Eye on Education

Allegations Against Charter School Raise Questions about Tracking Online Truancy

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Allegations that an online charter school may be getting paid for hundreds of students who haven’t logged-on in months has fired up the debate about how to track schools that don’t have classrooms, but do get millions in state funding.

The two ranking members on the Ohio House Education Committee each got an anonymous e-mail showing 402 students were truant for months at Ohio Virtual Academy, which has more than 13,000 students.

But only 14 of those students have been withdrawn.

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African-Americans Have Higher Rates of Student Loan Debt

The majority of college students use some type of grants or loans to pick up the tab for their higher education, but The Atlantic reports the rates are much higher for minorities. Forty-two percent of African-American families have student loans, compared to 28 percent of white families.

African Americans have to take out college loans at a much higher rate than whites do. This puts them on a steeper path to financial security-even with the benefit of a degree.

Read more at: www.theatlantic.com

The Saga of “Grade-Skippers”

Nationwide, only about two percent of students begin school earlier or move ahead of their prescribed grades, but as NPR’s education team reports, new research points out that more students should be accelerating grades.

On the first day of school, perhaps the only person more discussed than the “new kid” is the “new kid who skipped a grade.” Words like “gifted,” “brilliant” and “genius” get thrown around to describe these students. Education researchers generally refer to them as “accelerated.”

Read more at: www.npr.org

Bond Between A Brewery And A Student May Have Helped Pass A Central Ohio Levy

If the levy at Central Ohio’s Southwest Licking School District didn’t pass, there was a possibility that the high school’s band could be cut. The Columbus Dispatch reports that didn’t sit well with freshman Ally Jeffers, who reached out to a California brewery with a Columbus connection to ask for some help.

The celebration was large on Tuesday night at the Watkins Memorial High School football stadium as voters finally and overwhelmingly passed a Southwest Licking schools levy. But nowhere was the celebration more passionate than in the Etna Township home of freshman Ally Jeffers.

Read more at: www.dispatch.com

How Ohio School Choice Moved from Vouchers to Charters

Students at E Prep and Village Prep Academy in Cleveland.


Students at E Prep and Village Prep Academy in Cleveland.

The state legislature this spring has been updating rules for how charter schools operate in Ohio.

It’s the latest in the evolution of charters here.

The legislature has been tweaking the rules and regulations on charters every year or two since they began here in 1997.

The first proposal for charter schools goes back 40 years when a University of Massachusetts professor suggested it.  Continue Reading

Research Says Majority of Adjunct Professors Struggle to Find A Full-Time Job–And Respect from Colleagues

A new study finds that roughly 73 percent of adjunct professors are struggling to find a desired full-time job, but as Inside Higher Ed reports, it’s not just more hours–adjuncts also are yearning for more respect from their full-time faculty.

The idea that most adjunct instructors have day jobs and teach one or two courses per semester to make a little extra cash or fulfill a desire for service, or both, has been pretty thoroughly debunked.

Read more at: www.insidehighered.com

Ohio Wesleyan Research May Have Put Animals in Danger

The U.S. Department of Agriculture found that researchers at the Delaware school didn’t thoroughly investigate if animals used in testing were received adequate treatment, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

Ohio Wesleyan University failed to review whether animals are treated humanely in campus research, and one researcher replicated traumatic spinal-cord injuries on guinea pigs without documenting whether alternative procedures were considered, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Read more at: www.dispatch.com

Voters Approve Roughly 80 Percent of School Tax Issues Across The State


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Collectively, more than 90 school districts asked voters for help with more than 100 school tax issues statewide during Tuesday’s election.

Most of the levies were renewals. According to unofficial results collected by StateImpact Ohio, roughly 90 percent of those requests passed, along with more than half of new money requests.

That’s a slight increase from the past few elections, where districts have struggled to receive voter support when it comes to asking for the approval of additional levies.

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HBCU Asks Alumni to Help Pick Up Students’ Tabs

The Washington Post reports the president of Howard University recently sent out an email to thousands of alumni, asking them to consider picking up the tab of current students currently on the the brink of not graduating due to outstanding fines.

A couple weeks before Howard University ‘s 147th commencement, its president e-mailed tens of thousands of alumni with an urgent and unusual appeal on behalf of 180 seniors in the class of 2015: Help the students pay off their debt so they can get their diplomas.

Read more at: www.washingtonpost.com

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