Posts by: Greg

The Ohio House of Representatives was all out of sorts over the past week at the notion of increasing the number of calamity days for school districts across the state.  What was initially thought to be a simple piece of legislation that would be fast-tracked when it was proposed the day after Governor Kasich called for it turned out to hit a wall with many House Republicans.  The initial delay of its adoption by the House was the question of cost, specifically whether it was a waste of millions of dollars to pay “teachers for days they didn’t work” (Gerald [...]

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Governor John Kasich has been fond of claiming an Ohio “miracle” of closing budget deficits while cutting taxes. Tell that to the least among us who, thanks to the Governor’s sales tax increase now have to pay more under his tax scheme, while his rich friends get another $6,083 tax cut. Add that to the decision Mr. Kasich made to increase all our future property taxes by 12.5% and you might understand why regular folks in Ohio are scratching their heads. This Governor’s plans sound less and less like a miracle and more and more like [...]

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In the 2012-13 school year, charter schools received over $829 million in state taxpayer dollars to educate just over 116,000 children – an average of $7,144.86 per child.  By comparison, after this money was deducted from payments to Ohio’s local public school districts, those districts received just shy of $5.5 billion to educate the remaining 1.7 million children.  While that may sound like a high dollar figure, it averages out to only $3,125.30 per student.

What this means is that last year, charter schools in Ohio received, on average, over twice as much (2.29 times, to be exact) per student [...]

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In Cleveland, the Menlo Park Academy charter school serves children in grades K-8 and has very strict admission requirements.  Menlo Park restricts their enrollment to only the best and brightest — those students identified as being gifted.  Not surprisingly, these students consistently highly on Ohio’s standardized tests year after year, making it appear as though the school is performing at a consistently high level.  The most recent changes to Ohio’s school report cards, especially the new grade given to a school’s impact on gifted students, gives us a reason to look more closely at Menlo’s program.

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Ohio Senate Bill 229, a bill designed to modify the new teacher evaluation system in Ohio, has finally made it to the agenda of the House Education Committee. Despite passing 33-0 in the Ohio Senate in early December and being assigned to the House Education Committee on December 10, Chairman Gerald Stebelton has delayed bringing it to his committee for consideration.

Senate Bill 229 would provide some much needed relief to Ohio’s principals who are being run ragged trying to keep up with the onerous processes required by the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) and better allow them to [...]

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On Tuesday, Central Ohio television viewers were treated to an interruption of their regular television programming as local stations broadcast the live press conference of Ohio Auditor of State Dave Yost as he released the results of his 18-month investigation (that was specifically requested by the school district nearly two years ago, by the way, and was delayed time and time again) into attendance and grade “irregularities” in the Columbus City School district.  Yost proudly smirked his way through the hour-long performance, demonstrating an appalling level of professional bias from the outset as he revealed his PowerPoint slideshow with [...]

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The state of Ohio has been hit hard this winter, resulting in schools having to cancel a higher-than-usual number of days of instruction.  Many districts (about a third according to the Toledo Blade) have already used up the state-allowed number of snow (or calamity) days and have reached the point where they will be required to make up those days at the end of the year.

To that end, Governor Kasich announced yesterday that he was going to instruct the General Assembly to enact a one-time exemption for this school year that would provide schools an extra four [...]

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Over the past couple of days, we’ve shared with you the wealth of research that links the retention of students to an increased risk of dropping out of school; research that contradicts the mandatory retention requirement of Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee law.  In these posts, we’ve asked you to contact our state legislators to advocate on behalf of Ohio’s children.  It is important that we take action because others who should be doing so have failed to do so.

At the top of that list is Ohio’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Richard Ross.  Ross was [...]

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Primum non nocere is a Latin phrase most commonly associated with the medical profession.  The phrase translates to “first, do no harm”.  Ohio’s legislators would do well to adopt this concept when considering the laws about education.

As we first wrote yesterday, research studies show that the mandatory retention component of Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee law will do irreparable harm to thousands of children by increasing the likelihood that they will drop out of school later on.  Since this evidence contradicts the intended outcome of the law, we must push the Ohio General Assembly to immediately amend the law to [...]

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I’ve written a lot of posts over the past three years, but none have ever struck me with the sense of urgency that this one has and I have a special request that is completely out of character for me to ask: please share this post intentionally and widely. The futures of thousands of Ohio’s young children are at stake.  We need the General Assembly to take action immediately to enact emergency legislation to amend Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee law to protect our children. Read on to understand why.

The Kasich Administration’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee law has the [...]

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Four years ago, Ted Strickland was entering his final year as Ohio’s governor, and things were rough.  The nation was in the midst of a horrible recession and the economy was struggling in many ways that were having an adverse effect on Ohio’s education system.

On top of that, Strickland had implemented legislative changes that had received mixed reviews by the education community and, by all accounts, had turned many teachers against him.

Looking back, we can recognize the complexity of many of the issues of the time.  As you likely remember, jobs were being lost nationwide and Ohio was [...]

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