition of the Survey of Consumer Finances.

First, the researchers found that college-educated families—meaning those in which the head of the household has a four-year college degree—earn significantly higher incomes than...

Here’s a line that deserves to be committed to memory by all who would seek to improve literacy outcomes for children. Maybe it should be tattooed onto our flesh: 

“One striking fact is that the complex world of education—unlike defense, health care, or industrial production—does not rest on a strong research base. In no other field are personal experience and ideology so frequently relied on to make policy choices.”

That excellent observation, from a 1999 National Research Council paper, is quoted in this report from the Alliance for Excellent Education, The Next Chapter: Supporting Literacy Within ESEA. Author...

In most states, only math and reading teachers in grades 4–8 receive evaluations based on value-added test results. For all other teachers, it’s on to Plan B. To evaluate these teachers, many districts are using alternative measures of student growth, which include vendor assessments (commercial, non-state exams) and student learning objectives (SLOs, or teacher-designed goals for learning). But how are these alternative measures being administered? What are their pros and cons? The research on this issue is terribly thin, but a new study from the Institute of Education Sciences casts an intriguing ray of light. Through in-depth...

Education on the campaign trail, an appetite for gifted schooling, racial opinion gaps on testing, and how teacher expectations vary by race.

The greatest failing of education reformers in the U.S. this past quarter century has been their neglect of governance and structure—widely regarded either as politically impractical to touch or as too boring to get anyone interested. Yet the very structures and governance of our K–12 system often prevent other badly needed changes from taking place, enduring, or succeeding.

Recent months, however, have seen some cracks in the governance glacier with a spate of new books, articles, and conferences on the topic—meaning this set of reform challenges is no longer taboo to discuss or to tackle.

In an earnest effort to advance this crucial conversation, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute—in partnership with the Center for American Progress and the Brookings Institution Press—is pleased to present Education Governance for the Twenty-First Century: Overcoming the Structural Barriers to School Reform, edited by Paul Manna of the College of William and Mary and Patrick McGuinn of Drew University.

This important volume should be on the desk or bedside of every serious education reformer and policymaker in the land.

Featuring chapters by education scholars, analysts, and battle-scarred practitioners, it closely examines our present structures, identifies their failings, and offers some penetrating ideas for how governance might be done differently.

All serious reform victories begin with battles over ideas. In that spirit, we urge you to spend some quality time with this book. Overhauling our dysfunctional education-governance arrangements is a key priority for us at Fordham—and will inevitably loom among the hottest and most consequential issues for all serious reformers in the years to come.

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