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A behind the scenes look at education from pre-K to college in Northeast Ohio

Monday, November 26, 2012

Q&A: What's in store as Ohio replaces graduation test

By Julie Carr Smyth, Associated Press

COLUMBUS (AP) — State education leaders recently agreed on a plan for replacing the Ohio Graduation Test with a nationally standardized college readiness test, such as the ACT, and 10 subject-area exams.

The decision to scrap the OGT and substitute a tougher series of tests will be a change felt by students and families across the state.

Here are a few questions and answers about what's happening and what to expect:

Q: When will the new testing requirements begin?
A: The college readiness test could be offered free to all Ohio sophomores as soon as next year under the timeline laid out by the state Education Department, Board of Regents and state school board.
That test and the 10 subject-area exams that are replacing the OGT will be required by the 2014-15 school year.

Q: How did this change come about?
A: The new testing regimen was first laid out in the 2009 state operating budget, then fine-tuned in different legislation passed last session.

Q: Why did it take until now to make the change?
A: Education Department spokesman John Charlton said it took some time to figure out how best to measure 12th grade achievement against college preparedness, and which state education agency would do what.
Tuesday's deal calls for requesting bids for companies to either provide or help develop the college-readiness tests, with available funding partially determining how quickly the test will be available.

Q: How will the subject-area tests work?
A: The series of end-of-course or end-of-year subject tests heading to Ohio students beginning in 2014 will be in core high school subjects of English I, II and III; Algebra I; Geometry; Algebra II; Biology; Physical Science; American History; and American Government. These will replace the single graduation test that's offered now.
Test scores are expected to be incorporated into a student's final grade in those courses, as well as being factored into a revised accountability system the state is developing.

Q: Why is Ohio making this change?
A: Ohio leaders have grown increasingly concerned about the number of Ohio high school graduates who receive a diploma yet are academically unfit to enter college.
Educators at both levels have pointed to a disconnect between the K-12 and higher education systems that all are now trying to address.
Institutions at both levels are taking steps to offer more targeted tutoring and remedial work in high school so that both students and colleges can spend less time and money on makeup college classes that don't count toward a degree.
It's all part of an effort to boost the state's college graduation rate of 26 percent, which is well below the national average.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Willoughby Middle students pie teachers in the face

Caitlin Fertal

Students at Willoughby Middle School cheered loudly - to the point where a few young boys were covering their ears - Wednesday as they prepared to watch their teachers get pied in the face.

It was all in good fun and to celebrate the money students raised for two good causes.

The first, Officer Jason Gresko's fund, which students raised $300 for. And secondly, students raised an additional $250 for the Salvation Army.

A total of 13 teachers took a plate of whipped cream to the face, with some volunteering for round two.

Students paid .25 cents for each ticket that entered them in a drawing to become the lucky pie-thrower.

See the event below:

Friday, November 9, 2012

WVIZ/PBS ideastream Education Presents A Technology + Learning Conference

WVIZ/PBS ideastream® Education
Presents A Technology + Learning Conference

“NOVA ScienceNow” Host David Pogue Is Keynote Speaker

On Thursday, November 15, David Pogue, Shaker Heights native, author and host of the popular PBS series “NOVA ScienceNow” will return to Cleveland to make a special presentation to educators at the Technology andLearning Conference presented by WVIZ/PBS ideastream Education.  Pogue’s keynote speech is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. at The Idea Center at PlayhouseSquare, 1375 Euclid Avenue in downtown Cleveland, home of WVIZ/PBS and 90.3 WCPN. 

Pogue writes a weekly technology column for the New York Times and is a monthly contributor to Scientific American. He is also the host of “NOVA ScienceNow” and other science shows on PBS, and he has been a correspondent for “CBS Sunday Morning” since 2002.

ideastream’s second Technology and Learning Conference is designed to provide educators with the opportunity to learn about and share innovative techniques for integrating technology into the classroom to impact teaching and learning. Two hundred educators have registered to attend the conference, which begins at 8 a.m., and will continue throughout the day. 

At the Technology and Learning Conference, educators will have the opportunity to personalize their professional learning experience at a variety of breakout presentations on a variety of topics including: integration of mobile technologies, flipped classrooms, e-books, apps, assistive technology, BYOD (bring your own device), project based learning, the global classroom and more.

Via a news release from ideastream (links to outside sources added).

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Infographic: Literacy in America

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

NEA statement on Sherrod Brown's re-election

WASHINGTON, DC – Following is a statement by National Education Association (NEA) President Dennis Van Roekel on Senator Sherrod Brown’s (D-Ohio) re-election to the U.S. Senate.
"The Buckeye state will return to Washington, DC a true public education champion in Senator Sherrod Brown. His re-election is a victory for students and for public education. As educators, we are confident he will continue to make education a top priority in the Senate. He will fight for the middle class and will make sure everyone has a fair shot.

Senator Brown has been a relentless and unwavering supporter of public education in his first Senate term. When the Buckeye state faced the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression that threatened tens of thousands of education jobs, Sen. Brown voted to provide emergency relief to the states, saving nearly 8,000 education jobs—teachers, nurses, librarians and other critical school personnel.

Senator Brown also introduced a bill to freeze student loan interest rates at 3.4 percent that was signed into law this summer by President Barack Obama, saving about 382,000 Ohio students from an even bigger student-debt load.

It’s why the Ohio Education Association, NEA’s state affiliate, enthusiastically endorsed his re-election bid."
(via news release distributed by

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