Budget comparisons, unionism lessons, and rutabaga fries

  • On the hunt for timely lesson plans? The April
    issue of Ohio Schools, the OEA’s monthly
    newsletter, recommends lessons on unionism, but the Buckeye Institute’s write-up
    is more than a little skeptical of using the classroom to enlist student
    support for the labor movement.
  • The latest
    contribution to research on what works in the classroom comes from the Hebrew
    University of Jerusalem’s Victor Lavy. In his paper What Makes an Effective Teacher?
    Quasi-Experimental Evidence
    , Lavy finds that Israeli students receive striking benefits from
    both “traditional” (knowledge-focused) and “modern” (analysis-focused) teaching
    styles, and opines that the two styles be specifically targeted to particular
    types of students for the greatest gains in achievement.
  • Ever wonder
    how Governor Kasich’s school funding budget stacks up against proposals in
    other states? Bruce Baker of School Finance 101 takes on the question, comparing Kasich’s budget with Andrew
    Cuomo’s (New York) and Tom Corbett’s (Pennsylvania) and concludes that the Ohio
    governor’s cuts, though at first glance progressive, will be regressive (i.e.
    the neediest districts get hit the hardest) in the long term.
  • In response
    to the debate over the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of our nation’s ed
    schools, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) has created a new site
    called “Transparency Central” to make public the curricula
    and requirements of teacher preparation programs across the nation. The site is
    part of NCTQ and US News and World Report’s
    larger project of evaluating these programs, a
    project that hasn’t exactly received rave reviews from
    teacher colleges.
  • Forget
    mystery meat and vegetable mush. The New
    York Times
    reports that the prep school taste for
    academic distinction has carried over to the cafeteria at many New York private
    schools, where lunch menus include “turkey-and-ricotta piadina with arugula”
    and “oven-roasted rutabaga fries”, among other gourmet creations. In other
    news, Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Healthy-living initiative has recently brought professional chefs to several
    central Ohio schools in hopes of making healthy eating palatable and fun.