Additional Topics

  1. Here is a nearly unvarnished look at the amazing work of the United Schools Network of charter schools here in Columbus. As sponsor of all the USN schools, Fordham is referenced and Chad is quoted in here, but it is seriously the hard work of network boss Andy Boy and his talented staff working tirelessly on behalf of their students and families that is the real story. Reporter Bill Bush left almost all of his skepticism at the schoolhouse door (on the way out anyway) in order to tell that amazing story. He too is to be commended. (Columbus Dispatch, 5/16/16)
     
  2. Meanwhile, Chad was also chatting with the Detroit News, whose editors were readying their opinion regarding the possibility of Detroit Public Schools undergoing a transformation similar to the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Spoiler alert: they didn’t seem to like that idea. (Detroit News, 5/14/16)
     
  3. Editors in Columbus were thinking about education as well, and opined this weekend in favor of the choice of Paolo DeMaria to be the new state supe. Fordham’s 2015 “Getting out of the Way” report on the potential for education deregulation – on which DeMaria was primary investigator – is
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  1. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last two days, the big news in Ohio is that the state board of ed named a new superintendent this week. He is Paolo DeMaria, former state budget director, education advisor to two governors, high-level staffer with the Department of Education and the Board of Regents, and current principal with Education First Consulting. Whew! He has also worked on projects with us here at Fordham over the years, which the following stories note to varying degrees: Patrick O’Donnell was first to the post with the news. This is a later piece from him featuring a nicely detailed look at DeMaria’s career and puts some important questions to him on the topics of school choice, Common Core, and other hot-button issues. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 5/12/16) Gongwer’s announcement includes reaction to the pick from our own Chad Aldis.  (Gongwer Ohio, 5/11/16) Chad’s comments make up part of this piece, which also features a likely-obligatory finger wag at the state board for not picking former Springfield supe David Estrop instead of DeMaria. (Springfield News Sun, 5/11/16)
     
  2. Here are a few pieces of coverage of the new state supe, not mentioning
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The grit edition

On this week’s podcast, Robert Pondiscio and Brandon Wright discuss why teachers turn to the internet for lesson plans, whether David Brooks gets it right on grit, and how reformers can better facilitate effective parental choice. During the Research Minute, Amber Northern explains how voucher programs across the globe affect math and reading achievement.

Amber's Research Minute

M. Danish Shakeel, Kaitlin P. Anderson, and Patrick J. Wolf, "The Participant Effects of Private School Vouchers across the Globe: A Meta-Analytic and Systematic Review," EDRE (May 2016).

  1. Aaron’s April letter to the editor of the Boston Globe (and, by extension, our school closure report from 2015) is cited again in an EdDive blog, this time in reference to the recent Grad Nation report about high school graduation rates nationwide. Nope. I don’t either. (Education Dive blog, 5/10/16)
     
  2. Two state legislators from central Ohio introduced a bill this week that would negate efforts to renegotiate the infamous Win-Win agreement among Franklin County school districts, about which you’ve been hearing endlessly in these very clips. Existing suburban borders would freeze, payments from suburban districts to Columbus City Schools would stop, and the 80s would be finally staked in the heart. Or something like that. (Columbus Dispatch, 5/9/16) One of the sponsors of the new bill gave a bit more insight today, seeming doubtful of the bill’s chances. We shall see in just a few weeks’ time. (Columbus Dispatch, 5/10/16)
     
  3. Elsewhere in the General Assembly, Ohio’s new and popular College Credit Plus program was under the microscope this week. Mainly from community colleges. Mostly about money. (Gongwer Ohio, 5/10/16)
     
  4. Another education initiative also proving popular (in certain parts of the state at least)
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The high cost of college attendance can be overwhelming for students and families. Recognizing this, Ohio policy makers have continually sought opportunities to provide alternate routes to careers and to drive down the cost of a university education. Recently, Ohio leaders have put a significant emphasis on career and technical education (CTE)—and research suggests that such a move can benefit high school students opting into a CTE pathway of study. In addition, the recent implementation of College Credit Plus (CCP) has widened student access to college credit opportunities and made it easier than ever for students to knock out general education requirements before stepping foot on campus.

But perhaps the state’s most creative program is GIVE Back, GO Forward, a pilot launched in partnership between the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the Ohio Department of Aging. The program links public service to college credit by offering citizens aged sixty and above the opportunity to earn college credit hours—or “gift” the equivalent amount of tuition associated with those credits—for volunteer work. As a pilot, the program is limited to Trumbull and Mahoning counties in Northeast Ohio. GIVE Back, GO Forward has the potential to be a huge...

  1. For the first time in a long time, the sitting governor won’t send a representative to the interviews conducted by the state board of ed with finalists for state superintendent. Read into that what you will; others are already doing so. (Columbus Dispatch, 5/7/16) Those interviews will take place this week and will be a little shorter than originally planned since the list of the top 8 candidates is now down to 7 after another withdrawal. Speaking of the folks being interviewed for state supe, Patrick O’Donnell seems to have abandoned his plans to profile every candidate once prior to the interviews. In favor of doubling up on one particular person. Can you guess who? (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 5/7/16)
     
  2. Perhaps to make up for the April e-schools piece that never made it to the online version of The D for some reason, here is a somewhat-belated take on testimony heard last week critical of the attendance practices of a particular online school. While the testifier is noted as being a former employee of the school, her level of “gruntledness” is frustratingly not noted. Surely that’s Journalism 101, isn’t it? (Columbus Dispatch, 5/9/16)
     
  3. I’m glad to
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  1. It may be said that our own Chad Aldis keeps some odd company from time to time. Probably just a hazard of the job. Case in point: his comments in this piece that reads generally like a “greatest hits” from the early days of Common Core hit jobs. Mind you, Chad’s comments were totally reasonable and show a thorough understanding of Common Core, Ohio’s actual learning standards, and the surprisingly rational review process currently underway in the Buckeye state. The same cannot be said about the rest of the piece. (Heartland Institute blog, 5/6/15)
     
  2. Some folks in Cleveland appear to be observing National Charter Schools Week by celebrating a successful unionization vote in another I Can Network school there. Or maybe they were celebrating Cinco de Mayo. Who can tell? (ClevelandScene, 5/5/16)
     
  3. Ohio’s Supreme Court ruled this week that the state legislature can retroactively rescind funding from schools or other funded entities if some “discrepancy” pops up after funding has been received. The case stems from just such a “discrepancy” which occurred in a number of school districts in 2005 with regard to district-resident students who attended charter schools. Neither the widely-distributed AP version of
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Under President Obama’s stewardship, initiatives to expand access to high-quality early childhood programs have sparked heated political debate. Aiming to ground policy makers and education leaders in this conversation, a recent report from the American Enterprise Institute examines the effectiveness of early childhood education by analyzing and summarizing studies of the country’s ten best-known pre-K programs. It finds that high-quality pre-K works for some students, but the research is inconclusive as to whether it’s beneficial for all.

The report starts with an overview of the four most common research methodologies used to evaluate pre-K programs. These include assessing a program’s long-term impact with Randomized Control Trials, i.e., randomly assigning students to either a program (treatment) or non-program (control) group to measure differences in outcomes; comparing results for participating pre-K students against those for children who were eligible for pre-K but did not enroll; comparing results for participating students with a comparison group based on observable characteristics; and comparing outcomes for pre-K participants before and after the program.

One of the most positive takeaways from the research is that low-income children reap short-term and long-term benefits from high-quality pre-K programs. In Boston’s program, for example, students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch showed...

  1. I’m sorry to say that I missed this piece when it first ran last week. Sorry Jeremy! Redressing the balance now because it is a very interesting and detailed peek into the variations in teacher pay schedules among Dayton-area school districts. Since all of these variations are the result of collective bargaining over the years, it is interesting to see what is more valued (high starting salary vs. longevity pay, holding veteran transfers to the 10-year level regardless of experience, etc.) from district to district. (Dayton Daily News, 4/29/16) Apparently, DDN readers were equally interested in the piece. So much so that Jeremy Kelly researched and published an addendum with more information related to questions on pay schedules raised by readers. Also an interesting read. (Dayton Daily News, 5/2/16)
     
  2. A new new member should join the state board of ed at its meeting next week, and she’s no stranger to state government in Ohio. Why do we need a new new member? Because the old new member, appointed in March, withdrew before being sworn in. (Columbus Dispatch, 5/3/16)
     
  3. Also happening next week: the state board will interview the top 8 candidates for state superintendent. One
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  1. The Akron Beacon Journal’s former education reporter Doug Livingston, current state Rep. Kristina Roegner, and others participated in a panel discussion last week on how awful charter schools are at the behest of the Hudson League of Women Voters. Nice summary article on the manifest evils of charter schools from the paper. No charter school supporters were invited to participate, for which Aaron is grateful. (Hudson Hub Times, 4/27/16) If you think that description of the event overblown on my part, I encourage you to check out edited video of the panel on YouTube. The well-timed gasps from the audience will tell you all you need to know.
     
  2. Back in the real world, Tornado pride is on the rise again, y’all! West Muskingum’s school board voted unanimously to eliminate pay to play fees for all middle and high school sports. I’m not sure from what new pot of money this largesse is emanating but lots of folks are happy about it. Honestly, reading some of those quotes from community members and staffers makes it sound like the old fees were really divisive on a very personal level. Perhaps the folks in West Muskingum need some perspective.
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