Ohio

Eye on Education

The Sound of Ideas: Wrap-Around Schools

schwrapKids are heading back to school this week, but some students will be carrying more than books.

They’ll bring hunger, illness, maybe the baggage that comes with living in neighborhoods where poverty and crime persist.

How do you teach children when life gets in the way of learning? In this edition of The Sound of Ideas we hear about one approach – the wrap-around school. We’ll tell you what that is and why the concept is expanding in districts like Cleveland’s.

 

Survey Says College Presidents Are Concerned About Job Training

Close to 90 percent of college presidents believe critical thinking and personal development are vital for students to land jobs– but only about 40 percent believe their campuses are adequately preparing students with those skills, Inside Higher Ed reports. More than 800 presidents from higher education institution responded to an online survey, though IHE points out the survey isn’t representative of the country as a whole. The survey also touched on the ways presidents report they’re spending budget money, including by increasing faculty and staff salaries.


College presidents want to help graduates find jobs but believe their institutions are struggling to do so, according to a recent survey by Gallup and Inside Higher Ed. Nearly nine in 10 presidents said an emphasis on “critical thinking” skills and personal development is very important throughout college in order for graduates to get jobs.

Read more at: www.insidehighered.com

Department of Education Accuses ESC of Flouting State Law on Charter Schools

empty classroom

Jenlight / Flickr

An educational service center in Northeast Ohio is in trouble with the state Department of Education after trying to open a charter school in southern Ohio.

Department of Education spokesman John Charlton says the Portage County Educational Service Center violated at least three rules in sponsoring what was being called Hope4Change Academy.

First, Portage County ESC isn’t authorized to sponsor new charter schools because of the poor performance of its existing ones.

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Former Central Ohio Superintendent Found to Have Misspent Thousands of Dollars

A state investigation has found Educational Service Center of Central Ohio’s former superintendent Bart Anderson logged thousands of dollars of personal expenses on the school’s credit card over a five year period. The Columbus Dispatch reports Anderson spent more than $450,000 on travel arraignments during that time, but 112 trips-roughly $92,000– weren’t board-authorized. State officials now say Anderson now must repay the money, and have also referred him to both the Franklin County prosecutor and the Ohio Ethics Commission, the Dispatch reports.


A former central Ohio superintendent spent nearly $100,000 on personal travel and alcohol over a five-year period and must repay the money, a state investigation found. Bart Anderson, the longtime superintendent of the ESC of Central Ohio, used the ESC credit card to pay for more than $450,000 in travel between 2007 and 2012, but more than $90,000 of that travel wasn’t for business.

Read more at: www.dispatch.com

Experts with Role in Developing Common Core Testify Before House Committee

statehouse thoth188

THOTH 188 / FLICKR

Opponents of the education standards known as the Common Core spent a week criticizing that set of standards while supporting a bill to repeal it.

Now, a House committee is hearing from the other side, including some national experts who helped create those benchmarks.

William McCallum is a distinguished professor of mathematics from the University of Arizona. He was part of a panel of experts who helped write the Common Core standards for math.

McCallum told a panel of legislators that he’s noticed people spreading what he calls “false accounts” of how the Common Core was created.

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#PayMyCollegeTuition Goes Viral

There’s a fairly good chance you’ve seen the #ALSIceBucketChallenge pop up on one of your social media timelines. As a refresher, it’s a way of raising awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Now, US News reports, there’s a spin-off challenge with a collegiate twist. Current and former students are asking celebrities to foot their tuition bill in the #PayMyTuitionChallenge. So far, at least two companies are listening–and offering scholarship contests in return.


Students are challenging others to pay their college tuition, and some are answering the call. Blackboard said it will hold a scholarship competition. Is Oprah next? President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and the Kardashian family – you have 24 hours to pay struggling students’ college tuition.

Read more at: www.usnews.com

To Incoming College Freshmen, America’s Wealthiest Guy Has Always Been Bill Gates

For this year's college freshmen, Bill Gates has always been the country's richest man.

esparta / flickr

For this year's college freshmen, Bill Gates has always been America's richest guy.

When this year’s college freshmen see wire-rimmed glasses, their minds first flash to Harry Potter– not John Lennon.

They’ve probably never perused the Internet with web browser Netscape.

Joe Camel hasn’t been their gateway to smoking cigarettes.

The “pound” key on telephones? Yeah, that’s a #hashtag to them.

These points all come courtesy of Beloit College’s annual “mindset list,” released today as a gentle reminder of the experience gap between professors and the “typical” incoming college student.

The Wisconsin school has published the list since 1998.

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ODE Forced to Divulge Students with Disabilities Data

Following direction of a court order, the state department of education will be releasing information regarding students with disabilities. The Newark Advocate reports the release includes students’ attendance records, state test results, and demographics such as age, race, gender, and their disability category for the 2013-14 school year. Names and Social Security numbers won’t be in that mix. But the data will stay under wraps and is only accessible to Disability Rights Ohio, the group who filed the suit based on “the adequacy of special education funding,” the Advocate reports. Parents can object to the release of data by mid-September.

Parents throughout the state will get a heads-up this week that the Ohio Department of Education is releasing data on students with disabilities. The data normally would be kept confidential, but a judge ordered the ODE to release it as part of a class-action lawsuit challenging the way special education is funded in Ohio.

Read more at: www.newarkadvocate.com

Reynoldsburg City Schools Files Unfair Labor Practice Complaint Against Teachers Union

The Reynoldsburg Board of Education accuses the Reynoldsburg Teachers Union of engaging in bait-and-switch tactics in their ongoing negotiation of a new teachers contract. The district wants to implement a merit pay system that would tie teachers’ raises to their annual state evaluation ratings, something teachers in districts across the state have strenuously resisted. Talks are set to resume in September with a federal mediator.


The Reynoldsburg school board has filed unfair-labor-practice charges against the teachers unions for the district and the state. The board says negotiators for the Reynoldsburg Education Association backtracked after agreeing to some provisions and used a bait-and-switch tactic to make changes in the teachers’ salary schedule.

Read more at: www.dispatch.com

STEAM Adds The Arts Into STEM

A wall in a technology classroom at Canton's Hartford Middle School.

Amy Hansen / StateImpact

A wall in a technology classroom at Canton's Hartford Middle School.

STEM education–that’s science, technology, engineering, and math–has gotten an increasing amount of buzz over the past few years.

And now, there’s a twist on STEM: the addition of the arts, making it STEAM.

Supporters (including Elmo) say a more focused inclusion of the arts helps kids become creative, hands-on learners by sparking innovation.

A recent Michigan State study supports that notion, pointing to a higher number of patents created and businesses launched by adults who participated in arts and crafts in their younger years.

But the STEAM model’s still relatively new – and unproven.

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