Ohio Policy

In his recent State of the Schools speech , Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) CEO Eric Gordon referred to a 2013 column in the Plain Dealer comparing him to the ancient Greek king...
Ohio is moving to new standardized tests , the PARCC assessments, which are set to commence in spring 2015. These new and vastly different tests pose big challenges. For one, unlike the paper-and-...
Last week, the Ohio Education Research Center (OERC) hosted a terrific conference at Ohio State University which brought together the state’s education research and practitioner communities. The...
John A. Dues
John A. Dues is the Chief Learning Officer for United Schools Network in Columbus. "There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children." -Nelson...
A 2014 report from the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) shows that the number of first-year teachers in the United States rose from 84,000 in 1987–88 to 147,000 in 2011–12. While...
With any luck, the “ Know Your Charter ” website from Innovation Ohio (IO) and the Ohio Education Association (OEA) will go the way of Pets.com and Geocities.com . The new website’s stated aim is to...
On September 12th, Ohio released school report-card ratings for the 2013-14 school year. This report compiles and analyzes the statewide data, with special attention given to the quality of public...
This year’s state report cards brought a new twist for some Columbus parents—a parent trigger. Parent triggers , made famous by several high profile efforts in California and a major motion picture...
School report cards arrived today. The good news is that Ohio has a waiver from No Child Left Behind’s (NCLB) “ 100 percent proficiency” mandate for 2013-14. Very few Ohio schools, I suspect, hit the...
Marc Schare is the Vice President of the Worthington City Schools Board of Education (in suburban Columbus), now serving his ninth year. EDITOR’S NOTE: Marc Schare testified before the Ohio House of...

I’m writing this now in hopes I won’t have to write a future piece that starts: “Alas, a bad idea whose time has come…”

The bad idea is ending annual testing in grades 3–8, which may emerge as a consensus response to concerns about the state of standards, assessments, and accountability.

Clearly, testing is under fire generally. AFT head Randi Weingarten wants to do away with the federal requirement that students take annual assessments. Anti-testing groups are hailing state-based “victories” in rolling back an array of assessments and accountability provisions. Even Secretary Duncan recently expressed misgivings about the...

Without a doubt, and in the main, testing has done more good than harm in America’s schools. My Fordham colleague Andy Smarick is absolutely correct to argue that annual testing “makes clear that every student matters.” The sunshine created by testing every child, every year has been a splendid disinfectant. There can be no reasonable doubt that testing has created momentum for positive change—particularly in schools that serve our neediest and most neglected children.

But it’s long past time to acknowledge that reading tests—especially tests with stakes for individual teachers attached to them—do more harm than good. A...

  • John Deasy, the cage-busting superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, resigned last week, ending a productive but contentious three-and-a-half-year tenure. Deasy’s bold moves and bright successes are legion: He helped reform teacher tenure, revamped school discipline, improved test scores, upped graduation rates, and reduced suspension rates—all while the district was mired in debt. He was the good kind of troublemaker, a sort of Joel Klein without the benefit of mayoral backing. But like Klein and others of his ilk, his changes
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This new MRDC study examines the relative costs of approximately 200 small New York City public high schools that were created between 2002 and 2008. These schools serve mostly disadvantaged kids and are located in buildings where larger high schools with low levels of achievement had been closed. Earlier and recent randomized evaluations have found that attending a small school increased graduation rates by roughly 9 percentage points compared to other NYC public high schools. This new study asks how it cost to achieve that improvement. Analysts use five years of school-expenditure data for roughly 8,500 students...

Frank McCourt, the memoirist and legendary English teacher at New York’s Stuyvesant High School, was once challenged by a student who asked what possible use a particular work of literature would have in his life. “You will read it for the same reason your parents waste their money on your piano lessons,” McCourt replied tartly, “so you won’t be a boring little shite the rest of your life.” Perhaps schools should collect Boring Little Shite (BLS) data and report it alongside AYP and FRPM. Jay Greene seems to be working on it. A data hawk and acerbic defender of school...

2014 marks the first year that minority students are projected to surpass their white counterparts in public school enrollment. And nearly one in four students in American schools speak a language other than English at home. Currently, these students, categorized as “dual language learners” (DLLs), are shuffled through a four-part “reclassification” process: a screening assessment, English proficiency support services (such as vocabulary interventions), reassessment, and follow-up monitoring. Such models are mandated by the ESEA, so all states comply in one way or another—but the lack of interstate consensus on exactly how to comply has led to a “chaotic”...

Trying to understand how education spending is influencing our education priorities is like looking through murky water, notes this report from the Data Quality Campaign: “[I]t is evident something is there, but it is not exactly clear what.” For example, education leaders need to know whether investments in interventions have an impact, whether schools with high numbers of special-needs students are receiving the resources to which they are entitled, and whether dollars spent on teacher development have led to improvements. Without a clear picture of education spending, there is little to inform decision-makers. The report proposes several solutions. First, states...

The benefits of live theater, how and whether to discipline, detrimental reading tests, and relative school costs.

Amber's Research Minute

The Relative Costs of New York City’s New Small Public High Schools of Choice,” by Robert Bifulco and Rebecca Unterman,  MRDC (October 2014).

In this era of results-based academic accountability, teachers and their students spend class time taking—and preparing for—standardized tests. But just how much time? An inordinate amount? Does it vary by locale? What is the ideal amount of prep time? What are the policy implications for districts and states? The curricular and instructional implications? And what are the consequences for children, especially disadvantaged students?
 
JOIN THE DISCUSSION ON THE FORDHAM LIVE PAGE
 
In the largest study of its kind, Teach Plus brings empirical evidence to the table with its new report, The Student and the Stopwatch: How Much Time is Spent on Testing in American Schools? The report examines district- and state-required testing in more than thirty urban and suburban districts nationwide, featuring input from more than 300 teachers.
 
Join the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and Teach Plus for a discussion on time-on-testing in American classrooms.
 
Panel I
 
Joseph Espinosa - Instructional Coach, First Street Elementary, Los Angeles, California
Joe Gramelspacher - Math Teacher, Crispus Attucks High School, Indianapolis, Indiana
Christina Lear - English and Journalism Teacher, Herron High School, Indianapolis, Indiana
Dr. Joy Singleton Stevens - Third-Grade Teacher, Double Tree Montessori School, Memphis, Tennessee
 
Panel I Moderator
Alice Johnson Cain - Vice President for Policy, Teach Plus
 
Panel II
Celine Coggins - CEO and Founder, Teach Plus
Dave Driscoll - Chair, National Assessment Governing Board
Andy Rotherham - Co-founder and Partner, Bellwether Education Partners
 
Panel II Moderator
Michael J. Petrilli - Executive Vice President, Thomas B. Fordham Institute

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