Eye on Education

M.L. Schultze

  • Email: schultze@wksu.org

University of Akron Promises to Correct A Failure to Communicate

Unopened olive jars were donated to the Akron-Canton Food Bank.


Unopened olive jars were donated to the Akron-Canton Food Bank.

The University of Akron leadership admits it made mistakes in how it handled hundreds of job cuts, the future of E.J. Thomas Hall and other controversies in recent months.

But it also insists each move is part of a process that will make the university better.

Akron will have to sell that message hardest to some of its own students, alumni and faculty.

The trustees met behind closed doors for nearly three hours while about 150 people stood outside with signs, chants, violins — and olive jars.

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Ohio’s Public Schools Will Soon Award Credits For Private Religion Classes

statehouse thoth188


A bill passed by Ohio lawmakers this week allows school districts to award up to two elective credits for religious instruction.

The bill stipulates that no public money can be spent on the instruction and allows parents and school districts to opt out.

One of its sponsors, state Rep. Jeff McClain, said the districts also can ensure standards.

“They have a say-so on the rigor of the class,” McClain said. “They can’t tell you what you can and cannot teach, but the actual quality of the class. They have the authority to say what the requirements of the teacher may be and it’s a real positive thing. It goes real well, and South Carolina’s had the law about four or five years and now Ohio will have it.”

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Catholic Diocese Bans Teachers From Publicly Contradicting Church Views

cross Glen Van Etten

Glen Van Etten / Flickr

The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland has joined its counterpart in Cincinnati in requiring its elementary school teachers to sign contracts with expanded morality clauses.

Diocesan spokesman Robert Tayek says the new contracts are simply more specific on what the church considers to be moral behavior.

The clause’s ban includes publicly stating views contrary to church positions on issues such as same-sex marriage, abortion and in-vitro fertilization.

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Kent State’s Presidential Search Still Raising Eyebrows At Journalism School

warren graphic from wksu

Daniel Skinner / WKSU

Beverly Warren was elected the new president of Kent State University back in January, but her appointment is still under scrutiny.

Most of the faculty at KSU’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication are protesting the secrecy surrounding the late stages of the university’s search that led to hiring Warren.

The Beacon Journal has been questioning the search for weeks, including why the university will not release the names of other finalists for the job and why it signed a contract that gave a private search firm control over key records.

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Newspaper Series Examines How Charter Schools Operate



A series of stories hit Ohio newspapers on Sunday that looks closer at the accountability and costs of charter schools in Ohio.

It’s part of a multi-year project launched by the Akron Beacon Journal and the NewsOutlet, a group of students from Youngstown State, the University of Akron and Cuyahoga Community College.

The project began with the basics: Requests for information required by Ohio’s open meetings and public records laws to 300 of the nonprofit schools.

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New Ohio Tax Plan Could Make it Harder to Pass School Levies

Ohio’s GOP lawmakers are backing a plan that would cut income and businesses taxes, but would increase future taxes on homeowners by more than 12 percent. One school treasurer says he expects such a move will make it harder to pass local levies – and to understand your tax bill.

Mike Sobul wasn’t around the Statehouse back in 1971, when lawmakers passed Ohio’s first income tax and pretty much assured Gov. John Gilligan would be a one-term governor.
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How Ohio’s Board of Ed Found its New State Superintendent

Stan Heffner is Ohio's Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Ohio’s interim superintendent is no longer interim. The Ohio Board of Education gave Stan Heffner  the job on a permanent  basis today, the day before he was to sign the papers on a house in Texas and head there to work for the private Educational Testing Service.

Heffner has been with the Ohio Department of Education since 2004, and became interim superintendent after Gov. Kasich forced out Deborah Delisle in March. He says he didn’t apply for the permanent job because he was backing Reynoldsburg Superintendent Steve Dackin to get it.

But Dackin pulled out this weekend, and Heffner put in for the job today. Yesterday, the board interviewed former Illinois state superintendent Robert Schiller, who had been the lone finalist for the position after Dackin’s and another finalist’s withdrawal.
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