Eye on Education

Amy Hansen

Broadcast Reporter

Amy Hansen is an education reporter/producer for StateImpact Ohio. Amy previously was an enterprise reporter for The Beaver County Times in Western Pennsylvania, where she covered in-depth community issues such as hunger and homelessness. Amy has also worked for WGBH’s FRONTLINE and The Boston Herald. The Pittsburgh native holds an M.A. in Broadcast Journalism from Emerson College, where she was the 2013 Journalism Graduate Student of the Year, along with a B.A. in Mass Media Communications from The University of Akron.

  • Email: amy.hansen@ideastream.org
  • Twitter: @_AmyHansen

How The Recession Impacted College Graduates



As far as current events are concerned, 2008 was another busy year.

Fidel Castro retired. The Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series. Michael Phelps nabbed seven Olympic medals in Beijing. President Obama was elected to his first presidential term.

It also marked another year where Americans experienced the worst economic downturn in nearly a century.

And now a  report out this week from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics looks at how the recession impacted 2008′s college graduates in the years following their graduations.

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Schools Work to Increase High Speed Internet Access

As Ohio approaches the full implementation of the Common Core learning standards later this year, schools around the state are joining their nationwide counterparts in an effort to close the “digital gap” by providing more public schools with high-speed Internet access, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

The thousands of miles of wiring frantically being strung throughout America’s schools this summer may look like everyday Internet cables. They’re actually lifelines of high-speed learning. They are part of a more than $2 billion nationwide investment to close the gap between public school haves and have-nots, both of which are increasingly dependent on high-speed Internet to teach students.

Read more at: www.cincinnati.com

The Process of Picking Principals



There’s a laundry list of factors that can play into a school’s success. A few of the most common are great teachers, engaged parents, and a supportive community.

And one of the biggest contributors to a school’s success is by placing the right candidate in their principal position.

According to The Atlantic, productive principals can increase their students’ achievement gains by up to seven months, while ineffective leaders can push their students’ progress back by that same amount.

But a recent report from a team of analysts from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, an educational think tank, and education policy firm Public Impact points out schools may struggle to both find and retain the right talent for one of the school system’s top spots.

“Far too many U.S. schools lack the leaders they need,” the report’s authors said. “Far too many principals lack the wherewithal–authority, resources, capacity, etc.–to lead effectively.”

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White House Announces “Excellent Educators for All” Plan

Earlier today, President Barack Obama’s administration announced a new initiative that will give students across the country a chance to be taught by good teachers, the Huffington Post reports. There will be a multi-step approach to making sure this happens, including the Department of Education’s publication of how schools fare in regards to equity, along with providing states with more than four million dollars to help create detailed plans of their initiatives to give poor and minority students “effective educators” by 2015.

The Obama administration will announce plans on Monday to enforce a long-ignored federal mandate: a decade-old requirement that states give students of all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds equal access to good teachers. The new initiative, called “Excellent Educators for All,” aims to bring states into compliance with a teacher equity mandate in the No Child Left Behind Act, the George W.

Read more at: www.huffingtonpost.com

For Growing Latino Population, Education’s An Important Issue

One of the most important issues to the country’s Latino population? Education, according to a recent study by the Pew Research Center.

“The study opens up the stereotype that Latinos are only concerned with the issue of immigration,” Abril Trigo, director of the Center of Latin American Studies at Ohio State University, said in this Columbus Dispatch article. “For Latinos — people who are legal citizens — education is important because it looks to forward the future of our kids. But Latinos are not only migrants, they are people, too, and have concerns not just about migration.”

When Lourdes Barroso de Padilla and her husband enrolled her 6-year-old daughter, Eva, in Clintonville Academy, she wanted to create opportunities for her that she never had. “We understand education is important for not just getting ahead, but we want to create a love of learning in our daughters,” Barroso de Padilla said.

Read more at: www.dispatch.com

Defining Online Education’s Level of Quality

Last year, around seven million students took an online course. But as NPR’s education team reports, hammering out both a quality definition of success in the online education world can be tough.

Jeff Hellmer is an accomplished jazz pianist who has taught music at the University of Texas at Austin for 27 years. He thinks of himself as more than a teacher, though: “What I would like to do with my teaching is be an ambassador for jazz.”

Read more at: www.npr.org

Ohio’s Wilberforce University Faces The Possibility of Losing Accreditation

Founded in 1856,  the history of Southwestern Ohio’s Wilberforce University is extensive.

Wilberforce is the oldest private historically black college in the nation.

It had the first African American college president, faced a damaging fire the same night Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, and housed the first black center for military training, according to the school’s timeline.

But as the university faces the possibility of losing its accreditation, the campus’ future may be in danger.

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Ohio’s Public Colleges Have Some of The Nation’s Highest Attendance Costs

College in Ohio can be pretty pricey. The U.S. Department of Education’s recently released rankings show the state’s public colleges are some of the most expensive nationwide, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. With a more than $24,000 annual price tag after financial aid, Oxford’s Miami University has the highest net price in the country. Overall, Ohio State takes the ninth spot, University of Cincinnati ranks 16th, and Kent State clocks in the 19th most expensive net price.

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Ohio’s public colleges are among the most costly to attend in the country, according to rankings released Monday by the U.S. Department of Education. The annual cost for an in-state resident to attend Miami University, after receiving scholarships and financial aid, is $24,674, the highest in the country for four-year public institutions.

Read more at: www.cleveland.com

Wilberforce University Could Loose Accreditation

Last week, the country’s oldest historically black private university received a letter from the Higher Learning Commission, saying Ohio’s Wilberforce University could loose their accreditation unless university officials are able to show some type of proof of why they shouldn’t loose their certification. According to Dayton’s WHIO, the commission’s letter mentions several administrative and school board issues.

If Wilberforce does loose their accreditation, the university could face not being able to enroll international students, along with current students being ineligible to receive financial aid packages. The university enrolled fewer than 100 students in last fall’s class, WHIO says.

The nation’s oldest historically black private university is at risk of losing its accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission, according to documents from the commission. Wilberforce University received a “Show-Cause” order from the commission by certified mail on Monday.

Read more at: www.whio.com

U.S. Department of Education’s FAFSA Tweet Backfires

The U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid office tried to make a joke yesterday, but it didn’t go over so well. The Associated Press reports @FAFSA sent out a tweet showing a picture of an actress from the movie “Bridesmaids” with “Help me, I’m poor” printed across the bottom, encouraging students to apply for federal financial aid if that description fit them. A spokesperson from the office later apologized for the message, the AP reports.

WASHINGTON: The Education Department on Wednesday apologized for a tweet that depicted a scene from the movie “Bridesmaids” with the words “Help me. I’m poor” imprinted on it as part of an effort to get students to apply for federal aid. “If this is you, then you better fill out your FAFSA: fafsa.gov,” the tweet reads.

Read more at: www.ohio.com

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