Eye on Education

The Evolution of Student-Centered Learning

By most measurable accounts, things weren’t going so well at New Hampshire’s Pittsfield Middle High School. Test scores were low, and the level of teacher turnover was high. But since the school adopted “student centered learning,” that’s not quite the case anymore, The Atlantic reports the definition of the concept is constantly evolving, but most programs tend to have teachers work as coaches, along with implementing student-centered activities like peer discussions and group work.

“There used to be a lot more of teachers talking at you—it didn’t matter if you were ready to move on. When the teacher was done with the topic that was it,” student Noah Manteau told The Atlantic. “This is so much better.”

In an 11th-grade English class at Pittsfield Middle High School in rural New Hampshire, Jenny Wellington’s students were gathered in a circle debating Henry David Thoreau’s positions on personal responsibility. “Do you think Thoreau really was about ‘every man for himself?’” asked one 16-year-old boy.

Read more at: www.theatlantic.com

Youngstown State Faculty Members Authorize A Move to Strike

A strike may be on the horizon for Youngstown State University. Yesterday, a union representing several hundred faculty members said they have “no confidence” in the school’s board of trustees and authorized a strike, according to the Youngstown Vindicator. The union members have been without a contract since the middle of August. One main issue? Healthcare, the Vindicator reports.

Published: 10/23/14 @ 12:10 By Denise Dick denise_dick@vindy.com YOUNGSTOWN The union representing about 400 Youngstown State University faculty members voted to authorize a strike and approved a resolution of “no confidence” in the board of trustees and the administration. YSU-Ohio Education Association has been working without a contract since Aug.

Read more at: www.vindy.com

Local Foundations Can Make A Difference In Reinventing Schools

John Hay High School is home to the School of Science and Medicine, Early College High School and School of Architecture and Design.

Stu Spivack/FLICKR

John Hay High School is home to the School of Science and Medicine, Early College High School and School of Architecture and Design.

Locally-focused philanthropic foundations can take a more significant role in turning around poor performing urban schools – that’s the message offered up by two organizations that set out to do just that in Cleveland.

During the annual Community Foundations Conference held this week in downtown Cleveland, representatives of the Cleveland and Gund Foundations described their 8-year partnership with the district, the business community and several high-performing charter schools.

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Candidate for Ohio House Wants to Ditch OSU’s “Sophomore Rule”

Sophomores at Ohio State University are required to live on campus. But as our partners at WOSU report, a candidate seeking a spot in the Ohio House says he’ll try to repeal that rule if he’s elected. Students pay about $10,000 for room and board on the Columbus campus.

“Why would this university think that it would be okay for a college student, who already has record debt to have to pay more, I think that’s almost criminal in my way of thinking,” Republican candidate Seth Golding told WOSU.

Usually When candidates target college students they focus on issues like rising tuition or jobs after graduation. But one candidate for state rep is trying to win votes with a unique issue, OSU’s upcoming rule that all sophomores live in college dorms. The sidewalk sign along High Street urges: “Repeal the Sophomore Rule.”

Read more at: wosu.org

Teacher-Prep Enrollment Numbers Take A Nationwide Hit

Fewer students are enrolling in teacher-prep programs across the country. Enrollment rates have dropped close to 10 percent from 2004-2012, EdWeek reports. Big changes to the profession–like tougher education curriculum standards and an increased reliance on teacher evaluations–could be contributing to the dip.

“I feel like teachers are becoming a wedge politically, and I don’t want anything to do with that,” Zachary Branson,a potential teacher who dropped out of his training program, told the publication.

Fresh from the United States Air Force, Zachary Branson, 33, wanted a career with a structured day and hours that would allow him to be home in time to watch his kids in the evening. But just a month into his online teacher-preparation program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, he had something of a crisis of faith.

Read more at: www.edweek.org

Tom Hanks Lends Star Power to Wright State’s Fundraising Campaign

Southern Ohio’s Wright State University has a friend in actor Tom Hanks. According to the Associated Press, the actor’s co-chairing a $150 million fundraising campaign. The school says the money will go towards building new campus facilities, creating additional scholarships, and enticing new faculty members. Hanks’ connection to the university stems from a longtime friendship with the current chair of the school’s theatre, dance, and motion pictures department.

FAIRBORN, Ohio (AP) – In his latest starring role, Tom Hanks is the leading man in a $150 million fundraising campaign for Wright State University. The Rise.Shine campaign’s co-chairmen are Hanks and Amanda Wright Lane, great-grandniece of aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright, for whom the school is named.

Read more at: www.dispatch.com

2014 Ohio Board of Education Voters Guide


Photo courtesy of the Ohio Department of Education

The 19 members of Ohio’s state Board of Education don’t actually create any education-related laws, but they do make some pretty important decisions regarding the state’s education policies–things like setting education operating standards and teacher license requirements.

And this Election Day, there are seven contested races across the state looking to fill open seats on the board.

Eleven BOE members are elected, while eight additional members are appointed by Gov. Kasich. Each member’s four-year term is staggered, meaning about half of the board must run for re-election or be re-appointed every two years.

This fall, we asked each of the 22 candidates to submit a headshot and a few words about why they’re running.

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Minimum Wage Once Covered The Cost Of College

Economists, politicians and pundits often talk about the minimum wage in terms of whether it will support a family, but data analyst Rich Exner of the Northeast Ohio Media Group takes a different angle: how much college education can the minimum wage buy? His findings are not surprising: Back in the 1970s and early 80s a person could essentially cover the cost of college (tuition, fees, room and board) working a minimum wage job. Today, not even close. The analysis assumes – then and now – full time work during fall and spring breaks and during the summer, and 10 hours per week while school is in session.

CLEVELAND, Ohio – A minimum wage job used to be enough to cover the cost of college. But now that job can leave students several thousand dollars short. In fact, a student would have to make close to $18 an hour working full-time during both breaks and the summer, and 10 hours a week throughout each semester, to pay the bill at most public universities in Ohio.

Read more at: www.cleveland.com

Mansfield Spanish Immersion School Gets Wide Recognition

Dual language education programs are gaining more attention these days for turning out students who are not only bi-lingual, but also show enviable achievement gains. Chike Erokwu of the Mansfield News Journal profiles the Mansfield Spanish Immersion School, and elementary school that started seven years ago. The number of students attending is small but growing year-by-year. It’s among the state’s top performers in student test scores on the Ohio school report card, ranking 47th out of 3,310 Ohio public schools.

Tuesday began like every other day for Joyce Segura and her kindergarten class. Segura, a teacher in Mansfield’s Spanish Immersion School, began her daily lesson by teaching her kindergarteners a new song: “Al Corro De Los Flores.” Segura acted out key phrases as the song played over her small classroom stereo.

Read more at: www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com

Ranking The Country’s Worst Colleges Raises Questions

Lots of publications release college ranking lists—there’s U.S. News, Forbes, and handfuls of other outlets. And now, the federal government’s getting in the game. The details still aren’t concrete, but the U.S. Department of Education will eventually release a ranking system to analyze how the country’s colleges are performing. And as NPR’s Education Team asks, this situation raises a question: “what should a consumer-friendly, reliable college rating and ranking system look like?”

For years, Washington Monthly has been rating and ranking the nation’s colleges. But for its 2014 edition, the magazine has done something new. It has put out a list of what it says are the nation’s worst colleges. That is, schools with high tuition, low graduation rates and high student debt rates.

Read more at: www.npr.org

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