Week in Review - 09/28/2018

Week in Review - 09/28/2018

EDUCATION

Columbus City Schools outpaced the rest of the state as part of $12 million in new safety grants awarded by the Ohio Attorney General's Office Friday to 1,755 schools and school districts across Ohio. All public school districts and community schools, chartered nonpublic or private schools, and schools operated by county boards of developmental disabilities will receive the greater of $2,500 or $5.65 per student to spend toward programs and training on safety and security.



Career Technical Planning Districts (CTPDs), the organizational units that oversee regional career tech education (CTE) around the state, vary in structure and size, and often incorporate many different school districts across multiple counties. That leads some CTE stakeholders to wonder how best to evaluate them with a standard report card. At a recent meeting of the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) CTPD Report Card Workgroup, stakeholders debated whether or not the current CTPD report card accurately reflects the work being done at these various career and vocational centers around the state and discussed what adjustments are necessary in light of upcoming changes in federal reporting requirements.



Two school districts filed arguments in court this week asking for the right to join Ohio's lawsuit against Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) founder William Lager by saying Attorney General Mike DeWine isn't an "adequate representative" of their interests given his political history with Lager and his office's track record in other charter school litigation. DeWine's office rebuts the claims, saying the schools' filing misunderstands charter school case law and that the attorney general has been "aggressive" in charter enforcement lawsuits.


East Cleveland City Schools is suing the state to ward off creation of an Academic Distress Commission, which is soon set to take operational control of the district after the latest round of state report cards. With an overall grade of F on the report cards earlier this month, East Cleveland got its third strike and triggered the state law that requires creation of the commission. The five-member oversight panel is to be named within 30 days of the report card rating and will hire a CEO who'll take the reins of district operations. The district is the third to fall under distress commission authority, after Lorain and Youngtown.



Officials at Whitehall City Schools and Columbus State Community College explained Wednesday their efforts to more quickly and effectively get students through remedial coursework and into coursework that can earn them college credit or work credentials. They told the Joint Education Oversight Committee (JEOC) that a big part of that effort is use of ALEKS, or Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces, software from McGraw-Hill Education that adapts questioning based on student responses, highlights knowledge gaps, and identifies the topics students are most ready to tackle next.



Seeking more information on the reasons why school related services employees -- individuals like school nurses, psychologists. and occupational therapists -- choose to work and stay working in schools, the Related Services Personnel Workgroup intends to conduct an online survey of professionals on their priorities in the coming months.


EMPLOYMENT/UNEMPLOYMENT

Ohio's unemployment rate in August was unchanged from July's 4.6 percent even as the state added 13,900 jobs over the month, according to data released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) on Friday. The August unemployment rate for Ohio decreased from 5.0 percent in August 2017. The U.S. unemployment rate for August was 3.9 percent, unchanged from July, and down from 4.4 percent in August 2017. Ohio is one of 24 states with an unemployment rate significantly higher than the national rate.


HIGHER EDUCATION

The Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) this week launched a new campaign aimed at helping high school students through the college application process ahead of Ohio College Application Month, which begins on Monday, Oct. 1. The "3 to Get Ready" campaign highlights the process of applying for financial aid, submitting applications, and selecting an institution to attend.