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

The Origins of The Presidential Physical Fitness Test

For many generations, the Presidential Fitness Test was a ritual for many students. Comprised of a mile run, sit-ups, and pull-ups, students would compete in gym class to finish the tasks. NPR’s Education Team takes a look at the origins of the test, and what type of fitness tests current students have to complete.

For this series, we’ve been thinking a lot about the iconic tools that some of us remember using – if only for a short period of time – in our early schooling. Things like the slide rule and protractor, recorder and Bunsen burner. Mere mention of today’s tool sends shivers up the spines of entire generations …

Read more at: www.npr.org

Study Finds Higher Ed’s Performance Based Funding Formula Can Bring Along Some Unintended Effects

dollar bill cut in half

Images_of_Money / Flickr

Earlier this year, the funding formula for Ohio’s community colleges and four-year institutions changed.

Now, schools earn state money based on how many students graduate. In the past, funds were distributed based on campuses’ enrollment size.

The shift has caused campuses to respond by figuring out ways to retain current students or reach out to those who may have left before graduation.

But aside from those concentrated efforts, a report released earlier this month points out Ohio’s shift to performance based funding has also brought along also some new, unintended changes.

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An Early Indicator of College Success

There’s lots of early indicators experts point to as flags for a student’s success in college, including things like a supportive home life, good grades in high school, and a resume full of extracurriculars. And a new study from the University of Chicago points to an even earlier indicator of success—a student’s grades and attendance record in middle school . The study finds that junior high students with a 3.0 GPA or higher have a good chance of continuing to earn those same grades in high school, and then later on in higher education.

Elaine Allensworth, Julia Gwynne, Paul Moore, and Marisa de la Torre Grades and attendance-not test scores-are the middle grade factors most strongly connected with both high school and college success. In fact, grades and attendance matter more than test scores, race, poverty, or other background characteristics for later academic success.

Read more at: ccsr.uchicago.edu

University of Virginia Places Fraternities on Suspension

After a report detailing alleged sexual assault at a campus fraternity house was published in Rolling Stone, the University of Virginia has placed all campus fraternities on hold. The victim profiled in the piece said she felt pressure not to report the assault, NBC News reports. University president Teresa Sullivan called the case “appalling,” adding that change to the university is imminent. This is the second recent high-profile Greek Life case. Earlier this month, West Virginia University placed all Greek Life organizations on hold after a freshmen student died two days following being found unconscious at a fraternity property.

The University of Virginia on Saturday suspended all fraternities and related activities in the wake of a shocking report in Rolling Stone about an alleged 2012 sexual assault involving seven men, and the peer pressure that followed urging the victim not to report it. University president Teresa A.

Read more at: www.nbcnews.com

Central Ohio District Mulls Placing Guns in Schools

Logan County’s Riverside Local School District is beginning to think about placing guns in district buildings. The Dayton Daily News reports the district is considering the measure in case of an active shooter situation. District superintendent Scott Mann said the move could potentially discourage threats. Staff members would have extensive training, Mann told the paper, adding that he’s against teachers having guns in classrooms.

Staff Writer DEGRAFF – A school district in Logan County is in early discussions about placing guns in schools for teachers and staff members in case of an active shooter situation. The Riverside Local School board members discussed the issue last week and plan to revisit it on Dec.

Read more at: www.daytondailynews.com

School Enrollments Drop in Cuyahoga County

Over the past 10 years, Cuyahoga County has lost 12,000 students, according to the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Several factors have contributed to the deficit—a decline in birth rates, a lack of new construction, and older residents reaming in their homes, NEOMG says.

SOLON, Ohio – Solon schools wants to close an elementary school. Strongsville is looking to close two. Parma closed four schools. All because the number of students attending Cuyahoga County public schools is shrinking. “The public school system has been losing students statewide,” said Tracy Healy, the head of FutureThink, which helps schools with district planning.

Read more at: www.cleveland.com

College Candidates Clean Up Their Social Media Accounts

For many teenagers, using social media can be as second nature as breathing—which could be troublesome when it comes time for college applications. But as the New York Times reports, more college admissions officers are seeing a decrease in online posts that may hurt a student’s shot at admission.

“Students are more aware that any impression they leave on social media is leaving a digital fingerprint,” Kaplan’s vice president for college admissions Seppy Basili told the paper. “My hunch is that students are not publicly chronicling their lives through social media in the same way.”

Admissions officers at Morehouse College in Atlanta were shocked several years ago when a number of high school seniors submitted applications using email addresses containing provocative language. Some of the addresses made sexual innuendos while others invoked gangster rap songs or drug use, said Darryl D. Isom, Morehouse’s director of admissions and recruitment.

Read more at: www.nytimes.com

Kasich Reiterates Support for Common Core

Taking part in a panel discussion with other state leaders at the Republican Governors Association conference in Florida, the Northeast Ohio Media Group reports Gov. John Kasich reiterated his support for the Common Core yesterday.

“I don’t see somehow that this is a ‘ObamaCore’ or some other kind of thing that I hear,” Kasich said, according to NEOMG. “I have looked at it carefully. If the federal government starts meddling in this, if you start trying to do all this education policy out of Washington, I’m not for that. But as long as local school boards and parents are involved in writing the curriculum to reach a higher standard, particularly in math and science … that makes a lot of sense.”

On three policy issues important to the party’s conservative base Kasich tracked more moderate than his potential rivals for the GOP nomination. And while many were happy to bash President Barack Obama, particularly as he plans an executive action around immigration reform, Kasich called for “cooler heads.”

Read more at: www.cleveland.com

Review of Ohio State Marching Band Finds More Examples of Inappropriate Behavior

After a four-month long review, former Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery has released her findings into the Ohio State University Marching Band. The university asked Montgomery to investigate the culture of the band in the wake of the firing of director Jon Waters. And as our partners at WOSU report, Montgomery found additional examples of inappropriate behavior and poor university oversight of the band.

After a four-month long review, former Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery has released her findings into the Ohio State University Marching Band. The University asked Montgomery to investigate the culture of the band in the wake of the firing of director Jon Waters.

Read more at: wosu.org

Students Are Less Interested in Becoming STEM Teachers, Report Finds


Scott / Flickr

For the past few years, the acronym STEM–which stands for science, technology, engineering, math– has been one of the biggest buzzwords in the education world and beyond.

According to a new report issued by the ACT, students are still digging those content areas, but perhaps not enough to consider a future career as a math or science teacher.

Roughly half of the 1.8 million nationwide members of the Class of 2014 who took the college entrance exam expressed an interest in STEM fields.

Out of that group, slightly more than 4,400 students indicated they wanted to become a math teacher, while 1,115 students planned for a career as a science teacher.

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