Posts by: Greg

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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Ohio House Bill 7 appears to finally recognize the “opt-out” issue that the state is having to deal with as many parents are intentionally choosing to refuse to have their children participate in the expanded administration of standardized tests that are draining away instructional time from the classroom.

The bill essentially provides a one-year reprieve for this school year to prevent almost any student or school from being penalized by the 2014-15 tests.

As described in the bill analysis:

Prohibits public schools from utilizing, at any time during a student’s academic career, a student’s score on any elementary-level state assessment […]

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For the past few years, teachers of reading and math at grades 4-8 have received value-added ratings based on the collective performance of their classes of students, with those ratings being used as a key part of their individual evaluation ratings under the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System for the past two.  While most people understand that the ratings are generated from calculations based on state test results, the exact process by which teachers obtain these ratings is often misunderstood.

Teachers are supposed to participate in an online process called “Roster Verification” or “Linkage” each spring.  Through Roster Verification, teachers are given the […]

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The apparent answer is a resounding YES.

We’ve had numerous readers contact us to share what they have discovered while looking at the publicly available PARCC practice reading tests, and the information is appalling.  Using an online tool — Readability-Score.com — we followed-up on readers’ tips and have independently analyzed the reading levels of every single passage on all of the PARCC practice reading tests.  Our analysis reveals that the majority of the passages are above the grade level for which the test is designed.  With the actual PARCC assessments hidden from public view, this analysis is all that can be […]

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On Sunday we detailed many of the major changes that school districts will be forced to change surrounding the implementation of the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES).  Those changes would be onerous and certainly untimely for school districts as they are not likely to be officially adopted until some time this summer.  Such a late adoption of the sweeping changes will once again leave school districts scrambling and leave teachers and administrators questioning what, exactly, the latest iteration of the OTES actually is in practice.

There are, however, two positive(?) changes to the evaluation system that, while still leaving school districts […]

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Deep in Governor Kasich’s budget bill (House Bill 64) on page 924 we can find language requiring the creation of an evaluation system that will cover all of Ohio’s school counselors (Ohio Counselor Evaluation System?; OCES?).  The overall framework and final evaluation ratings closely mirror the OTES structure, though the final pieces of the puzzle will ultimately be decided by the state board of education (led by two Kasich appointees).

The actual evaluation process is slated to begin in the 2016-17 school year and the legislation has many holes for the state board to fill, including the decision […]

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The full text of Ohio’s latest proposed budget bill (House Bill 64) was posted last week and, as in years past, it includes much more than just financial recommendations.  There are numerous education-related “reforms”, some of which have promise, others that will place additional expenses on the backs of local school districts, and some that will continue to just continue the chaotic environment of change that teachers and administrators have been dealing with under the Kasich regime.

A key piece of reform that falls into the latter category involves the ever-changing Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES).  In […]

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Much of the media coverage around John Kasich’s latest budget proposal and “new” school funding model has focused on the mysterious calculations that are supposedly determining how some school districts will receive more state funding and some schools will receive less.  While this debate is certainly interesting, it ignores the larger, and more important conversation that should be occurring.

Kasich’s latest proposal makes some grand and fatally-flawed assumptions about the amount of state funding that should be allocated to the Department of Education as a whole.  Furthermore, Kasich’s bold statement that local districts that “can help themselves…need…to step up and […]

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Ohio Representative Andrew Brenner has been seeking co-sponsors to introduce a resolution declaring the last week in January as “National School Choice Week”.  This is an interesting move for Brenner who represents a constituency that includes the Olentangy Local School District, the 7th largest and one of the highest-performing public school districts in the entire state of Ohio.

Olentangy, Brenner’s primary school district, lost over 32% of its state funding to community schools and scholarships when fewer than 1% of the district’s resident population opted to take advantage of “School Choice”.  Which begs the question — Who is Brenner […]

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Ohio’s Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Richard Ross, published his Testing Report and Recommendations last week as directed by the Ohio General Assembly as part of House Bill 487.  The report contains information about the amount of time students in Ohio are spending on tests and subsequently makes recommendations about how Kasich and the legislature can make changes.  Given that Ross was Kasich’s choice for state superintendent, we won’t be surprised to see some of the recommendations included in the governor’s budget bill when it comes out in the next month or two.

The information that Ross included in […]

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