Eye on Education

Hundreds of Millions of Dollars Later, The Common Core Tests Have Arrived

This spring, students in Ohio and across the state are taking new batches of standardized tests aligned to the Common Core education standards. As the Hechinger Report points out, the tests have cost roughly $360 million, and have brought along lots of controversy during the past four years of development.

New Common Core tests are debuting on time this spring, but after years of bruising attacks from both left and right, the groups tapped by the federal government to build them are struggling to meet all the hype. Back in 2010, the plans for the new exams were introduced with much fanfare and many promises: …

Read more at: hechingerreport.org

Private New York Law School Set to Match in-State Public Tuition

New York’s Pace University is dropping the price tag for students enrolling in its law school. The Wall Street Journal reports the school will offer to match the price of a public law school from the applicant’s home state. This option will be available for certain students based on certain GPA and LSAT scores, and as the WSJ points out, tuition rates could be cut in half for some students.

“Crazy Eddie” would be proud. Pace University Law School in New York isn’t the first law school to slash its prices to lure more students. But a new tuition program the private school is set to announce takes the discounting trend to a whole new level.

Read more at: blogs.wsj.com

University of Akron Fraternity Sued

As our partners at WKSU report, a 19-year-old Akron man is suing the University of Akron’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter after alleging fraternity members used racial slurs during a physical fight.

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Read more at: www.wksu.org

Common Core States Brace for Test Publicity

The Common Core education standards are no stranger to public outcry, but as EdWeek reports, states are trying to figure out ways to minimize any negative commotion that may pop up when scores from accompanying standardized tests are released this fall.

Even as states begin administering new tests aligned with the Common Core State Standards, they are ramping up efforts to eliminate or minimize public backlash when the scores-widely expected to be markedly lower than results from previous assessments-are released later this year.

Read more at: www.edweek.org

Ohio’s Charter School System Still Needs Work, Progressive Think Tank Says



Ohio’s first charter school opened nearly twenty years ago–but Innovation Ohio’s education policy fellow Stephen Dyer said it’s only recently that the attitude around the publicly funded, privately run schools has begun to shift.

“I think people are just starting to recognize, ‘look, charters aren’t going anywhere, let’s make sure we have good ones,’” he said.

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How to Ensure Kids Love to Read

NPR’s education team chatted with author Daniel Willingham on the importance of making the distinction between ensuring kids know how to read and actually creating a love of reading.

“The most obvious is to be a model of someone who loves reading,” Willingham told NPR. “One of the things I hit hard in this book is the idea of creating a sense in the child that this is what we value in our family. I think a lot of parents don’t appreciate what a powerful message that can be for kids.”

In his new book, Raising Kids Who Read, Daniel Willingham wants to be clear: There’s a big difference between teaching kids to read and teaching them to love reading. And Willingham, a parent himself, doesn’t champion reading for the obvious reasons – not because research suggests that kids who read for pleasure do better in school and in life.

Read more at: www.npr.org

“Five of Eight” Rule May Be Voted on at Next Board of Education Meeting

The Columbus Dispatch reports the “5 of 8″ school staffing rule cleared a legislative review committee yesterday, and now may be voted on at the next Ohio Board of Education meeting later this spring.

A legislative review panel paved the way yesterday for the Ohio Board of Education to abolish school-staffing requirements, a move that critics fear will allow districts to eliminate art teachers, librarians, counselors and other staff members. The Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review rejected an effort to invalidate the proposal by a 6-4 party-line vote.

Read more at: www.dispatch.com

Masonry Competition Underscores Future Skills Shortage


Mark Urycki / StateImpact Ohio

The days of making ashtrays for high school shop class are over.

And the classes now offered go well beyond the old vocational education models.

At the 10th Annual High School Masonry Competition held at Buchtel High School in Akron, 40 kids from around Ohio and a few from Pennsylvania competed in a bricklaying contest for thousands of dollars’ worth of tools and prizes.

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Education? Yeah, There’s An App for That

With new offerings seemingly popping up every day, the world of education applications is a pretty wide one. But as The New York Times reports, it can be a double edged sword for district administrators who have to keep tabs on how student data may be being used.

At school districts across the country, the chief technology officers responsible for safeguarding student data are tearing their hair out, Natasha Singer reports. Scores of education technology start-ups, their pockets full from a rush of venture capital, are marketing new digital learning tools directly to teachers – many are even offering them free to get a foothold in schools.

Read more at: bits.blogs.nytimes.com

Univeristy of Toledo Picks New President

The Toledo Blade reports the university’s 17th president will be Sharon Gaber. Gaber, a provost from The University of Arkansas with a background in urban planning, will be the school’s first female leader.

Sharon Gaber, the University of Arkansas provost who pledged to use her urban planning background to connect the University of Toledo with its city namesake, was picked Thursday to be the next UT president. The Razorbacks-to-Rockets move makes her the university’s 17th president. She was approved in a unanimous vote by the university’s Board of Trustees.

Read more at: www.toledoblade.com

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