Score one for Scooter Computer and Mr. Chips at last? Folks in central Ohio schools say that the first wave on online state testing is going well so far this year. Although I’m pretty sure that same story ran last year after the first week too. And last year’s was such a disaster that some districts were ready to dust off their abaci and slide rules. Just ask anyone. (Columbus Dispatch, 4/17/16) A couple of Dayton-area school districts were caught unaware by a change in science testing rules for their high school freshmen. I’m sure all those kids will be fine (the issue arose because they were accelerated in science as 8th graders), but take a good look at the difference in language used by the district reps between Kettering and Northmont over the exact same situation. Miles apart in attitudes toward testing. Also note the Northmont folks would have had trouble giving the test via pencil and paper if they’d been required to. Just sayin’. (Dayton Daily News, 4/17/16) Finally, folks in Elyria schools must believe their kids
Is career and technical education (CTE) a path into the middle class for today’s high school students? It’s certainly the goal as modern day CTE attempts to give students the skills and training required for long-term success in today’s high-growth industries.
Unfortunately, little is known about whether “new vocationalism” improves student outcomes. In an effort to shed some more light on the topic, Fordham partnered with Shaun M. Dougherty of the University of Connecticut to study CTE in Arkansas. The new report, Career and Technical Education in High School: Does It Improve Student Outcomes?, uses a rich set of data from the Arkansas Research Center (ARC) to follow three cohorts—more than one hundred thousand students—from eighth grade through college and/or the workforce.
The key findings include:
Students with greater exposure to CTE are more likely to graduate from high school, enroll in a two-year college, be employed, and earn higher wages.
CTE is not a path away from college: Students taking more CTE classes are just as likely to pursue a four-year degree as their peers.
Students who focus their CTE coursework are 21 percent more likely to graduate high school compared to otherwise similar students (and they see
Editor’s note: This is the second post in a series about the performance of Ohio’s urban high schoolers. The first post examined graduation rates and ACT scores.
Recognizing that traditional four-year graduation rates send overly encouraging signals about whether students are ready for post-secondary education, Ohio rolled out six “Prepared for Success” measures in 2014 to create a more complete picture of high school success. In this post, I look at two of these metrics, Advanced Placement (participation rates and scores) and dual enrollment (percentage of students earning three or more college credits while in high school). Three findings emerge.
First, while every Ohio Big 8 district fell well below the state averages for graduation rates and ACT scores, the same cannot be said for AP and dual enrollment. A few hold their own on AP participation and scores, and several outperform the state on dual enrollment. This likely reflects urban districts’ earnest attempts to close opportunity gaps for students, as well as their economies of scale and proximity to institutions of higher education, but it may also be caused by low state averages generally. Second, the data itself is worrisome:...
In a new policy proposal from Brookings, researchers suggest a straightforward way to help the thousands of students who fall behind each year to catch up: individualized tutorials. The proposal is based on a model developed in 2004 by Match Education at its high school. Match—a highly respected charter network with four campuses that span grades pre-K–12—implements a high-dosage tutoring program at all of its schools.
In 2014, Match formed SAGA Innovations as a vehicle to extend its model into traditional public school systems. It works like this: Two students who have fallen behind in math are paired with a single tutor. Tutorials occur every school day, in addition to regular math classes. The small tutor-to-student ratio allows for individualized instruction and meaningful relationships. Students begin at the lowest math skill they have yet to master and then progress into more advanced work as their proficiency improves. Frequent assessments measure progress and pinpoint new areas for growth.
To test how this program would fare in traditional public schools, researchers conducted a large-scale, randomized controlled trial during the 2013–14 school year in twelve disadvantaged Chicago high schools. With the help of Chicago Public Schools (CPS), researchers identified over 2,700 incoming male ninth and...
Chad Aldis is often referred to as “the gift that keeps on giving” (mainly by me, but still). Case in point, an interview Chad gave last week – about candidate Kasich’s education record in his alternate life as Governor Kasich – is still generating media attention. This time, they are part of a larger discussion of the remaining presidential candidates. Nice. (Education Week Campaign K-12 blog, 4/12/16)
Miracle of miracles! Youngstown actually has a new Academic Distress Commission (ADC)! With half an hour to spare before Monday’s court-imposed deadline, the school board prez rescinded her previous nominee and submitted instead a videography teacher from the local vocational school. The union was happy, the court was happy, and ODE was happy. Huzzah! NOTE: Teacher Vincent Shivers was apparently on the short list for this seat back in November, according to Vindy archives. Just sayin’. (Youngstown Vindicator, 4/12/16) The definition of "ADC" is Anxious to Dive in and Correct problems, it seems. The commission will hold its first meeting today, less than 48 hours after Shivers was named. Not only do they get to start working at last, but the final member of the group apparently also comes
Prior to CCP, Ohio’s Post-Secondary Enrollment Options Program (PSEOP) was the primary way for high schoolers to earn college and high school credit simultaneously. PSEOP was established in 1989 by the General Assembly for students in grades eleven and twelve, expanded in 1997 to grades nine and ten, and then restricted in 1999 to students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Despite the program’s potential, a report available through the Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) labeled PSEOP “under-utilized” because of low participation numbers. In its first year, only 630 students participated; that number increased tenfold by 1997–98, but still only reflected a 2.5 percent participation rate. Reports...
The two head honchos of the Breakthrough Network of charter schools in Cleveland have a commentary in the PD this morning, making a case for increased funding for high-quality charter schools in Ohio. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 4/8/16)
Dayton mayor Nan Whaley gave an update on her City of Learners initiative earlier this week. There are a few other items here, but her main focus seems to be the same as in most big cities in the state at the moment: high-quality preschool. Specifically, finding money to expand it. (Dayton Daily News, 4/4/16) Same goes for preschool in Cleveland, both in terms of expansion and funding. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 4/5/16)