Eye on Education

Back-to-School Shopping Costs Increase

Yep, it’s almost that time again: back-to-school shopping season. And as the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports, families will spend an average of nearly $669 on things like clothes and supplies, up 5 percent from last year. Shopping for a college bound student? Be prepared to spend even more: an average of $916, up from $836 in 2013, the Plain Dealer reports.

The calendar may still say mid-July, but retailers are already weeks into the lucrative back-to-school season, the industry’s second-largest after the winter holidays. From price-match guarantees to opportunities to share school supplies with needy children, stores are multiplying their promotions in hopes of scoring extra sales during the $74.9 billion shopping season.

Read more at: www.cleveland.com

Should More School Districts Be Consolidated?

For years now – and especially since the Great Recession – the idea of consolidating local government services, and even governments themselves, has been pushed by some as a necessary step toward greater efficiency and savings. That idea can be applied to school districts too, and has been in the case of two northwest Ohio districts that will welcome back students this fall under a single banner. In its Friday editorial The Toledo Blade calls it a prudent move, and argues for more such mergers in the future.

In the past two decades, decreases in state aid, depressed property values, and anti-tax sentiments, among other things, have forced local governments and school districts to do more with less. Communities have tried to operate more efficiently by sharing administrative duties and police, fire, and other services.

Read more at: www.toledoblade.com

Kasich Stands By State Superintendent Ross



Gov. John Kasich is standing by his top education leader in the wake of controversy surrounding a charter school investigation.

The probe was launched after a group of teachers alleged sexual misconduct, racism and possible cheating was going on at a Dayton charter school.

But some believe more could’ve been done.

Some leaders, including Democratic Gubernatorial Nominee Ed FitzGerald, have questioned the Ohio Department of Education’s response to the allegations and whether previously filed complaints may have been glossed over.

FitzGerald says Governor Kasich should demand the resignation of State Superintendent Dick Ross.

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Majority Of Top Healthcare Jobs In Cleveland Don’t Require Bachelor’s Degree


phalinn / flickr

Nationally, nearly half of the total healthcare workforce in the 100 largest American metropolitan areas are employed as nurses, support technicians, psychiatric and home health aides.

For many of those role’s a two-year associate’s degree or high school diploma will suffice.

In the Greater Cleveland area, that number’s slightly higher, ranking the city 8th among the largest U.S. metros, according to a new study by the Brookings Institution.  Likewise, more than half the healthcare jobs in Akron also are open to people without a bachelor’s degree.

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The American Math Struggle

Why do Americans struggle with math? That’s the question the New York Times posed, and as it reports, U.S. residents have invented great methods to teach math, but it’s questionable if those methods are really being implemented.

When Akihiko Takahashi was a junior in college in 1978, he was like most of the other students at his university in suburban Tokyo. He had a vague sense of wanting to accomplish something but no clue what that something should be.

Read more at: www.nytimes.com

Report: American Indian Sports Mascots Harm Native Youth

A mother and son pose before a Chief Wahoo sign at the Indians' season opener this year.


A mother and son pose before a Chief Wahoo sign at the Indians' season opener this year.

A liberal leaning research institute in Washington said all schools and professional teams around the country should retire any sports mascots that adversely affect the well-being of Native Americans.

The Center for American Progress’ report said native-themed team names and displays during pep rallies or “spirit weeks” can cause confusion, embarrassment, or alienation among native students.

“School’s a tough enough place it to be as it is,” said the Center’s Erik Stegman. “And when you have to see your culture boiled down to what some non-native person decides they want it to be…that sticks with you the rest of your life. And then when you have to grow up in a place like Cleveland and deal with things like the Cleveland Indians, it really makes native people feel like non-native people A) don’t understand them and B) don’t really care what their issues are.”

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Philadelphia School Uses Workshop Model to Find Success

A West Philadelphia school is combining STEM education and career technical education–two current education buzzwords– as a different way to reach kids from some of the city’s rough neighborhoods. As WHYY’s Kevin McCorry reports, The Workshop School uses an “inquiry-based” model of learning, where students think of their own questions and create answers to solve real problems.

“Once you start something you’ve got to finish it,” Haziz Self, a graduate of the school, said in the piece. “That’s a life lesson: Once you start something, you got to finish it.”

Imagine a school where classes are organized not by subject but by project … A school created not by administrators but by teachers fed up with the status quo … A school where kids from a city’s toughest neighborhoods are given the opportunity to experiment and the freedom to fail.

Read more at: www.npr.org

New U. of Akron President Brings New Expectations To Senior Administrators

Along with a new president of the University of Akron comes a leadership style that, on its surface, appears to differ markedly from that of former President Luis Proenza. Carol Biliczky of the Beacon Journal writes that President Scott Scarborough distributed a two-page list of “leadership and Management Principles” to senior leaders about two weeks into his tenure and asked them to sign it. The document defines “success” in 15 bullet points, and “teamwork” in another nine.

If you don’t pick up trash or get to meetings on time, there might not be a place for you at the University of Akron. New President Scott Scarborough has distributed a blueprint on how he wants 38 senior leaders – administrators, academics and students alike – to behave.

Read more at: www.ohio.com

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