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

Another School Board Vote Moves Geauga County Schools Closer to Potential Merger

Geauga County’s Berkshire and Ledgemont school districts are one step closer to merging. As the News Herald reports, each district’s school board voted to move forward with the beginning stages of a territory transfer process. This may give the districts potential to eventually merge with two other Northeast Ohio districts, but school officials say it’s just the first act in that process.

Berkshire and Ledgemont school boards have each unanimously voted to move forward with a territory transfer, clearing the first major hurdles for a merger of the two districts. The votes were taken at separate meetings on Jan. 26.

Read more at: www.news-herald.com

Youngstown NAACP Chapter Wants to Help City’s Schools

During the a press conference earlier this week, officials from the Youngstown NAACP chapter called for the firing of Youngstown City Schools’ top two administrators. And as the Youngstown Vindicator reports, that message was reiterated at a school board meeting on Tuesday, where chapter president George Freeman Jr. said the organization’s ready to offer some assistance to the district.

“The NAACP is part of the community at large and we want to see dramatic change,” said Freeman. “We’re willing to be part of the state superintendent’s call to action to the broad community. He says he needs our help. We’re here to offer it to the local elected officials.”

YOUNGSTOWN The Youngstown Branch of the NAACP wants to answer the call of state officials to aid in improving the city schools. “The NAACP is part of the community at large and we want to see dramatic change,” George Freeman Jr., president of the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, told city school board members at a meeting Tuesday.

Read more at: www.vindy.com

Lorain City Schools Receive ODE Review

Sleeping students, “hidden rules,” and parent complaints are among the allegations against Lorain City Schools highlighted in a 50-page report from Ohio Department of Education officials, the Morning Journal News reports.

Hidden rules and negative student behavior surfaced as topics in a mid-year review prepared by a state group for an academic distress commission at Lorain City Schools. State education officials presented a brief overview and delivered the 50-page report this week to the commission, which oversees academic improvement in the district.

Read more at: www.morningjournal.com

More Than Half of Division One College Athletes Expect They’ll Go Pro

More than 75 percent of all male collegiate Division I basketball players think they’ll eventually join that National Basketball Association. Inside Higher Ed reports the numbers are high when it comes to the professional dreams of other student-athletes, too: 50 percent of football players, 60 percent of hockey players, and 45 percent of female basketball players think they’ll eventually turn pro, but only a tiny fraction ever compete in the next highest level of sports.

About halfway through his football career at the University of California at Los Angeles, Ramogi Huma, founder of the National College Players Association, said a coach told him during an off-season meeting that he “was an NFL guy with real potential.” The coach’s comment was a surprise to the undersized linebacker.

Read more at: www.insidehighered.com

Less Than One Month Until Students Take The Latest Round of PARCC Exams


Screen capture of online practice question

It’s the final countdown.

In just a few weeks, Ohio’s students will take the first set of spring exams aligned to the Common Core.

While approximately 70,000 students took a statewide trial run of the exams last spring, those results didn’t actually count. The Ohio Department of Education administered that specific set of assessments as a way to test the test, shedding light on any glaring errors before the “real” tests roll out on February 16.

And this new batch looks pretty different compared to previous versions of Ohio’s standardized tests. 

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Kasich on Common Core: “It’s Local Schools with Local School Boards And High Standards”

During a recent television appearance on Fox News, Gov. John Kasich reaffirmed his support of the Common Core. And as the Cincinnati Enquirer reports, the Republican used fairly straight language when explaining his stance on the set of math and English standards for students in grades K-12.

“And we have a problem with the education standards and our children’s ability to compete in the world,” he said. “We’re not going to turn this over to Washington or even to Columbus, our state capital. It’s local schools with local school boards and high standards. I don’t know how anybody can disagree with that unless you’re running for something.”

Gov. John Kasich on Sunday defended Common Core with some of his most direct language to date, saying the only people opposed to the educational standards are “running for something.” “The Common Core was written by state education superintendents and local principals,” Kasich said on Sunday’s Fox News Sunday.

Read more at: www.cincinnati.com

Many State School Vouchers Go Unused

Only about one-third of Ohio’s 60,000 school choice vouchers are currently being used, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Despite the vacancies, the state’s voucher program is expected to expand.

Even as Ohio’s private school vouchers remain dramatically underused, there appears to be no rush to re-examine their need. The state offers 60,000 EdChoice vouchers for children in struggling public schools, and fewer than one-third were used this school year, according to data released Friday by the Ohio Department of Education.

Read more at: www.cincinnati.com

Band Investigation Costs Ohio State Close to $1 Million

The Columbus Dispatch reports Ohio State has shelled out roughly $900,000 in both legal bills and costs associated with investigating the band after the firing of the university’s former band director Jonathan Waters. A big chunk–more than $698,000—of that amount came from the creation of a task force charged with examining the band’s culture, the Dispatch says.

Ohio State University has spent a combined $900,000 in a follow-up investigation of the marching band and defending itself in a lawsuit filed by fired band director Jonathan Waters. Records provided by the university on Friday show that a task force hired to examine the culture of the embattled band included five firms and charged a total of $698,175.

Read more at: www.dispatch.com

Superintendents Share Their Secrets

Engage the community. Focus on teachers. Give schools and students individual attention. Those nuggets of wisdom come from four school leaders who are up for the National Superintendent of the Year award from a national superintendent association. The group spoke with the Washington Post on the lessons they’ve learned over time.

The nation’s public school systems face many of the same challenges: ­declining budgets, lagging achievement among poor and minority students, and debates about the role of standardized testing and charter schools. Four school system superintendents have been recognized for their efforts in addressing these challenges, and each is a finalist for the 2015 National Superintendent of the Year by AASA, the School Superintendents Association.

Read more at: www.washingtonpost.com

And Then There Were Three Candidates for UT Presidency Vacancy

Former University of Toledo president Dr. Lloyd Jacobs stepped down from his post last summer. Now, as the Toledo Blade reports, the university is searching for his full-time replacement and has narrowed the field down to three candidates.

The University of Toledo’s presidential search committee on Thursday released the names of three finalists for the position, and whoever is picked will make history as either the first woman or first African-American to become UT’s president.

Read more at: www.toledoblade.com

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