Ohio Policy

Now is the time for a renewed commitment to charter school quality in Ohio.
We think outside the box on a thorny education issue often at the heart of the school choice debate.
A recent EducationNext article pinpoints some weakness in online credit recovery programs which Ohio is experiencing first hand.
A look at the past year in teacher-policy reforms in Dayton.
Indiana's departure from the Common Core was a bold step, but not the end of the story. We take a look at what Indiana's travails might mean for Ohio.
The starting point for charter school improvements should be sound research.
Vocational education is big news and big business in Ohio - we attempt to unravel the layers to see just what students are getting for all the investment.
Much work has been done to transform Cleveland schools, with much more still to be done. We take a look at progress so far.
Proposals to change Ohio's value-add calculation have passed the House and are moving on to the Senate; Aaron takes a look.
The proposal of a few members of the state legislature to increase the transparency around charter schools is a fine idea. But their allegation that charters “waste” public funds—apparently without acknowledging the infirmity of Ohio’s urban districts—is shameful discourse that conceals the woeful...
School boards matter. Indeed, in Fordham’s new report Do School Boards Matter? researchers found that knowledgeable, hard-working boards that prioritize student achievement govern higher-performing districts. Perhaps this is no surprise, particularly given the wide-ranging authority of boards. In...
Chad proves to a be a particularly prescient prognosticator of political proposals.
Two bills currently pending in the Ohio General Assembly seek to address the needs of Ohio's high school dropouts, each with a very different focus.
Ron F. Adler
Guest commentary on the need for diligence on the part of authorizers at the front end of charter school creation.
Two pieces of pending legislation promise to derail long-planned changes to K-12 testing in Ohio if passed; we take a look at the implications of holding the line vs breaking ranks.
Online charter schools have been the primary driver of sector growth; with a number of implications
Duplication is not always a good thing. Think about it, most of us don’t carry two cell phones. In a world with limited pants-pocket space, two phones would be senseless, right? Ohio’s school report cards have two essentially-the-same achievement components, both of which receive an A-F letter...
Ohio is facing a potential “storm” in relation to the reading success of its third grade students. It’s critical that parents, teachers, administrators, and policymakers stay calm and remind themselves how important reading is to a child's long-term success.
There are strong calls for a Renaissance in vocational education in Ohio. Here's what we think.
Ohio is deeply mired in a dropout crisis, with more than 20,000 of its high-school students leaving school each year. A recent analysis found that 112,610 dropouts occurred between 2006 and 2010 in Ohio’s public-school system. It is absolutely crucial that the Buckeye State address dropouts, with...
Roughly 30,000 kids in Ohio take advantage of a publicly funded voucher (or “scholarship”). But as students flee public schools for private ones, how does life change for the private schools that take voucher kids? Can private schools coexist with a publicly-funded voucher program? Can they adapt...
A brief review of EducationFirst's take on PARCC and Smarter Balanced assessments
We take a look at the hubbub over Fordham's recent voucher toolkit with an Ohio insider's view.
Authorizers are crucial cogs in the charter-school system in Ohio, both before a school opens its doors and while it is under contract to operate.
John Mullaney
Guest blogger John Mullaney provides valuable insight into Ohio's first ever education innovation fund grants.
Fordham's 2012-13 sponsorship annual report addresses our schools’ perspective regarding persistent challenges and how the schools address those challenges.
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Many of our recent ed-reforms—e.g. Teach for America, alternative certification, the Hamilton Project, and various “new teacher” projects—implicitly subscribe to the idea that great teachers are born, not made. Ed schools, too, largely consider “training” teachers to be beneath their dignity. Hence...

Being an education reformer is often frustrating. No matter how zealously we push an idea or how smart we think it is, sometimes nothing changes. Or—the Common Core is a recent example—we make fast, bold gains at the outset, only to see our efforts watered down, neutered, or repudiated outright...

Last week, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan declared that states with NCLB waivers could wait until the 2015–16 school year to start tying test scores to teacher evaluations. It’s...

Education-policy wonks should take a long look at The Long Shadow, a book based on a twenty-five-year study by Johns Hopkins University researchers. Following 790 Baltimore first-graders in 1982 until their late twenties, this book offers a rich research account of what policy analysts...

Nearly half of all new teachers will quit within five years, and countless studies demonstrate the detrimental financial and...

Hitting Pause on Testing, Vouchers, and Union Solidarity

Michelle and Robert applaud Secretary Duncan’s reasonableness, question a North Carolina trial judge (but have a solution), and disparage union agency fees. Amber tells us how classroom peers affect the achievement of students with special needs.

Amber's Research Minute

Peer Effects in Early Childhood Education: Testing the Assumptions of Special-Education Inclusion,” by Laura M. Justice, et al., Psychological Science (2014): 1-8

What is Education Governance?

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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