Toledo 7th grade teacher Emily Brown helps students with a science experiment on the motion of waves. Brown has been rated most effective in math twice, and most effective than average in reading.
Students in Emily Brown’s Toledo classroom conduct an experiment on the movement of waves.
While she drops a block of clay into an aluminum tray filled with water and watches the waves spread out, 7th grader Angel Hines explains why she likes Mrs. Brown.
“She actually lets us grade her so she knows if she’s doing something wrong she’ll fix it.”
The state of Ohio grades Brown too, and they agree she’s a good teacher. Last year, her value-added score for mathematics was “most effective,” the highest of five ratings.
Value-added is a statistical model that rates and individual teachers based on the amount of progress their students make over the course of one year. Brown is one of about 16,000 teachers the state already has value-added scores for.
Forest Park Middle School teacher Maria Plecnik helps 13 year-old Chandalay Coleman with a writing assignment. Plecnik received a low value-added rating from the state even though her principal and students give her high marks.
Schools get rated based on how well students perform on standardized state tests.
Not so for teachers. Their main evaluation comes from often brief classroom observations by a principal.
Practically no one fails.
The new value-added measurement Ohio is phasing in aims to gauge how much a student learns from one year to the next, and how much an individual teacher contributed to those results.
A sign indicates a gun-free school zone in Yosemite Valley.
Ohio schools are generally thought of as gun-free zones, but there are exceptions. State law dictates that no one can carry a weapon on school grounds unless they have written authorization from the local school board.
“As long as a school board gives them approval they can have all the teachers, all the janitors all the staff, they can have all the parents, they can have anyone carry weapons in the school as long as they give them approval,” says Kristina Roegner, a Republican House member from the Hudson area. ”And right now there are no protocols, no safeguards, there’s nothing.”
Chaza Banda is saving up her paychecks from Dave's supermarket so she can pay for college, a dream that is complicated by her status as a deferred action immigrant.
It’s been nearly a year since the Obama administration gave leniency for some children who immigrated to the United States illegally.
Known as DACA – deferred action for childhood arrivals – the measure gives these young people some protection even though they aren’t citizens or legal residents. Nearly 2 million people are eligible for the DACA program.
This is the first year DACA students are applying for colleges, but their uncertain legal status can be a problem.
It’s been a rough school year for Columbus City Schools. The district is under investigation by the State Auditor’s office and the FBI for tampering with student attendance data and grades. Plus the district has a history of less-than-stellar academic results.
Now there’s a bill making its way through the Ohio House that aims to improve Columbus City Schools.
Cleveland Teachers Union President David Quolke, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, and Cleveland Schools CEO Eric Gordon joined forces to pass the Cleveland Plan to Transform Schools. Much of the current tentative contract stems from the Cleveland Plan.
Last night the Cleveland school board unanimously agreed to what city and union officials are hailing as a groundbreaking teacher contract for Ohio. Union members will vote later this month.
The contract spells out a new basis for teacher pay hikes. Raises merely for lasting another year in the job are out; so are automatic bumps for an extra degree. Instead, “pay for performance” is in.
Tea Party members like Beverly LaCross, right, hold signs to protest the Common Core in Florida.
From the East Coast to the Midwest and beyond a backlash is developing to the Common Core – a new set of national education standards that schools in many states are already in the process of implementing.
Opposition began with Tea Party groups.
But now teachers unions in Ohio say they have their own concerns, mostly about the tests that will accompany the new curriculum.
There are no walls or doors between classrooms at Warren Local schools. Instead, the school has put up bookshelves and lockers as makeshift walls.
Carrollton Schools in rural Carol County hasn’t passed a levy since 1977. Union Local Schools in rural Belmont County hasn’t passed an operating levy since 1976. And the mid 1990′s was the last time officials at Warren Local Schools in rural Washington County managed to pass a levy for new funds to run the district.
Tom Gibbs, the superintendent at Warren Local, says he’s tried to pass six levies in the last four years, and failed each time.
In fact, since 2000, Washington County has passed just 20 percent of its schools requests for new local money.
Compare that to Franklin County, which includes Columbus. It has passed 51 percent of all new school levy requests. Cuyahoga County, home to Cleveland, has passed 43 percent of theirs over the last 13 years.