• School districts: Get on your mark! The Ohio Department of Education has started accepting applications for $13 million in competitive grants. The Early Literacy and Reading Readiness grants are meant to support intervention initiatives that can ensure that more kids meet the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.
  • The Ohio School Facilities Commission has revised its urban school district project scope. Decreasing enrollment figures in inner-city districts have brought down the estimated project costs. The Commission Chairman cites competition from charters and private schools as a significant factor in enrollment changes.
  • Acting Superintendent Michael Sawyers requested clarification on a Third Grade Reading Guarantee requirement that says reading-deficient students must be assigned to a professional with a “reading endorsement.” Few teachers have such a certification and there is not enough time between now and August 2013 to receive training, Sawyers said.
  • Among issues covered at last week’s Statewide Education Conference was the black student achievement gap. Author Robert Jackson suggests developing “new peer identities” for black males, and maintaining a positive social image of students in school environments.
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