Ohio Policy

Marianne Lombardo
EDITOR’S NOTE: The original version of this commentary was published on EdReform Now’s blog on April 8. The post contrasted...
A February study from the Center for Education Data and Research aims to determine if National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs)...
In a previous post , I referred to New York’s fierce political battle over teacher evaluations. Since then, New York lawmakers...
In a 2011 Education Next article called “ The Middle School Mess ,” Peter Meyer equated middle school with bungee jumping: a...
In a previous post , I explained competency-based or “mastery” grading: a restructuring of the common grade system that...
Rick Hess opens his book, The Same Thing Over and Over , by asking readers to imagine the following scenario: How would you...
In his proposed budget , Governor John Kasich calls for the creation of a competency-based education pilot program. Competency-...
It may not be obvious at first blush, but the political fight happening in New York right now over teacher evaluations has...
We recently looked at an analysis of New Orleans school leaders’ perceptions of competition and their responses to it. The top...
Boarding schools are often associated with the rich and the privileged; as such, they are seen as an out-of-reach option for low-...
A torrent of complaints has been levelled against testing in recent months. Some of the criticism is associated with the PARCC...
Ohio has been a hotbed of education reform in recent years, but two policy areas remain mostly virgin territory: teacher...
It’s been a great year for the Buckeye State. LeBron is back—and the Cavs are rolling into the playoffs. The Ohio State...
As Ohio marches through testing season, concerns continue to surface over whether the state's New Learning Standards are in the...
When Governor John Kasich released his proposed budget bill (House Bill 64), it generated immediate buzz in the Ohio education...
Greg Harris
Greg Harris is Ohio state director for StudentsFirst. Despite fierce efforts to derail the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System midway...
With all the attention that’s focused on teachers, principals must feel like the neglected stepchild of education reform...
Right on schedule, district officials, driven by self-interest, are airing their grievances over Governor Kasich’s school-funding...
Community stakeholders in Cincinnati – including philanthropy, education, and more – have formed a coalition whose goal is to...
Ohio Gadfly readers won’t be surprised to know that we were thrilled to see Governor John Kasich strongly endorse charter school...
Like Moses in the wilderness, state policymakers have to cope with incessant grumbling—in their case over standardized testing...
The 2015 legislative session is gearing up, and Common Core will again feature prominently in the education agenda. Longtime Core...
Financing public education has historically been the joint responsibility of state and local governments. But while traditional...
Over the course of 2014, a series of reports from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) spotlighted some serious issues...
Before Christmas, we gave you the rundown of all the media outlets that focused on charter quality and policy thanks to two...
Over 120,000 charter students in Ohio deserve the opportunity to receive an excellent education. But far too often, Ohio charters...
Charter schools are quickly becoming a defining feature of Ohio’s public-education landscape, educating over 120,000 children...
The 2014 Fordham Sponsorship Annual Report is our opportunity to share the Fordham Foundation’s work as the sponsor of eleven...

In a previous post, I explained competency-based or “mastery” grading: a restructuring of the common grade system that compresses everything from course tests, homework, and class participation into a system that assesses students based entirely on whether or not they’ve mastered specific skills and concepts. (For a look at how mastery grading works in practice, check out how schools like Columbus’s Metro Early College School and Cleveland’s MC²STEM high school, and even suburban districts like Pickerington, make it work). In this piece, I’ll discuss some additional benefits and drawbacks of mastery grading.

Mastery grading is innovative...

EDITOR’S NOTE: The original version of this commentary was published on EdReform Now’s blog on April 8. The post contrasted innocent misunderstandings (using Allstate’s elderly-woman-misunderstands-social-media esurance ad) to the more serious act of purposely leading people to misunderstandings. The post simply and succinctly clears the air about how school funding – especially for charter schools – actually works in Ohio.

When “policy experts” purposely mislead the public into misunderstandings about education and school funding, it isn’t a humorous misunderstanding. It’s appalling.

For example, charter school detractors promote the idea that charter schools exist to privatize education and make...

In a 2011 Education Next article called “The Middle School Mess,” Peter Meyer equated middle school with bungee jumping: a place of academic and social freefall that loses kids the way the Bermuda triangle loses ships. Experts have long cited concerns about drops in students’ achievement, interest in school, and self-confidence when they arrive in middle school. Teachers have discussed why teaching middle school is different—and arguably harder—than teaching other grades. There’s even a book called Middle School Stinks

In an attempt to solve the middle school problem, many cities are transitioning to schools with wider...

The University of Kentucky may have lost the NCAA tournament, but Kentuckians can still take heart in their K–12 schools’ promising non-athletic gains. According to this new report, the Bluegrass State’s ACT scores have shot up since it began to implement the Common Core in 2011–12.

Using data from the Kentucky Department of Education, the study compared ACT scores for three cohorts of students who entered eighth grade between the 2007–08 and 2009–10 school years. The first cohort took the ACT—a state requirement for all eleventh graders—in 2010–11, immediately prior to CCSS implementation. This cohort was therefore not formally exposed...

A February study from the Center for Education Data and Research aims to determine if National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) are more effective than their non-certified counterparts. Established in 1987, National Board Certification is a voluntary professional credential designed for experienced teachers in twenty-five content areas. Certification is awarded through a rigorous portfolio assessment process consisting of four components: content knowledge; differentiation in instruction; teaching practice and classroom environment; and effective and reflective practices. These components are analyzed via teacher “artifacts,” including videos of classroom lessons, student work, and reflective essays. Across the U.S., more than 100,000 teachers...

The process of reforming charter school law in Ohio took another big step forward last week with the introduction of S.B. 148 in the Ohio Senate. Jointly sponsored by Senator Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) and Senator Tom Sawyer (D-Akron), the bill is the result of workgroup sessions over the last nine months to craft the best legislation possible to improve charter school oversight and accountability.

The new Senate bill follows on the heels of House Bill 2, a strong charter school reform measure passed by the House last month. The Senate proposal maintains many of the critical provisions that the...

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