Looking for a stocking stuffer for that finicky ed-reformer in your family? Look no further than our collection of publications from 2012. This year’s research reports touched on timely and relevant topics for the Buckeye State such as teacher compensation, the implementation of the Common Core academic standards, student mobility, charter school governance, and special education. Check out our publications below and on our website.  

The Louisiana Recovery School District: Lessons for the Buckeye State – by Nelson Smith

Is it time for Ohio to take bolder steps toward turning around its most troubled schools and districts? If so, what might the alternatives look like? In looking for alternatives to simply doing more of the same, Ohio policymakers are looking to the experiences of other states. Among the boldest and most interesting of these is Louisiana’s Recovery School District (RSD), which is accomplishing both significant gains in student achievement and consequential impacts on district-level standards. In this recent report by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute author Nelson Smith ask if and how the RSD concept might be a model for Ohio.

Teacher Compensation Based on Effectiveness: The Harrison (CO) School District's Pay-for-Performance Plan – by F. Mike Miles and Ellen Belcher

This report, authored by Superintendent Mike Miles, takes a detailed look at the Harrison (CO) School District 2's Pay-for-Performance Plan. The Harrison Plan confronted the dual challenges of defining an effective teacher and identifying all the things that demonstrate her effectiveness. This how-to guide is meant to serve as a tool and model for Ohio’s school districts.

Future Shock: Early Common Core implementation lessons from Ohio – by Ellen Belcher

With the 2014-15 Common-Core transition looming, we wondered: How are Ohio’s educators preparing themselves for this big change? Who is doing this work and what can other schools and districts learn from the early adopters? What are lessons, hopes, and fears facing those on the frontlines who have to lead Ohio’s embrace of significantly more rigorous academic standards?

Applying Systems Thinking to Improve Special Education in Ohio – by Nathan Levenson

Special education is a “tough nut to crack.” As it stands now, special education is far too compliance-driven, expensive, siloed, and opaque. This paper, written by Harvard MBA and former district superintendent Nathan Levenson, calls for system-wide reform in special education. Levenson uses systems thinking to provide common-sense ideas for saving money while also improving the educational services given to Ohio’s 275,000 students with special needs.

Student Nomads: Mobility in Ohio's Schools - with Community Research Partners

Student mobility – a non-promotional change of schools—happens more frequently in the Buckeye State that people generally appreciate or understand. To conduct this research, Fordham partnered with Community Research Partners and 10 other funders. We analyzed over 5 million student records to depict the magnitude and patterns of mobility our home state. We dive deep into five metro areas to examine closely how students move within districts, between districts, and from charter to traditional public schools. We encourage readers to dig into the data, and consider their implications: Should public policies try to slow student mobility? Encourage it? Or make policies better attuned to it?

Moving Up: Fordham's 2011-12 Sponsorship Accountability Report

Moving Up is the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation's charter school sponsorship accountability report for 2011-12. Through it, we hope to help readers understand the complexities of charter schools and better appreciate the hard work of the teachers, school leaders, and board members who serve not only the schools we sponsor but also the schools around the state and nation that are working to make a difference in the lives of children. This year's report features an in-depth look at the struggles of two Fordham-sponsored schools in Dayton; it is researched and written by former Dayton Daily News reporter and editor Ellen Belcher.

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