Eye on Education

Amy Hansen

Broadcast Reporter

Amy Hansen is an education reporter/producer for StateImpact Ohio. Amy previously was an enterprise reporter for The Beaver County Times in Western Pennsylvania, where she covered in-depth community issues such as hunger and homelessness. Amy has also worked for WGBH’s FRONTLINE and The Boston Herald. The Pittsburgh native holds an M.A. in Broadcast Journalism from Emerson College, where she was the 2013 Journalism Graduate Student of the Year, along with a B.A. in Mass Media Communications from The University of Akron.

  • Email: amy.hansen@ideastream.org
  • Twitter: @_AmyHansen

OSU’s Band Culture Surfaces

Last week, Ohio State University’s marching band director Jon Waters was fired from his job after a school investigation found “serious cultural issues” within the and. And as the Columbus Dispatch reports, several of the findings showed examples of sexually-explicit activities laced within the group’s culture.

Nicknames that make you blush. Raunchy jokes. Gay-bashing songs. Marching in underwear. Some of it is silly shenanigans, maybe. All of it was, by many accounts, the Ohio State University marching band way. Fun. But beneath the high jinks that investigators found were part-and-parcel of being a band member runs a darker undercurrent that surfaced in serious ways.

Read more at: www.dispatch.com

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

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

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

Tuition’s Increasing at Ohio’s Public Colleges

Prices at the majority of Ohio’s state-owned colleges are going up– but not by exorbitant amounts, the Columbus Dispatch reports. Under state guidelines, schools’ increases are capped at two percent or $188, whichever amount is higher.

Tuition is going up at most Ohio public universities this fall. Eleven of the 13 traditional, four-year public universities are raising tuition for next school year. But in most cases, growth will be about even with the inflation rate – schools can raise tuition by no more than 2 percent or $188, whichever is higher, under limits set by the state.

Read more at: www.dispatch.com

Community College Students Can Face Tough Time Landing Federal Loans

With a $3,500 yearly price tag, the average cost of a community college is relatively reasonable, so many students don’t need student loans. But as NPR’s education team reports, close to a million community college students who could use some financial help don’t have the ability to tap into federal student loan programs.

Tuition and fees at most community colleges are pretty reasonable these days, about $3,500 a year. Which is why the vast majority of community college students don’t take out loans to cover their costs.

Read more at: www.npr.org

State Auditor Examines Charter School Chain

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A handful of charter schools managed by the Chicago-based Concept Schools are already under examination by both the Ohio Department of Education and federal authorities.

And now, 19 of the charter chain’s Ohio schools will be facing scrutiny from another state-level office.

State Auditor Dave Yost said his office is launching a special audit of nineteen of the groups’ schools.

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A Handful of Ohio’s Colleges Are Some of The Most Expensive in The Country, Rankings Say

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College rankings list pepper the Internet in lots of different forms: there’s this one, and this one, and this one.

And add another one onto that growing list. Recent rankings from the U.S. Department of Education, based on financial information, report a handful of Ohio’s colleges are some of the priciest public schools in the country, according to data from the 2011-12 academic year.

One of the reports generated off of this information dives into the net price of colleges, or the cost of attendance after taking grants and scholarship money into consideration.

With a net price of $24,674, Miami University took the top spot for public four-year colleges nationwide. That’s significantly higher than the national average of $11,582.

But Miami’s not the only school in the state with an above-average net price.

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Advanced Degrees May Not Mean A Pay Raise for Teachers

Schools in two states have already axed pay increases for teachers with advanced degrees, the Associate Press reports. Those against the traditional pay raises say that money could instead be spent in other areas, like as a reward for successful classroom teachers.

DALLAS – Efforts to eliminate extra pay for teachers who earn advanced degrees are gaining momentum in a small but growing number of U.S. schools, stirring a national debate about how best to compensate quality educators and angering teachers who say the extra training is valuable.

Read more at: www.dispatch.com

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