Eye on Education

Teach For America Applicants Hit Five-Year Low

In 2015, the nonprofit organization saw roughly 44,000 applicants, compared to more than 50,000 last year and the all-time high of more than 57,000 in 2013, the Huffington Post reports.

Teach For America, the controversial education nonprofit that places recent college graduates as teachers in disadvantaged classrooms, saw a decline in applications and number of accepted corps members for the second year in a row, the organization announced Tuesday. TFA received over 44,000 applications for the 2015-2016 school year.

Read more at: www.huffingtonpost.com

Districts Nationwide Face Teacher Shortage

In a sharp contrast from the post-recession years, the New York Times reports many of the country’s school districts are experiencing a shortage of applicants for open teaching jobs. It’s strong in urban districts, the Times points out, noting that Charlotte had roughly 200 openings just a few weeks before the beginning of the school year.

ROHNERT PARK, Calif. – In a stark about-face from just a few years ago, school districts have gone from handing out pink slips to scrambling to hire teachers. Across the country, districts are struggling with shortages of teachers, particularly in math, science and special education – a result of the layoffs of the recession years combined with an improving economy in which fewer people are training to be teachers.

Read more at: www.nytimes.com

Gov. John Kasich Calls for Restructuring State Board of Education

Gov. John Kasich told the Columbus Dispatch the current makeup of the state school board–11 elected seats, plus eight spots appointed by the governor–is “partisan”.

The Associated Press COLUMBUS, Ohio – Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) says he’d like to change the structure of Ohio’s school board, which can hire and fire the state superintendent. The Republican presidential candidate tells The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1MfyrLo ) the structure with 11 elected seats and eight appointed by the governor is partisan and used to push political agendas.

Read more at: www.daytondailynews.com

Another Northeast Ohio District Begins Drug Testing Students

Joining the ranks of several private schools in the area, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports students in the North Olmsted School District who participate in athletics, extracurricular activities, and driving to school will now face mandatory drug tests.

NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio – The school district this week started mandatory drug tests for North Olmsted High School athletes, those who park on campus and those involved in extra- and co-curricular activities. Great Lakes Biomedical administered tests, which cost $15 each, Aug.

Read more at: www.cleveland.com

University of Akron Picks Startup to Provide Success Coaches

Potential name changes and job cuts have put The University of Akron in the spotlight over the past few weeks. Now, Inside Higher Ed is taking a look at the new “success coaches” the school has hired. IHE points out while it’s pretty common for higher education institutions to hire outside coaches, Akron’s approach is a little unusual because they’re using a startup company to provide the services.

The University of Akron’s decision last month to hire an outside entity to provide “success coaches” to supplement its academic advising and counseling services hardly breaks new ground; scores of colleges and universities have begun doing so, as pressure grows on them to ensure that students persist and graduate.

Read more at: www.insidehighered.com

Education Earns Only A Brief Mention in GOP Debate

Education wasn’t a major talking point during Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate, but as EdWeek points out, the Common Core State Standards were addressed in a question directed at Jeb Bush and also answered by a handful of the other candidates. Only Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich support the set of learning expectations for students in grades K-12.

Thought education might never come up during the Republican presidential debates on Thursday night? You weren’t alone. Thank goodness for the Common Core State Standards. After just the briefest mention of education during the 5pm “undercard” debate, the subject finally exploded onto the scene about an hour into the primetime show, featuring the 10 highest polling GOP presidential candidates.

Read more at: blogs.edweek.org

Should There Be A Limit to Political Mentions Inside The Classroom?

NPR tackles the question of how much time teachers should spend mentioning big, potentially hot button political issues in the classroom with two authors who recently explored the issue in a new book.

The Confederate flag. The Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage. Policing minority communities. Nuclear weapons and Iran. Summer often brings a lull in the news, but not this year. And, come September, many students are going to want to talk about many of these headlines. But how should teachers navigate our nation’s thorny politics?

Read more at: www.npr.org

Ohio Democrats Criticize Kasich and GOP Before Debate

Teresa Fedor

Ohio House of Representatives

Ohio Democrats aren’t waiting for the Republicans’ first primary debate to offer their opinion on the candidates that will gather tomorrow night in Cleveland.

One group is giving a thumbs down to Gov. John Kasich and his education policies.

Congressmen, state representatives, and union leaders from Ohio held a pre-debate teleconference to argue that the Republican party is leading Ohio and the rest of the country in the wrong direction.

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Two Ohio Colleges Hold Steady As Some of America’s Biggest Party Schools

The Princeton Review ranks both Ohio University and Miami University as two of the country’s top 20 party schools, the Northeast Ohio Media Group reports.

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Ohio University and Miami University remain among the nation’s top 20 party schools ranked by Princeton Review, though not as high on the list as in past years. OU, which ranked first on the list in 2011, has moved down each year since and is now 16th.

Read more at: www.cleveland.com

Dayton School Board Rep Calls Ross’ Charter Review Plans “Weak”

ajwagnerSeven members of the Ohio Board of Education have sent a letter to the state’s superintendent asking for an outside investigator to find out if he was involved in hiding poor charter school assessments.

Pressure has been building on the state’s education department since David Hansen resigned last month.

The school choice director left over allegations he tossed out low scores for some online and dropout-recovery charter schools.

A.J. Wagner, the state school board’s Dayton representative, said Superintendent Richard Ross had planned on appointing three people to review all the Ohio Department of Education’s contracts with charter schools.

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