Eye on Education

Ohio Offers Free College Entrance Exams for Students

Looking to take the SAT or ACT during the upcoming school year? It’ll cost you a whopping $0.00, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — This fall’s Ohio high school freshmen can take the ACT or SAT for free when they’re juniors, courtesy of the state. It’s one of many changes that are coming to K-12 education, beginning with the 2014-15 school year. Those include new graduation requirements for the class of 2018.

Read more at: www.cleveland.com

Report Says Millions Start College, but Don’t Finish

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Over the past 20 years, more than 31 million Americans started college, but never walked across the stage to grab a diploma, according to a recent report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

Not earning a degree can prove to be a costly decision. The income of the average bachelor’s degree recipient is more than $16,000 higher than those people who’ve completed some college, but don’t have a degree.

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Kasich Says He’s “Concerned” About Loss of Local Control

Stopped in Steubenville by a gaggle of reporters, Gov. John Kasich was asked about his thoughts on a plan created by House Reps. Andy Thompson, R-Marietta, and Rep. Matthew Huffman, R-Lima, for a bill that would potentially repeal the Common Core. The Columbus Dispatch reports Kasich said he understands the loss of local control.

“That’s why we took actions in the MBR to address some of those,” Kasich said. “If there are more things that need to be done and we’re seeing an erosion of local control, then we’d have to address it. Their concern is who’s in control of the schools? And I’m always concerned about that.”

In the past, Kasich’s been a supporter of the new set of learning expectations. The pair of representatives say their bill will have hearings later this year.

“Let them have their hearings,” Kasich added. “We’ll see what all of this is.”

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio – Gov. John Kasich said “I share a lot” of the concerns of two conservative lawmakers who want to eliminate the Common Core math and English/language arts standards in Ohio.

Read more at: www.dispatch.com

Cincinnati Charter Raided by FBI

Last month, federal authorities raided a Cincinnati charter school to examine their connection with a handful of vendors, reports The Cincinnati Enquirer . The Cincinnati school belongs to the chain of Concept Schools, which is also under a statewide investigations. The newspaper submitted an open records request to gather the information.

FBI agents raided a Bond Hill charter school in June as part of an ongoing federal investigation into whether Horizon Science Academy Cincinnati, its sister schools in Ohio and two other states and its management company outside Chicago had improper relationships with several technology vendors.

Read more at: www.cincinnati.com

Ohio’s The “Wild, Wild West” of Charter Schools, Says Standard Supporter

That label comes directly from National Association of Charter School Authorizers’ Alex Medler, who recently spoke with the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Patrick O’Donnell. One reason Ohio has that distinction? Medler says the state has a surplus of charter school sponsors, but a lack of rules surrounding them, O’Donnell reports.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Ohio is taking good steps to rein in its “Wild, Wild West” of charter schools, but time will tell if the state has the backbone to make its rules stick.

Read more at: www.cleveland.com

Report: The Importance of Yearly Attendance

Want a predictor of how a student’s attendance will fare over a school year? Look no further than the month of September, says a new report from the Baltimore Education Research Consortium. After analyzing a group of Baltimore City School students, researchers found that students who missed just two or more days in September were more likely to struggle with chronic absenteeism throughout the school year.

In this brief examining absences in September and later schools attendance, we found the September absences predicted later chronic absence, missing more than 20 days a year) after controlling for student demographic characteristics, service receipt, and attendance the previous school year (2011-12).

Read more at: baltimore-berc.org

Here’s What Several Education Groups Think about Potential Common Core Repeal

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Bill Rice / ideastream

A participant’s tshirt at one recent anti-Common Core rally.

Many of Ohio’s schools have already incorporated the Common Core, a set of expectations for what students should know and be able to do in math and English at each grade level, into their curriculum.

The state’s full implementation of the learning expectations launches this fall.

But not so fast, say two House representatives.

Earlier this week, Andy Thompson, a Republican from Marietta who in the past has been vocal with his unhappiness about the Common Core, and Republican House speaker pro tempore Matt Huffman introduced placeholder plans for House Bill 597. 

The bill could potentially cancel the Common Core. In its place, the pair want to adopt new standards that more closely resemble the ones adopted by Massachusetts. The Common Core has been adopted by the majority of the country, although several states have recently scrapped their plans.

So far, many of Ohio’s key education groups still support the Common Cores.

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University of Akron’s New President Improves Financial Outlook

Scott Scarborough, the University of Akron’s new president, has a pretty hefty financial background. And as Crain’s Cleveland reports, that could work to the college’s advantage. Financial ratings groups have noticed Scarborough’s resume, and have made note of “the fresh perspective of the new president with a proven record of good fiscal management,” Crain’s said.

Scott Scarborough’s name doesn’t carry the same cache as Jim Tressel, the former Ohio State football coach who also vied for the top job at the University of Akron. But what he lacks in championship rings, Scarborough makes up for in impressive financial turnarounds – just what’s needed at …

Read more at: www.crainscleveland.com

Akron Public School Pays To Send Autistic Student to Private School

When Ohio parents want to take their autistic child out of a private school, they typically can receive a $20,000 state scholarship to cover the costs. But as the Akron Beacon Journal reports, Akron Public Schools will now pay more than $100,000 to send one of its students to a private school in Cleveland, after the student’s parent said the school is a better fit to educate their autistic child.

On Monday, the Akron school board approved $101,972 to educate one student for one year. The student attends the Monarch School, a private school resting on 32 acres in Cleveland where educators give one-on-one instruction to children and adults with autism in an environment tailored to their needs. There, lockers don’t slam.

Read more at: www.ohio.com

Ohio House Republicans Lead New Charge to Repeal Common Core


The Ohio Channel

School districts have spent years preparing to implement the education standards known as Common Core — which are set to start this coming school year.

Now House Republicans are renewing their efforts to repeal the standards, and the bill could be on the fast track to the House floor.

Republican State Rep. Andy Thompson of Marietta has been a vocal critic of the Common Core standards, which were developed by a group of state education leaders around the country.

His new bill would repeal the standards and replace them with new provisions based on educational benchmarks used in Massachusetts.

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