Eye on Education

Reynoldsburg Teachers Strike, No New Contract Talks Scheduled

Reynoldsburg teachers went on strike Friday after a summer of contract negotiations that produced no agreement between the school district and the teachers union. Public Radio station WOSU’s Tom Borgerding reports no new talks are scheduled. Teachers continue to picket with support from some students and parents. The contract dispute revolves around the issues of a pay-for-performance system proposed by district administrators and class sizes that the union says should be capped.

Attendance in Reynoldsburg schools took a hit as teachers went on strike. The Reynoldsburg Education Association went on strike Friday after contract talks broke down. District spokeswoman Tricia Moore says nearly a third of enrolled students were absent from class on the first day of the strike.

Read more at: wosu.org

Ohio State Joins Alliance To Help More Post-Secondary Students Make It To Graduation


Abd allah Foteih/FLICKR

The U.S. will need 22 million graduates by 2018 to fill all the predicted jobs that will require some kind of post-secondary education, but is only on track to graduate 19 million.

That statistic comes from the Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation.  The shortfall, the Lumina study shows, means lost economic potential nationally, and a tougher life financially for individuals who never earn a college degree.

That’s why Ohio State University and ten other public research universities across the country are joining forces to find ways to boost their graduation rates.

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Districts Create Common Core Manual for English Language Learners

A handful of the largest school districts in the country–including Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati– have worked together to create a guide aimed at helping teachers improve teaching Common Core-focused lessons to students who are learning English as a second language, EdWeek reports. There’s also an accompanying list of criteria teachers can look to when deciding on textbooks. The project was launched after data pointed to teachers being dissatisfied with how their current resources measured up to the new set of learning expectations.

What should instruction for a new learner of English look like in a common-core English/language arts classroom? And how can educators judge whether the instructional materials they use will both challenge and support English-learners to meet the more sophisticated language demands of the Common Core State Standards?

Read more at: www.edweek.org

Teachers And Parents Defend Horizon Science Academies As State Probe Expands


Horizon Science Academy

Parents and teachers on Tuesday told the Ohio Board of Education that a recent string of accusations against the Horizon Science Academies is becoming a distraction to student education.

Shahrazad Ali, whose grandson is a freshman at the Horizon Science Academy in Cincinnati,went as far as saying that opponents of charter schools are conducting a “witch hunt.”

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More Student Transfers Make College Alumni Offices A Little Nervous

Do you donate to your collegiate alma mater? What if you attended multiple schools–do you contribute to all of them? That’s a question that has alumni offices a little worried, the Hechinger Report says. A third of students change schools at least one time over a period of five years, and 25 percent don’t finish where they started, meaning there’s more options to make a donation to as an alumni.

Maya Gunaseharan spent her first year in college at American University, then transferred to Cornell. And that was after 12 years at a private school in New Jersey. Now all three ask her to contribute money. “I do feel a pull, because I had a really great first year at American,” said Gunaseharan, who is …

Read more at: hechingerreport.org

Poll Finds Changing Attitudes About the Importance of College

The latest PDK-Gallup poll reveals some very interesting new developments in public opinion regarding education. PDK is Phi Delta Kappa International, a professional organization for educators headquartered in Indiana. Among the most striking findings: The number of Americans’ who believe that a college education is important has plummeted over four years. The poll also reveals some very interesting opinions about the teaching profession. Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post sums up the results.

Amid a national debate about the worth of a college education, a respected annual poll about the education views held by Americans has found that only 44 percent of Americans now believe that getting a college education is “very important” – down from 75 percent four years ago.

Read more at: www.washingtonpost.com

OU Student Uses Ice Bucket Challenge To Urge University to Cut Ties with Israel

Ohio University president Roderick McDavis recently challenged his counterpart in the school’s student senate, Megan Marzec, to raise awareness and money for Lou Gehrig’s disease through the “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.” But instead of pouring ice over her head like the viral video craze typically indicates, she dumped fake blood on herself. The move, she says, was to support Palestinians and urge the university to cut any ties with Israel. Inside Higher Ed reports her response has caused quite the debate, both on campus and off.

Last month, Ohio University’s president, Roderick McDavis, invited the university’s Student Senate president to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, a viral campaign raising money and awareness for Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The student president, Megan Marzec, accepted the challenge.

Read more at: www.insidehighered.com

The Different Paths to Becoming A Teacher

Have three years of work experience and a bachelor’s degree with a B average? If so, and you’re up to taking a content test and enrolling in a program to hone some teaching skills, then you can become an educator in Indiana. These teachers are technically called “career specialists,” NPR’s education team reports, and can act as a way to address teacher shortages. There’s a handful of these options nationwide, but those involved with traditional teacher education programs are feeling concerned over this new route.

Hey, you there. You have a college degree? How’d you like to be a teacher? Indiana has just approved a license that clears a new pathway to the teaching profession.

Read more at: www.npr.org

Higher Bar for Test Scores Means Lower Grades For Many School Districts

Analysis by the Beacon Journal shows 363 of Ohio’s 610 school districts did better on state tests, but 143 of the 363 higher-performing schools will receive lower grades on their state report cards. That’s because the threshold for success was raised. Now, 80 percent of students must score as “proficient” in each tested grade and subject, up from 75 percent in previous years, for the district to receive the same passing grade, writes the Beacon Journal’s Doug Livingston.

The state’s school district report cards are out.

Read more at: www.ohio.com

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