Eye on Education

Takeaways from the Ohio Department of Education’s Straight-Talk Express

Molly Bloom / StateImpact Ohio

Christina Hank is a curriculum director in Medina.

This post is by guest author Christina Hank.

I always enjoy attending the Straight Talk discussions the Ohio Department of Education runs at these conferences because they are an opportunity to hear concerns from across the state and get answers from the top (based on most current information, of course). The discussion at Ohio’s 2012 Annual Statewide Education Conference this week was no different.

The major concerns in Thursday’s session focused on the “Big Three:” PARCC assessments (the new standardized tests coming to Ohio schools in 2014-15), technology and the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.

In updated and clarified PARCC news, the End of Course and End of Year exams in high school courses will account for anywhere between 20-30 percent of a student’s grade in the course. I heard that and immediately started calculating all the ways a student could still pass even if he or she failed the assessment, but wait–guidelines will be set for the other 70-80 percent to ensure equity across the state.

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Ohio Creating One-Stop Educator Shop for School Data, Tests, Lessons

marc e marc / Flickr

This post is by guest author Christina Hank.

I am an advocate for streamlining and simplifying processes, and if Ohio’s new Instructional Improvement System, or IIS, actually lives up to its name, it should absolutely streamline and simplify some processes.

Today, when I pull student data for our teachers and principals, I have to go to several different websites–one for value-added data, one for Ohio’s assessment data, and one for local-developed assessment data. Talk about a convoluted process.

The IIS, sounds like it will be a one-stop shop for all of this data….and more.

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Why It’s Time for Teachers to Stumble on Technology

Marco Antonio Torres / Flickr

This post is by guest author Christina Hank.

We’ve been hearing it over and over for several years now: Technology is greatly outpacing our ability to keep up in education.

What Mark Prensky said Thursday morning at the Ohio Annual Statewide Education Conference in Columbus reiterated the point to a roomful of educators.

To say we need to “incorporate” or “integrate” more technology is counterproductive; we need to dive in head first because our students are already engrossed in it, and we need to catch up to them.

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