Interdistrict Open Enrollment in Ohio: Participation and Student Outcomes
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:
- Consistent open enrollment is associated with modest but positive test-score gains
- African American open enrollees appear to make substantial gains
- 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 scroll side to side, use the small arrow at the bottom of the list of icons) :
In the Media
Pathway to Success: The Charles School broadens college access for students who need it
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.
A Formula That Works: Five ways to strengthen school funding in Ohio
Pathway to Success: Citizens Leadership Academy develops strong citizens and scholars
On the Right Track: Ohio’s charter reforms one year into implementation
In the Media
2016 Fordham Sponsorship Annual Report
The 2015–16 school year was one of transition in Ohio. New state assessments (again), new charter sponsor evaluations, and even a new state superintendent. Change is hard, but it is important to remember that the developments of the last twelve months have their roots in policy decisions designed to improve Ohio’s academic standards overall and its charter school sector in particular.
The 2016 Fordham Sponsorship Annual Report is our opportunity to share the Fordham Foundation’s work as the sponsor of eleven schools serving approximately 3,200 students in five cities, especially as that work relates to the large education policy landscape in Ohio.
We urge you to read this report to learn of Fordham’s commitment to quality schools for all children.
Pathway to Success: KIPP Columbus takes seriously its mission to send kids to and through college
KIPP Columbus achieves extraordinary outcomes for its students, predominantly students in poverty and students of color. Led by Hannah Powell and a visionary board, the school has a rare knack for forging powerful partnerships at every turn—ones that strengthen KIPP students, their families, and the entire community near its campus. We invite you to read this profile of Steve, a KIPP graduate, an immigrant and first-generation college student now attending Vanderbilt University. Steve’s entire family has been uplifted by the school and his story shows powerfully what is really possible in a high-quality charter school.
Setting Sights on Excellence: Ohio’s School Report Cards, 2015-16
On September 15, Ohio released report cards for approximately 600 school districts and 3,500 public schools (district and charter). These report cards are based on state exam results from the 2015-16 school year, along with several other gauges of student success. This year’s report card analysis, Setting Sights on Excellence, offers a close look at the report card data while also placing them within the context of Ohio’s major policy reforms. With the aim of readying more students for college and career, such reforms include a shift to higher learning standards and more rigorous state assessments.
The key findings:
- Reflecting Ohio’s higher learning standards, fewer students in Ohio are deemed “proficient” on state exams than in previous years. In 2015-16, roughly 55 to 65 percent of Ohio pupils met the proficiency bar in the core subjects. Nevertheless, Ohio’s proficiency benchmark still falls short of matching a rigorous, college and career ready standard.
- In turn, school ratings across that state have declined. In urban areas, public schools receive almost universally low ratings on proficiency based metrics: On the state’s performance index—a key gauge of student achievement—94 percent of urban schools received D or F ratings in 2015-16. This reflects both higher standards and the persistent achievement gaps between disadvantaged pupils and their peers.
- Ohio’s urban schools, however, can perform well on the value added measure—a gauge of student growth that is not correlated with demographics. In 2015-16, 29 percent of urban charter schools received an A or B rating on value added, while 19 percent of district-run schools did so. This report recognizes twenty-five high-performing urban schools that have earned strong value added results over the past three years.
In addition to analyses of statewide data, Setting Sights on Excellence provides an in-depth look at the performance of charter and district sectors in the Ohio Big Eight cities (Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo, and Youngstown). Download the report today to learn more about Ohio’s report cards.
In the Media
Pathway to Success: Columbus Collegiate Academy embodies high expectations for all students
Evaluation of Ohio’s EdChoice Scholarship Program: Selection, Competition, and Performance Effects
Shortly after Ohio lawmakers enacted a new voucher program in 2005, the state budget office wrote in its fiscal analysis, “The Educational Choice Scholarships are not only intended to offer another route for student success, but also to impel the administration and teaching staff of a failing school building to improve upon their students’ academic performance.” Today, the EdChoice Scholarship Program provides publicly funded vouchers to more than eighteen thousand Buckeye students who were previously assigned to some of the state’s lowest-performing schools, located primarily in low-income urban communities. Yet remarkably little else is known about the program.
Which children are using EdChoice when given the opportunity? Is the initiative faithfully working as its founders intended? Are participating students blossoming academically in their private schools of choice? Does the increased competition associated with EdChoice lead to improvements in the public schools that these kids left?
Fordham’s new study utilizes longitudinal student data from 2003–04 to 2012–13 to answer these and other important questions.
Three key findings:
- Student selection: The students participating in EdChoice are overwhelmingly low-income and minority children. But relative to pupils who are eligible for vouchers but choose not to use them, the participants in EdChoice are somewhat higher-achieving and less economically disadvantaged.
- Competitive effects: EdChoice modestly improved the achievement of the public-school students who were eligible for a voucher but did not use it. The competition associated with the introduction of EdChoice appears to have spurred these public-school improvements.
- Participant effects: The students who used vouchers to attend private schools fared worse on state exams compared to their closely matched peers remaining in public schools. Only voucher students assigned to relatively high-performing EdChoice eligible public schools could be credibly studied.
Dr. David Figlio, Orrington Lunt Professor of Education and Social Policy and of Economics at Northwestern University, led the research.