Ohio Policy

As people in Sciotoville tell it, their children historically have gotten Portsmouth’s leftovers—from textbooks to sports uniforms and more. That belief, they say, was the impetus for creating Sciotoville’s two start-up charter public schools.

Sciotoville East Community Schools are unique among charter public schools in Ohio. Serving students and their families from Appalachia, they are two of the very small number of charters located outside of the state’s urban communities. They illustrate what’s possible when educators, families, and an entire community come together to save their schools by transforming them into public charter schools.

This profile of the staff, students, and families of one of these schools—Sciotoville Elementary Academy—will show you an entirely new view of what charters can do to meet the needs of their communities, and why we need more of them in rural areas.

Education will always be one of Ohio’s highest priorities. It bonds communities together, provides the foundation for the state’s long-term economic success, and—most importantly—helps students across the state to realize their potential and pursue their dreams.

Data is imperative to understanding Ohio’s education policies, practices, and outcomes—both at a state level and locally. This guidebook offers simple and easy-to-use vital statistics about Ohio’s schools and the students they serve. The facts and figures contained within this report offer an overview of who Ohio’s students are; where they go to school; how they perform on national and state exams; and how many pursue post-secondary education. In addition, we present a few key statistics on Ohio’s educators, and how much Ohio taxpayers contribute to K-12 education and how those dollars are spent.

For those preferring a web version, try out www.OhioByTheNumbers.com.

The 2017 edition of Ohio Education By the Numbers can be accessed here.

For more than a decade, Ohio’s annual school report cards have offered the public information on school quality. The current iteration of report cards has notable strengths: School ratings are grounded in hard data, they use an intuitive A-F rating system, and several of the metrics encourage schools to pay attention to the achievement of all students.

Yet as the state has phased in new components over recent years, report cards have become increasingly complex and many of the metrics are strongly correlated with students’ background characteristics. Fordham’s latest report, Back to the Basics, suggests significant changes that would reduce the complexity of the report cards—aiding comprehension—and would produce ratings that are fairer to schools of all poverty levels.

To improve report cards, the paper offers three key recommendations:

  • Reduce the number of A-F grades. Ohio report cards now include fourteen letter grades—and soon to be fifteen as an overall rating comes out in 2018. Legislators should reduce the number of ratings to six: an overall grade plus five component ratings—Achievement, Progress, Graduation, Prepared for Success, and Equity.
  • Overhaul the Gap Closing component and rename it Equity. Gap Closing gauges the performance of subgroups, including students with disabilities, race/ethnic groups,
  • ...
The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation’s sponsorship annual report highlights our work with eleven schools that served 4,150 students in five Ohio cities during the 2016-17 school year. We value this opportunity to keep stakeholders and the public informed about our efforts, and provide information on each of the schools that we sponsor.
 
Additionally, the report highlights our most significant research projects of our sister organization, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, over the past year.
 
Our goal is to provide a transparent look at the performance of our portfolio of schools. We hope that you find the report informative.

Interdistrict open enrollment allows students to attend public schools outside their district of residence. It is among the largest and most widespread of school-choice efforts in the United States but often flies under the radar in policy discussions. In Ohio, over 70,000 students open enroll into schools outside their district of residence. However, despite the large scale, relatively little is known about the operation of open enrollment and the outcomes of students who participate in it.

This first-of-its-kind analysis, conducted by Ohio State University professor Stéphane Lavertu and Deven Carlson of the University of Oklahoma, uses statewide data to examine who uses open enrollment and how open enrollees perform academically.

The report yields the following findings:

  1. Consistent open enrollment is associated with modest but positive test-score gains
  2. African American open enrollees appear to make substantial gains
  3. Open enrollment throughout high school boosts the probability of on-time graduation

This is invaluable new data for a little-understood but heavily-utilized program. We urge you to download the report to learn more about what works for open enrollees across Ohio.

To see if your district participates in open enrollment, click on the image below to access a searchable, interactive map of Ohio (to...

A college degree is becoming increasingly necessary in order for young people to attain the jobs they want, and yet getting to and through college in some ways has never been more challenging. Many students are ill-prepared when they arrive, others lack the “soft” skills necessary to succeed in a postsecondary environment, and the cost of college is immense. For first-generation college students, these challenges can be daunting.

The Charles School (TCS), a Columbus charter high school that is part of the Graham Family of Schools, partners with Ohio Dominican University to provide an early college experience to students. Students can graduate with up to 62 hours of college credit, tuition free, and earn a high school diploma as well as an associate’s degree in a five-year program.

TCS and other high-quality charter options like it illuminate a path to and through college for many students like Chris Sumlin, profiled in this report. May his compelling story encourage us to support any school option that is effective at closing the college-going gap and setting young people up for success....

Fordham Ohio Panel Discussion: Strengthening school funding in Ohio

Fordham Ohio Panel Discussion: Strengthening School Funding in Ohio

Ohio’s current approach to school funding (K-12) has several strengths, including its ability to drive more state aid to disadvantaged districts and to add dollars for students with greater educational needs. But in a time when Ohio’s budget – like that of many other states – is stretched thin, policy makers need to ensure that every dollar is being well spent. As state lawmakers debate Ohio’s biennial budget, thoughtful analysis is more important than ever.

This event coincides with the release of Fordham’s latest research report, A Formula That Works. Conducted by national education policy experts at Bellwether Education Partners, this analysis is a deep dive into Ohio’s education funding policies and includes several recommendations for improvement. The study touches on questions such as: How well does Ohio’s funding system promote fairness and efficiency to all schools and districts? How can policy makers better ensure that all students have the resources needed to reach their goals? And what are the most critical policy issues that legislators should concentrate on as the budget debate proceeds this spring?

 

PRESENTER

Jennifer O’Neal Schiess
Associate Partner and report co-author
Bellwether Education Partners

 

PANELISTS

The Honorable Ryan Smith
Ohio House of Representatives
Chair, House Finance Committee
The Honorable Matt Huffman
Ohio Senate
Member, Senate Education Committee
Timothy Keen
Director
Ohio Office of Budget and Management
Howard Fleeter
Owner
Howard Fleeter & Associates
Barbara Mattei-Smith
Director of Performance and Accountability
Cincinnati City Schools

MODERATOR

Chad L. Aldis
Vice President for Ohio Policy and Advocacy
Thomas B. Fordham Institute

 

By Jennifer O’Neal Schiess, Max Marchitello, and Juliet Squire
 
Ohio’s current approach to school funding (K-12) has several strengths, including its ability to drive more state aid to disadvantaged districts and to add dollars for students with greater educational needs. But in a time when Ohio’s budget – like that of many other states – is stretched thin, policy makers need to ensure that every dollar is being well spent. As state lawmakers debate Ohio’s biennial budget, thoughtful analysis is more important than ever.
 
Our latest research report, A Formula That Works, takes a deep dive into Ohio’s education funding policies and includes several recommendations for improvement. Conducted by national education policy experts at Bellwether Education Partners, this analysis touches on questions such as: How well does Ohio’s funding system promote fairness and efficiency to all schools and districts? How can policy makers better ensure that all students have the resources needed to reach their goals? And what are the most critical policy issues that legislators should concentrate on as the budget debate proceeds this spring?
 
All vital questions for Ohio's students, families, schools, and districts....
This guidebook offers simple and easy-to-use vital statistics about Ohio’s schools and the students they serve. The facts and figures contained within this report offer an overview of who Ohio’s students are; where they go to school; how they perform on national and state exams; and how many pursue post-secondary education. In addition, we present a few key statistics on how much Ohio taxpayers contribute to K-12 education and how those dollars are spent.
 
The 2018 edition of Ohio Education By the Numbers can be accessed here.
Citizens Leadership Academy (CLA) is preparing its middle schoolers for success in high school, college, and life. CLA is second among all public schools in the city on student growth. The school’s eighth graders reach and surpass proficiency at a rate that is more than three times that of their peers across the city. Reading and math proficiency rates at CLA are more than double those of Cleveland Metropolitan School District's.
 
No matter how you slice the data, CLA is providing academic preparation that would likely be unavailable to them if the schools—and its broader high-performing charter network (Breakthrough Schools)—did not exist. And yet its academic prowess is just the tip of the iceberg.
 
We invite you to read this profile of a CLA student and see for yourself how this high-performing charter school has helped Keith become an honors scholar as well as an active, engaged citizen and community member....

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