Week in Review - 12/013/2019

Week in Review - 12/013/2019

EDUCATION

The Ohio Education Association's Representative Assembly voted unanimously over the weekend to recommend an overhaul of the state report card system that ends A-F grading in favor of a dashboard of academic indicators, complemented by information about school districts and the programs they offer students. The association, Ohio's largest teachers' union, said its recommended format would be compliant with the Every Student Succeeds Act, the federal law that speaks to state school accountability measures.


A U.S. District Court recently tentatively approved a settlement agreement in a class action lawsuit over special education services. Doe v. Ohio, filed in federal court in 1993 as part of another education-related lawsuit, addresses the level of resources Ohio schools, and specifically 11 districts, provide to give students special education and related services in the least restrictive environment. Those districts are Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, East Cleveland, Lima, Zanesville and Toledo. 


School management groups are circulating recommendations for supplemental funding and eligibility changes to address a substantial increase in the number of buildings in which students qualify for EdChoice vouchers. The State Board of Education voted Tuesday to endorse a subset of the groups' proposals, and several Northeast Ohio legislators wrote letters to General Assembly leadership urging changes as well. Barbara Shaner of the Ohio Association of School Business Officials (OASBO) and Will Schwartz of the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA), also speaking on behalf of the Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA), briefed the State Board of Education on their proposal.


The first Computer Science Advocacy Day was held in the Statehouse Atrium Tuesday. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) students and teachers from across Ohio heard from legislators and leaders in the technology industry. Lt. Gov. Jon Husted and Rep. Rick Carfagna (R-Westerville) were presented with 2019 "Ohio Champions of Computer Science" awards. 


A recent report from the Fordham Institute examining the performance of schools in high-poverty areas on the state report card concluded that while socioeconomic status is highly correlated with the state's achievement measures, high marks on growth or "value added" measures indicate that quality learning is still taking place at schools in poorer districts. The report, "Poverty Isn't Destiny," says that the state's growth measures are more "poverty-neutral" than its achievement measures, meaning that students' socioeconomic characteristics are not highly predictive of the growth they can achieve in a year.


Lawmakers' efforts to scale back testing for high school students could lead to situations where some middle school math students face more testing, Ohio Department of Education (ODE) staff told a State Board of Education committee Tuesday.