Eye on Education

Today’s Role of Collegiate Student-Athletes



Recently, Northwestern University’s football players began to explore options that would allow them to unionize, and someday maybe even earn a paycheck.

“A lot of people will think this is all about money; it’s not,” former Northwestern football player Kain Colter told the Chicago Tribune earlier this year.  “We’re asking for a seat at the table to get our voice heard.”

But the discussions surrounding student-athletes aren’t just about unions or money. There’s another issue at play — questioning if universities are doing enough academically to prepare their athletes for life after graduation.

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Gay Rights Debate Moves to the Ohio School Board

Ohio school board members are split over whether to bar school districts from firing teachers because they are gay or bisexual. The Associated Press reports that board member Stephanie Dodd Stephanie Dodd introduced an amendment to state’s operating standards to include sexual orientation as a protected class. The board took testimony Tuesday from backers of the amendment.

A proposal to protect schoolteachers from being fired or otherwise treated differently on the basis of sexual orientation is dividing the state school board. Backers of the proposed policy change told the Ohio Board of Education on Tuesday the move would encourage the hiring and retention of the brightest teachers and set an example of inclusion for gay, lesbian and transgender youths.

Read more at: www.cincinnati.com

Expecting Results From Cleveland’s Transformation Plan

Students taking tests - Peter Bulthuis


The conservative-leaning Fordham Institute says this year’s test results will be telling as to whether the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s much touted transformation plan, approved in the summer of 2012, is making a mark.

The district showed no significant improvement in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores in 2013 – the first year the test was administered since the plan was implemented.  As the Fordham Institute’s Chad Aldis writes, Cleveland still ranks “at the bottom of the heap in student achievement.”

Still, the Institute’s Vice President for Ohio Policy and Advocacy said there is cause for hope, and he’ll be watching for the results of this spring’s state achievement tests.

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College of Wooster Sticks with a High-Tuition, High-Aid Model

If it’s not broke, don’t fix it– well, that’s the thought at the College of Wooster. The private college is sticking with their model of charging each student a hefty amount of tuition, but also providing them with a chunk of financial aid.

Running a tuition-dependent liberal-arts college isn’t easy these days. And the College of Wooster must compete in a crowded market, without a marquee name. Even so, its leaders are sticking with a contested pricing model-and choosing not to pursue other strategies that might make that commitment easier to keep.

Read more at: chronicle.com

Defaulting On Student Loans Has Long Term Consequences

Collectively, Americans owe an estimated $1 trillion in student loan debt, and in the recent poor economic times, more people have defaulted on those loans. As Sandy Baum tells Celeste Headlee on NPR’s Tell Me More, students should seek ways to refinance their loans or negotiate a payment plan with their lender before defaulting.

Loans allow many students to attend college, but they also leave graduates with big debt. The Urban Institute’s Sandy Baum explains how skipping a loan payment could be more trouble than it’s worth.

Read more at: www.npr.org

NPR: Boston Finds Quality Preschool Is Worth The Effort

Quality preschool is increasingly viewed as providing a critical path for very young children to better succeed later in their academic lives. As more federal, state and local officials push to make preschool available to all children, Boston’s program is becoming a model that many are looking to for guidance on what works best.

It’s a Wednesday morning at the Eliot K-8 Innovation School. Teacher Jodi Doyle is working with a small group of preschool students interested in domes. “What do you think the difference is between a dome and an arch?” she asks. The lesson doesn’t go exactly as planned.

Read more at: www.npr.org

Ex -Coach Jim Tressel Now Eying Two University Presidencies



University of Akron Vice President Jim Tressel is now pursuing two presidential posts in Northeast Ohio.

The former Ohio State football coach, who is already being considered by the University of Akron, submitted his application to Youngstown State University on Friday.

Since February 2012, Tressel has served as the University of Akron’s Vice President for Strategic Engagement, a position described by the university as supporting programs that promote student success.

He had resigned the previous year as head football coach at OSU amid a scandal that led to sanctions by the NCAA, and was effectively barred from coaching for five years.

The prospect of Tressel becoming a university president in Northeast Ohio first surfaced last summer.

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Updated: Two Education Bills That Could Help Ohio’s Dropouts

statehouse thoth188


This spring, Governor John Kasich called attention to Ohio’s dropout problem when he mentioned the 24,000 students who leave Ohio schools without a diploma each year.

In his mid-year budget review, Kasich laid out a number of initiatives to get students at risk of dropping out re-engaged in their education.

The resulting legislation made its way through the Ohio House this week, and there’s a separate bill pending that could also help students who didn’t graduate from high school.

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Several Education Measures Kasich Proposed Pass Ohio House

The Ohio House has passed H.B. 487, a bill jam packed with several education initiatives. The Columbus Dispatch reports the legislation overhauls Ohio’s postsecondary enrollment program, forces charter school sponsors to closely review school finances, and opens career tech education to middle schoolers. The bill also requires school districts better identify students who are at risk of dropping out.

The state is phasing in new report cards that measure schools in more-detailed ways, giving them letter grades for each component. See how schools statewide fare under the new system. Education Blog A poster warning against sexual harassment at Ohio State University led a…

Read more at: www.dispatch.com

ODE Extends Private School Voucher Deadline

empty classroom

Jenlight / Flickr

The state has extended its deadline for parents to apply for taxpayer-funded vouchers to go to private schools instead of the low-performing schools their kids are assigned to attend.

A student must be in one of the 220 schools in the state’s lowest two categories. And a student must be accepted to one of the more than 400 private charter or religious school to get a voucher.

Each voucher can total up to $5,000.

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