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Teach For America Enters Third Year In Ohio

Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach For America, speaking in 2009

Tulane Publications/FLICKR

Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach For America, speaking in 2009

Teach for America has been around for 24 years but was only given entre into Ohio’s classrooms in 2011, at the urging of Governor Kasich.

TFA teachers are chosen for being high college achievers, and are able to bypass the state’s standard licensing process.

This year’s TFA corps grew slightly over last year, and is more diverse.

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2015 Community Learning Centers Grants Focus On Literacy

reading girl courosa

COUROSA / FLICKR

Ohio is adding 61 locations to its roster of federally funded centers that help school kids improve their reading skills.

The funding comes from the 21st Century Learning Centers grant reauthorized under the No Child Left Behind education law.

The U.S. Department of education has been doling out funds to states for after school programs since No Child Left Behind took effect in 2002.  This year Ohio received 45 million dollars – up from 43 million last year – that it will divvy up between 186 learning centers already in the program and 61 new ones.

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The Sound of Ideas: The Summer Slide

0605summerSchool kids are counting down the days until the end of the school year.

But many teachers are already dreading the start of the next school year – and all the time they’ll have to spend re-teaching the material students forget over the course of the summer.

How can kids stay engaged during the summer?  We look at some options parents can choose to prevent “the summer slide” on this edition of The Sound of Ideas.

Ohio College Students Face Rising Debts

piggy bank with iou

Images_of_Money / Flickr

College applications deadlines are approaching, and Ohio students are figuring out how to fund that education. Compared with several years ago, financial aid is down, and student debt is up.

The total budget for need-based aid in the state of Ohio peaked in 2008 at $183 million, while the 2013 budget is just $86 million. Budget cuts in 2009 are responsible for a lot of that change. And while federal Pell Grant funding has increased dramatically, that growth has been outpaced by increases in tuition and living costs.

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Five Key Takeways From an Ohio Common Core Debate

StateImpact Ohio and WVIZ/PBS ideastream education presented a panel discussion on the Common Core Monday.

WVIZ/PBS ideastream education

StateImpact Ohio and WVIZ/PBS ideastream education presented a panel discussion on the Common Core Monday.

You know it’s about to get real when the PBS people think about calling security.

That’s what happened before this week’s WVIZ/PBS ideastream Education panel discussion on the Common Core, the new standards for what students should know and be able to do in math and English that Ohio and 44 other states have adopted.

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Grading the Teachers: Performance Isn’t Reflected in Teachers’ Paychecks

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.

Ida Lieszkovszky / StateImpact Ohio

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.”

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Grading the Teachers: Measuring Teacher Performance Through Student Growth

Forest Park Middle School teacher Maria Plecnik helps 13 year-old Chandalay Coleman with a writing assignment. Maria Plecnik received a low

Lynn Ischay / The Plain Dealer

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.

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Ohio Lawmakers Consider Guns in Schools, Religion Courses

Eric Paul Zamora / Fresno Bee/MCT/Landov

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.”

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