Posts by: Greg

A few months ago, Chris Roberts, a young teacher in Northeast Ohio, received an email through StudentsFirst recommending that he sign up for their Teachers for Transformation Academy.  He signed up for their mailing list a few years ago because he was initially attracted to the StudentsFirst talking points.  A self described libertarian-leaning Republican, Chris was intrigued and decided to apply for the position.  After some recent phone interviews, Chris was offered the position of Ohio’s Teacher for Transformation Fellow along with an attractive $5,000 stipend – a very nice paycheck for the young teacher and father of three.

As the fourth-year teacher researched into [...]

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On December 11, 2001, the Ohio State Board of Education unanimously adopted academic content standards in reading, writing, and mathematics.  This sentence is from the foreward to those standards that changed the educational landscape in Ohio.  Upon the creation of these standards that spelled out learning targets for each grade, Ohio developed grade-level assessments in grades 3-8 along with the Ohio Graduation Tests.  The full foreward is remarkable to read as the debate about Ohio’s future with the Common Core takes center stage again this week.  Some Common Core supporters are wondering what Ohio will do without the new curriculum, leading [...]

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In what may be the final chance to repeal Common Core in Ohio, Representative Matt Huffman has signed on to fellow Representative Andy Thompson’s latest version of a bill to repeal the curriculum and its associated standardized tests.  Huffman’s inclusion on the bill is of significant importance as he is the Chair of the House Rules and Reference Committee — the committee that typically decides the fate of a bill.  The previous version of the bill to repeal Common Core (House Bill 237) was referred to the House Education Committee where the chairman, Gerald Stebelton, himself a supporter of Common [...]

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Ohio House Representatives Andy Thompson (R) and Matt Huffman (R) have introduced their latest version of a bill designed to prevent the Common Core curriculum from being implemented in Ohio. Their previous attempt at accomplishing this task, House Bill 237, was stalled when Education Committee Chairman, Gerald Stebelton, a supporter of Common Core, chose to ignore the bill and prevent it from ever coming up for a vote.

Now, Thompson is back with a new bill, House Bill 597, that is remarkably simple as it has been introduced:

Section 1. It is the General Assembly’s intent that sections [...]

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Once again, Governor John Kasich has released a campaign video that is purely personal in nature and devoid of any details about his track record as Ohio’s Governor.  Kasich’s latest ad, Purpose, is intended to humanize the Governor and remind us that he’s just a humble, gentle man.

Apparently the Governor doesn’t want to run on his record — and for good reason.  Throughout his term, the Governor has enacted numerous changes at the expense of public education in Ohio.  Not only has he enacted many reforms that have not been adequately funded (if funded at all), he has subsequently [...]

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This past Spring, Ohio House Bill 487 changed the rules surrounding the implementation of Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee, now requiring 3rd grade students using EdChoice Tuition vouchers to be held to the same standard as their public school peers (i.e., subject to retention in Grade 3 if they don’t attain the required score).  While EdChoice students have been required to participate in Ohio’s standardized testing program, including passing the Ohio Graduation Test in order to earn a high school diploma, many hailed this as a step toward removing the inequities that exist in Ohio law.

Supporters of this change [...]

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In his latest unscripted conversation that must drive his advisers crazy, Governor Kasich vehemently defended the actions of his friend and appointee, State Superintendent Dick Ross, and the Ohio Department of Education as he spoke about the scandal involving the Horizon Science Academy in Dayton.

According to Joe Vardon of the Columbus Dispatch, when asked about the scandal and ODE’s response, Kasich said, “As soon as the department (of education) found out (about the Horizon controversy — which stems from sexual acts between students that were not reported to parents by the school) it referred them to the authorities, which is the [...]

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In recent weeks, the negotiations between the Reynoldsburg School Board and the Reynoldsburg Education Association have focused on the Board’s proposal to switch to merit-based pay and eliminate district-sponsored healthcare.  These proposed changes are dramatic and have rightly deserved much scrutiny.

A larger-than-usual number of teachers have resigned from the district this year, leading the School Board to argue that the exodus of quality educators is a reason their proposed “more competitive” pay structure is needed.  In our last post on the subject, we pointed out that the pay structure in Reynoldsburg is actually comparable and competitive [...]

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At the State Board of Education meeting this week, four former teachers from the Horizon Science Academy Dayton High School testified about years of questionable practices and behavior, some of which had been previously reported and ignored by the Ohio Department of Education.

The things the teachers observed while teaching at the school are nothing short of appalling and the teachers were told by school administrators to avoid contacting the Ohio Department of Education and they feared losing their jobs and jeopardizing their careers if they reported the incidents.

Former teachers Kellie Kochensparger and Richard Storrick, reported [...]

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In the city of Reynoldsburg, a small suburb east of Columbus, contract negotiations between the teachers and the school district have broken down as a result of the School Board’s proposal to tie salaries to the state’s new teacher evaluation system while eliminating district-provided healthcare.

The School Board has been in full marketing mode for their plan, but as we’ve discovered, their talking points simply don’t support the facts.

The Reynoldsburg School Board first put out a “Vision Statement” that was full of propaganda and absent of facts, and now the District has an FAQ page on their website [...]

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When the Ohio General Assembly finally adopted changes to the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) through House Bill 362 last week, there was one positive remnant left from the original Senate Bill 229 introduced in late 2013 that does offer school districts some relief from the time-intensive process.  With the majority of teachers in in the state being expected to receive a rating of skilled or accomplished, and with those ratings being aligned with teachers who are effectively doing their jobs by demonstrating desired classroom practices and expected student growth (according to the legislators and Ohio Department of [...]

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