Eye on Education

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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Several Northeast Ohio Universities Consider Sharing Services

A handful of the state’s biggest universities are practically neighbors–Kent State, The University of Akron, and Youngstown State all are situated in the Northeast Ohio region. And as KSU’s student-run news website reports, that close proximity may make a solid case for the universities to work together to share certain services and programs. Each university has a new president at the helm, and the three met for dinner this summer to chat about ideas. Nothing is set in stone, but Kent Wired reports Akron and KSU may be considering a shared Ph.D nursing program.

An article published by The Columbus Dispatch on Nov. 6 stated the three universities were planning to consolidate services, but Eileen Korey, associate vice president and chief communication office at the University of Akron, said this is not the case.

Read more at: www.kentwired.com

House Bill Caps Amount of Time Allowed for Standardized Testing


albertogp123 / flickr

Lawmakers want to set a limit on the amount of time spent on mandatory state testing in schools.

Many believe the cap is just scratching the surface of a bigger problem.

The bill says students can spend no more than four hours on a state standardized test. That’s per student—per subject—per year.

The state’s teachers unions are in favor of the bill.

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Measure Opening Door to Teacher Merit Pay Passes Ohio House Committee


Brian Bull / ideastream

The state is one step closer towards repealing the law that mandates a minimum salary schedule for teachers — opening the door to a merit-based pay system.

State law spells out the minimum a teacher should get paid and then creates a salary schedule throughout that teacher’s career.

A bill passed by the House Education committee gets rid of that specific schedule, and instead requires local school districts to come up with their own systems.

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Universities Tout Benefits of A Post-Baccalaureate Degree

Colleges are encouraging young graduates to return to campus and enroll in classes—but not for a masters degree. Instead, as the Chronicle of Higher Education reports, universities are wooing potential students who already hold a four-year liberal arts degree to earn another bachelor’s degree. But now, institutions are encouraging enrollment in fields that may have more high paying job opportunities.

Matt Staten graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in anthropology and archaeology. He loved the field and was eager to apply his skills in the real world. But that was in December 2009, the depth of the recession.

Read more at: chronicle.com

Do Students Take Too Many Tests?

Later today, the state’s house education committee will hear a bill that could potentially limit students’ amount of state testing. Before the meeting, take a look at this story from NPR’s education team that breaks down the amount of tests offered every year.

“Thirty-seven percent of the month of October was taken up with testing,” Nevada high school principal Debbie Brockett told NPR. “And the same is true in March. January is another heavy testing month. But the test prep may kill us even more.”

“In some places, tests – and preparation for them – are dominating the calendar and culture of schools and causing undue stress for students and educators.” The quote comes not from an angry parent or firebrand school leader but from Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

Read more at: www.npr.org

Reduced Amounts of State Testing Could Be on The Horizon

The House Education Committee will meet on Monday to further discuss a possibility that many people have requesting for years: shortening the amount of time kids spend taking standardized testing. As the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports, House Bill 228 proposes limiting the majority of testing to four hours every year. During previous testimony sessions, school officials, parents, and representatives from a handful of education associations praised the move, saying less testing would alleviate pressure from both students and district staff. But a representative from the Fordham Institute called the bill a “quick fix”, adding that test results can be valuable to parents, the Plain Dealer says.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A bill to limit state testing of students in Ohio to four hours a year will be up for vote from the House Education Committee Monday, after parents and educators testified this week that standardized testing is becoming a burden on students.

Read more at: www.cleveland.com

Snow Days Shift To Minimum Hour Policy

Today’s weather left portions of Northeast Ohio with a dusting or more of snow, which typically leads to one conversation point–snow days. But this year, as Cleveland’s Fox affiliate reports, the state is moving from so-called “calamity days” to having districts schedule a minimum amount of hours students must spend in the classroom. The shift lets district schedule extra hours in their yearlong calendars, allowing for the possibility of more weather-related time previous years, Fox reports.

Last year’s rough winter forced many Northeast Ohio schools to exceed the allotted number of state calamity days, prompting Ohio to change its system. Instead of requiring schools to complete a minimum number of days per school year, the state now requires schools to fulfill a minimum number of hours.

Read more at: fox8.com

How Readers Are Responding to The Common Core

In a continuing series on the Common Core, NPR’s Education Team looks at how the learning standards impact how teachers teach a wide variety of students how to read. At Nevada’s Reno High School, instructors were initially a little apprehensive about the standards. But soon, they began to change their tune.

“Common Core teaches us to teach students better,” history teacher Brien Karlin told NPR.

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