Education

Kindergarten teacher Elly Mallen leads her class through a lesson on saying numbers and months in Spanish.
Ariel Van Cleave / WYSO

About a quarter of the students who attend Ruskin Elementary School on the east side of Dayton’s don’t speak English as their first language. Of the 11 different languages spoken at the school, Spanish is the most prevalent—and it was the Latino students who inspired the staff at Ruskin to take a different approach to teaching. The school is in its third year of a successful dual language program.
 

This week kicks off our series, Graduating Latino, a look at education for Latino students in the Miami Valley.

In much of the Miami Valley the Latino population has gone from about 2 percent in the mid-2000s, to 4 percent now. Around half the local Latino population is from Mexico, which means the other half represent a big cross-section: many Puerto Ricans, and people from Central and South America. The population is a mix of foreign-born and U.S.-born representing a diverse set of experiences.

Ohio Senate Takes Up Charter Reform

Apr 6, 2015
State Senator Peggy Lehner heads the Senate Education Committee.
OhioHouseGOP / Flickr/Creative Commons

 Now that the Ohio House has passed a bill aimed at reforming charter schools, the Senate will take up the issue. The head of the Senate Education committee says she is deeply concerned about the number of poorly performing charters.

The House bill would stop charter sponsors from selling services to the schools they oversee; the Senate is expected to go further and lay out the duties and limits of both sponsors and the operating companies who manage the schools.  

Educators Focus On 'Brain Based' Curriculum For Kids In Poverty

Mar 27, 2015
Mark Urycki / StateImpact Ohio

In January, an analysis of federal data found that for the first time in at least 50 years more than half of the public school children in America are living in poverty. In Ohio, the number is only 39 percent, but it still concerns school officials here who know that poor kids come to school carrying extra burdens. In recent years education officials have been looking to brain research for answers. 

Educators call them “stressed” kids and brain research predicts that children under stress will have a more difficult time learning and behaving.  

House Panel OKs New Charter School Regulations, Reporting

Mar 25, 2015
Ohio statehouse
thoth188

A bill cracking down on low-performing Ohio charter schools and imposing a host of new accountability standards on sponsors has cleared its first legislative hurdle.

After extensive debate and several rounds of revisions, the Ohio House Education Committee approved the bill 13-6 Wednesday. A House vote could come Thursday.

State Senate OKs Testing Protections For Ohio Students

Mar 4, 2015

Ohio senators have passed a bill to bar schools from using the results of new proficiency tests to determine a student's advancement to the next grade level.
 
The Senate voted unanimously Wednesday on the legislation, which also ensures that schools don't lose state aid for students not taking standardized tests this school year.
 
The measure also prohibits using the results of new state math and English assessments to make course credit decisions. It further prevents schools from sharing individual test scores with outside sources without parental consent.

Group Asking Kasich To Focus On College Student Debt

Feb 26, 2015

In his State of the State address, Gov. John Kasich made another big push for his budget plan, which includes policies directed at higher education. But at least one group says the plan doesn’t do enough for college students.

Kasich’s budget plan includes a cap and freeze on tuition increases. But the group “Young Invincibles” believes that will only shift more of the burden onto the students in the long run.

The West Dayton Youth Task Force is pushing for major improvements for the public schools located in West Dayton.
West Dayton Youth Task Force

Schools in West Dayton are among the lowest-performing in the Dayton Public School District. And DPS as a whole is ranked toward the bottom of the list for Ohio.
 

A grassroots group called The West Dayton Youth Task Force wants improvements now.

Putting the Technology Behind Ohio’s New Standardized Exams to The Test

Feb 23, 2015
Alberto G. / Flickr Creative Commons

Over the next month, Ohio's students will be taking a new batch of standardized testing aligned to the Common Core, the math and English standards adopted by the majority of the country. This year, state officials initially planned for the test to be delivered strictly on a computer, but only about 60 percent of students will take a portion of the test that way.

Just a few days before the beginning of the new exams in Lancaster, an hour outside of Columbus, the district’s elementary curriculum coordinator Sarah Westbrooks is stressed.

One chapter in my most recent book, African Immersion: American College Students in Cameroon (Lexington Books, 2015) looks at racial interactions in Cameroon: African American-Caucasian, African-Caucasian, and African American-African. The research finds gross ignorance in public discourse on race relations. But academic institutions neither mandate students to take courses about America’s racial past nor create other avenues for a critical examination of racism in the U.S.

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