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A Video Guide to Ohio’s New Way of Evaluating Teachers

How can you tell if a teacher is doing a good job? Ohio has begun answering that question using a statistical measure called value-added.

It’s based on student test scores.

How does it work? Check out our video below. And if you want to learn more about value-added, including ratings of 4,200 Ohio teachers, check out the StateImpact Ohio/Cleveland Plain Dealer series, “Grading the Teachers.”

Chardon High School Shooter T.J. Lane Killed For Attention, For Evil’s Sake, For No Reason At All

T.J. Lane, the student who shot and killed three students in the Chardon High School cafeteria last February, has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

At today’s sentencing, the judge in the case suggested Lane, now 18, committed the killings because he wanted to “make a name for himself,” WKSU reports:

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What Kindergarteners Would Do With $100 (Besides Save it for College)

Recently, officials in Cuyahoga County announced they would like to create savings accounts for every one of the 15,000 kindergarteners in the county.

The plan, if approved, would be to put $100 into the accounts and encourage family members and local philanthropic organizations to add to them over the years.

The hope is that creating those savings accounts will encourage more kids to go to college.

[Read the full story on the Kindergarten Savings Account plan at NPR.org]

But we at StateImpact Ohio were wondering, what would kindergarteners do with that $100? Continue Reading

School Officials Respond to Auditor’s Attendance Data Fraud Investigation

The Ohio Channel

Ohio Auditor Dave Yost presents the findings of the first part of his investigation into attendance data fraud at Ohio schools at a press conference.

Yesterday, State Auditor Dave Yost released the findings of the first part of his investigation into schools’ practice of rigging attendance data to boost their performance on state report cards.

He found evidence that at least five school districts have “scrubbed” their data: Campbell, Cleveland, Columbus, Marion, and Toledo City Schools.

Another 28 districts had errors in their attendance data, but not enough to be “pervasive.”

Schools around the state responded immediately with celebratory shouts of innocence or objections to the auditor’s report.

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A Day in the Life at an E-School

These stories are the result of a reporting partnership between StateImpact Ohio and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. StateImpact reporters Molly Bloom and Ida Lieszkovszky teamed up with Plain Dealer reporter Patrick O’Donnell to examine online schools.

Part 1: Few online school graduates go to college

Part 2: Running an online school can cost half as much as a traditional school

Part 3: Virtual academies are changing the experience of going to school

Part 4: A day in the life at an e-school

Every day, 33,000 Ohio students attend class not in a building, but through their laptops. The trend of online education has been growing by leaps and bounds over the last ten years.

But what’s it like to take an online class? Or to teach one?

StateImpact Ohio tagged along with one school teacher, Treva Matalon, and one student, Clinton Zehr, to find out. Both are with the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, or ECOT – the state’s largest online school.

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