Eye on Education

Federal Goverment Fine Tunes Plans for College Rating System

Since announcing plans for a federal college ratings system last year, the potential tool has taken several forms. Inside Higher Ed reports the latest evolution includes moving away from the idea of a traditional rankings system and instead focusing on strictly giving parents and students more information.

The federal government will not compare colleges or pass judgment on their relative merits as part of the ratings system the U.S. Department of Education plans to release before the end of the summer, department officials said Wednesday. But the department isn’t bailing on the idea entirely, as some would have liked.

Read more at: www.insidehighered.com

Youngstown City School Leaders Fear Loss of Local Control

Youngstown's enrollment has been on a steady decline.

Ohio Department of Education

Youngstown's enrollment has been on a steady decline.

New legislation passed in both the House and the Senate yesterday calls for transforming the way Ohio handles continually underperforming schools.

The reform is directly aimed at turning around failing schools in Youngstown.

But some school leaders fear a state takeover will wipe away local control.

Under the new plan, once a district receives three failing grades in a row on state-issued report cards, the state will step in and create a five-member commission to oversee the schools.

The group would then appoint over a Chief Executive Officer who would have the power to control class sizes, decide curriculum, and hire or fire staff, as well as other administrative responsibilities.
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More than Half of Colleges Offer Presidential Severance Packages

According to a new report published in Inside Higher Ed, roughly 60 percent of universities have some type of severance package in place for school presidents who involuntary step away from their positions.

The College of DuPage sparked outrage earlier this year when it offered its controversial president a generous $763,000 severance package — well over a year’s salary. Heads turned when fired Penn State University leader Graham Spanier was offered $1.2 million in severance, despite his handling of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

Read more at: www.insidehighered.com

Theater May Help ESL Students Grasp the Common Core

The Hechinger Report takes a look at one New York classroom where the integration of performing arts into Common Core-aligned lessons may help English-language learners to better understand the material.

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – Inside Kelly Budde’s language arts class at Thomas A. Edison Elementary School, 11-year-old Carlos Vazquez was starring in the lead role of the Hairy Frog in the original production, “Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow.” Vazquez jumped to center stage, strummed his air guitar and sang out: “I can’t get noooooo satisfaction!”

Read more at: hechingerreport.org

Evaluations Rate Most Ohio Teachers as Good


Ohio Education Research Center

A new statewide report finds the overwhelming number of Ohio teachers are doing a good job.

The Ohio Education Research Center, based at Ohio University, was commissioned by the Ohio Department of Education to go through evaluations of 86 thousand teachers.

The research center looked at tests scores and other factors from the first full school-year of state teacher evaluations – 2013-14.

It rated 90 percent of the teachers as either “skilled” or, the highest rating, “accomplished.”

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Youngstown School Officials Ask to Talk with ODE Administrators

The Youngstown City School District has been placed in state-issued academic distress since 2010. And with the recent resignations of two high-level administrators, the Youngstown Vindicator reports the city’s school board wants to schedule a meeting to talk about the district’s future with representatives from the Ohio Department of Education.

“We just want to know if there are any plans for our district that we’re unaware of,” board president Brenda Kimble said.

YOUNGSTOWN If the state has something planned for Youngstown City Schools, Brenda Kimble, school board president, says the school board and district residents have a right to know. At a Monday meeting of the Youngstown City School District Academic Distress Commission, Kimble said she’d like to schedule a meeting among board and commission members, attorneys for both entities, state legislators and Richard Ross, state superintendent of public instruction.

Read more at: www.vindy.com

When It Comes to Medical Schools, Is D.O. The New M.D.?

Osteopathic medical schools awarding D.O. degrees are seeing a huge enrollment increase compared to their M.D. counterparts, U.S. News and World Report reports.

Applicants should consider a school’s location and culture when deciding which medical school to attend, experts say. ​There are two ways to become a doctor. Students can attend either​ an allopathic or an osteopathic medical school, but the latter option is becoming more popular. First-year enrollment at osteopathic schools, which award D.O.

Read more at: www.usnews.com

Cleveland Transformation Alliance Shells Out New District-Wide Grades

The Cleveland Transformation Alliance wasn’t completely happy with the state’s rating system for schools, so as the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports, the city’s school quality group created its own ranking measures.

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland Transformation Alliance wanted a simple rating to sum up the quality of each school in the city, but the state’s not providing one right now in state report cards. So it created one. See the new ratings here.

Read more at: www.cleveland.com

Some Norwegian Students Still Are Turning Down Free College

Despite Norway’s higher education system being practically free, fewer than 15 percent of students from low-income families enroll in classes, compared to the nearly 60 percent of students with college educated parents who head to a university. The Hechinger Report looks at why the gap exists.

OSLO-There’s a saying in famously egalitarian Norway that Curt Rice, the American-born incoming president of the country’s third-biggest university, likes to rattle off: “We’re all sitting in the same boat.” What it means, said Rice, is that, “To single out anyone, we’re against that. That just does not sit well in the Norwegian soul.”

Read more at: hechingerreport.org

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