Weel in Review - 04/20/2018

Weel in Review - 04/20/2018

EDUCATION

While awaiting justices' decision on its central claims against the state, Electronic Classroom of the Tomorrow is back in the Ohio Supreme Court in another case alleging the State Board of Education broke open meeting laws during deliberation on the school's enrollment dispute. Meanwhile, an attorney supervising the school's assets told a judge in the case recently that property of the defunct Electronic Classroom of Ohio (ECOT), including its South Columbus headquarters building, needs to be auctioned to provide money to properly meet the school's obligation.


The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) announced the schedule for statewide administration of the ACT for high school juniors next spring. Districts must administer either the ACT or SAT to all 11th grade students, per state law. The testing schedule and other information is available at http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Testing/State-Funded-ACT-Test


A vendor's technical problems snarled state testing administration Wednesday in the middle of the period when schools are offering academic assessments. American Institutes for Research (AIR) notified the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) of a login system issue Wednesday morning. It was later fixed.


Data about how students improve in their education year-over-year can be vitally important to schools, teachers, and others by helping them identify where schools are exceeding statewide expectations or falling short of them. But, how that information is used, categorized, and presented is largely shaped by state policy. That was the underlying message communicated by John White, senior director of SAS Institutes' education value-added assessment system (EVAAS), to the Joint Education Oversight Committee (JEOC) Thursday. SAS Institute is an education vendor contracted by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to track, model, and report the value-added measure, an indicator on school report cards that measures student growth.


Two representatives are wading into the debate on how online charter schools should substantiate the education they're providing to students, with the introduction of a bill Thursday to require use of technology to measure attendance, class size, and participation. Under HB611, sponsored by Reps. Keith Faber (R-Celina) and Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson), payment to e-schools would be tied to their use of software that can capture such data.


GENERAL ASSEMBLY/STATEHOUSE

While a couple of overarching issues remain unaddressed, the Senate has largely accomplished what it wanted to get done this General Assembly, Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) said Tuesday in discussing plans for bill action prior to summer break. Two initiatives he identified as unresolved could be longer-term projects that will stretch into the fall: the energy standards debate around HB114 (Blessing) and unemployment compensation reform.


State agencies would need to cut 10 percent of their regulations three years in a row and would face a regulatory attrition mandate if they fail to do so under legislative plans outlined Wednesday. Sens. Bob Peterson (R-Sabina) and Robert McColley (R-Napoleon) discussed details of draft legislation on regulatory rollbacks which they plan to introduce in the next week. They were joined at a press conference by Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina), who announced his intention last month to pursue legislation to shrink the Ohio Administrative Code.


In other legislative action, the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee reported out HB342 (Merrin), regarding local tax issues, after removing language that would have significantly reduced issues in an August special election.


JUDICIAL

With football spring games scheduled across the state and nation, the Ohio Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a head injury dispute that has spawned over 100 class action lawsuits at the college level and an NFL settlement process that is still paying out claims. The Ohio case focuses on the Alzheimer's and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) of a single Notre Dame football veteran whose widow is pressing for damages on behalf of the deceased former player.