Fordham advocates for legislative changes

Over the past several weeks, Fordham staff
members have testified before committees of the Ohio House and Senate on
several pieces of education-related legislation. You can read more about these
testimonies by checking out summaries on Fordham’s blog,
which have been excerpted below.

Fordham’s Kathryn Mullen Upton testifies
in support of charter school serving incarcerated youth
Kathryn Mullen Upton, director of charter school sponsorship for the Thomas B.
Fordham Foundation, testified
before the Ohio Senate Education Committee in support of SB 86. The
bill would enable the creation of a charter school that would “serve adults of
school age who are incarcerated or who have been released from the custody of
the Department of Youth Services.” The proposed school would be called WinWin
Academy and would serve youths ages 18-22, and initially would be located at
the Pickaway Correctional Institution. Read
here, or go straight to Kathryn’s testimony here.

Fordham’s Jamie Davies O’Leary testifies
in Ohio Senate in support of TFA
Ohio Senate Education Committee met to discuss SB 81- a
bill that would allow Teach For America alumni to gain a resident teacher
license and be equipped to teach in the state of Ohio. It also paves the way
for the creation of an actual TFA-Ohio site.  In support of the bill three
TFA alums (including Fordham’s own Jamie
Davies O’Leary
) testified, throwing their support behind this bill. 
After listening to their testimony, it became clearer than ever to me that Ohio
needs to pass this legislation and allow TFA participants and alums into
low-income classrooms. Read more here or go straight to Jamie’s testimony here.

 Fordham’s Terry Ryan says Ohio’s
superintendents are yearning to break free of state mandates

Since the Senate’s passage of SB 5, superintendents have been inundated with
phone calls and emails from local union representatives and teachers expressing
their dismay and anger with the bill. Superintendents expressed serious
concerns that the heat that came down on lawmakers – (e.g. thousand
protesting at the statehouse
and a group
of union activists
confronting lawmakers in a restaurant) – will pale in
comparison to what they will face in their local communities as they work to
implement the reforms in SB5. Read more here, view a video of Terry talking about his testimony on SB 5 here, or go straight to the transcript of his most recent version
(delivered to the Ohio House Commerce and Labor Committee)