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)
Regular Gadfly readers know that we usuallyrely on two metrics when analyzing school performance—Ohio’s performance index and the value added measures. However, the state assigns A–F ratings along several other measures, including one called the “gap closing” component (a.k.a. annual measureable objectives, or AMOs). This measure deserves scrutiny now that state policy makers have the opportunity to retool the accountability system under the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA).
First implemented in 2012–13 as a modification to the federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)provisions, AMOs are meant to hold schools accountable for the proficiency of student subgroups (e.g., low-income or race/ethnicity). Specifically, the measure compares the proficiency rates of a school’s subgroups to statewide proficiency targets—the “measureable objective.” The AMO methodology also gives partial (up to full) credit to schools when subgroup proficiency increases from year to year. The idea of AMOs is to maintain pressure on schools to close longstanding gaps between low-achieving subgroups and their peers.
Shortly after ESSA passed, the U.S. Department of Education notified states they were freed from using AMOs in their accountability systems. That doesn’t mean that low-achieving students will be forgotten: The new federal law requires an...
[Editor’s note: This is the fourth post in a series on improving teacher preparation programs. See here, here, and here for prior ones.]
Millions of families in America depend on education as a pathway toward upward mobility. We owe it to these families and their students to provide highly trained teachers who are ready on the first day. Unfortunately, way too many teachers learn how to teach during their first year in the classroom instead of before it. For example, of all the preparation programs examined in NCTQ’s most recent Teacher Prep Review, not a single one met the standard for effectively training teachers to plan lessons. Only 11 percent of programs met the standard in classroom management techniques. Student-teaching is the only real clinical experience that many teacher candidates receive, yet only 10 percent of programs met NCTQ’s standard for a strong student-teaching experience. In short, most preparation programs are doing a lackluster job of teaching their candidates how to teach.