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Tim Hoffine, Dan Woolf
  • Ohio recently unveiled plans to scrap the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT) in favor of the ACT (and a combination of other performance measures) for high school juniors in an attempt to better align high school curricula with college- and career-ready academic standards, and to increase the number of college graduates by 100,000 students in Ohio by 2017. Requiring that the ACT be taken in high school has been lauded by KidsOhio.org as a positive step which could emulate the successes of other states enacting similar ACT requirements and whose students’ ACT scores and college enrollment subsequently improved.
  • While the stimulus package has helped mitigate large-scale layoffs, this early study of ARRA (by Marguerite Roza, et al) shows that public education could be in its “biggest employment decline in years.” An aging workforce will strain pension systems—a problem that could be partially solved by basing teacher tenure on performance, rather than longevity within the school system.
  • For those of you intimidated by the structure of teacher contracts, or simply wondering how best to read and interpret various provisions within them, we highly recommend Education Sector’s interactive explainer to cut through the murkiness. With an easy-to-read layout and side-by-side comparisons of a district and charter school contract, it’s more engaging than Sarah Palin in her new show.
  • Researchers at Florida State University conclude that students who fail to meet their own high expectations for themselves suffer no negative mental health consequences relative to those who set low standards and achieve them.  One wonders whether the researchers are trying to compensate for not becoming astronauts or rock stars, or, simply for living in Tallahassee.
  • You may have had a Race to the Top overdose already, but this newsletter from Policy Innovators in Education Network (PIE Network) is worth checking out to see what states and reform organizations are doing to improve proposals for Race to the Top round two.
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