Posts by: Greg

After the Ohio House removed language from the original version of the Ohio budget bill (HB64), Senate Bill 148 was created, proposing many of the long-overdue reforms to the charter school system that the House dropped.  SB148 received strong support from a diverse group of backers, including the Cleveland Plain Dealer editorial board, StudentsFirst Ohio, The Fordham Institute, and the Ohio Education Association.  Even Darlene Chambers, president of the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools, expressed support for most of the components of the bill in a May 7 Columbus Dispatch article:

“It is […]

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Buried deep within the Ohio Budget Bill (HB64), and as agreed upon by the Conference Committee working out the details between the House and Senate versions, is the following language:

Of the foregoing appropriation item 200597, Education Program Support, $2,000,000 in each fiscal year [of the two-year budget] shall be distributed to Teach For America to increase recruitment of potential corps members at select Ohio universities, train and develop first-year and second-year teachers in the Teach for America program in Ohio, and expand alumni support and networking within the state.

Teach for America already charges school districts taxpayer-funded dollars as a […]

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As part of a long list of amendments to House Bill 64 (state budget bill) yesterday, the Senate Finance Committee included some education “reforms” that would take place starting next school year.  One of the most significant changes is to the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System framework and implies that legislators’ faith in the PARCC standardized assessments is waning fast.

Here is the proposed language in its entirety (page 377 of the omnibus):

(A)(1) Notwithstanding anything in the Revised Code to the contrary and except as provided in division (A)(2) of this section, the board of education of a school […]

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In the Senate’s version of the State Budget Bill (House Bill 64), the author’s decided to include bonus money for charter schools and school districts based on two specific items: four-year graduation rates and third grade reading proficiency (based on whatever third grade reading test the state will be using).

For graduation rate, the formulas are fairly simple: “The school/district’s four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate on its most recent report card x 0.05 x the formula amount x the number of the district’s graduates reported to the department … for the same school year for which the most recent report card was issued”.

The “formula amount” is also being increased […]

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In the Ohio Senate’s version of the state budget bill, House Bill 64, a controversial provision added in by the Ohio House was left unchanged:

Sec. 3301.078. (B) No funds appropriated from the general revenue fund shall be used to purchase an assessment developed by the partnership for assessment of readiness for college and careers for use as the assessments prescribed under sections 3301.0710 and 3301.0712 of the Revised Code.

The “partnership for assessment of readiness for college and careers” is better known as PARCC, the consortium that administered the new state tests in Ohio and many other states this year and was […]

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Ohio Senator Charleta Tavares (D) has introduced Senate Bill 34 that would prohibit school boards from adopting Zero Tolerance policies that ultimately hamper the ability of school administrators and teachers from reaching at-risk children to address their needs on a case-by-case basis.  The adoption of zero tolerance policies often force the hand of school personnel to treat all children and all behavioral problems the same, effectively eliminating their ability to offer students an appropriate form of “due process” and alternate intervention strategies that seek to assist students who may be suffering from extreme behavioral issues.

In many cases, these students need greater […]

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Ever since the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) was adopted into law in 2011, the Ohio General Assembly has been tinkering with the various components in an effort to “improve” its implementation.  Each successive year has seen many significant changes to the overall OTES framework, while additional legislation has had an impact on the specific components — most notably changes to the state standardized tests.

This year, however, the number of proposed changes to both the overall framework and the testing components that comprise nearly 50% of the majority of teachers’ final ratings is reaching a number that goes well beyond mere “corrections” to […]

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One thing appears certain for next school year — the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) will once again undergo changes.  With the second year of the statewide implementation of the system not even finished, the Ohio General Assembly is already working to change the rules for year three.  While teachers and principals are still acclimating to the changes adopted last summer, they can all expect to arrive back in August to a process that will look different.  The only question at this point is how different?

Multiple pieces of legislation making their way through the Ohio House and Senate contain […]

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Ohio House Bill 2 has now been relegated to “lip-service” status on charter school reform after the GOP-dominated House Education Committee refused to adopt any meaningful changes (including recommendations by Republican State Auditor Dave Yost).  When it was introduced, it was allegedly a bill that would be demonstrating that Ohio Republicans, including Governor Kasich, were serious about turning the corner on Ohio’s charter schools and becoming serious about holding them to the same level of accountability as Ohio’s real public schools.

Instead, House Bill 2 has fallen flat.  As reported by the Ohio Education Association this week [emphasis-added]:

In […]

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The Kasich Administration and GOP-controlled Ohio General Assembly has been all about “education reform” over the last 5 years, with an alleged focus on improving student achievement — especially decreasing the dropout rate.  Recent legislation has focused on getting Ohio’s students to graduate from high school with not only a high school diploma, but for those not interested in college, some sort of industry credential.

The Third Grade Reading Guarantee, for example, has been continually touted as a step toward decreasing Ohio’s dropout rate (we strongly disagree with this assertion) and the legislature has held firm on this law even […]

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Earlier this week we wrote about Ohio House Bill 7, which is described as a “Safe Harbor” law for students, protecting them from negative ramifications based on the 2014-15 state standardized tests.

Today, on Ohio Public Radio*, Senator Peggy Lehner, chair of the Senate Education Committee that passed the bill out of committee last week and sent it to the full Senate for a vote (it passed today unanimously), said:

“For the 2014-15 school year only, student test scores on end of course exams or on any of the 3-8 achievement assessments cannot be […]

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