Did you know? Cincinnati students in "F" schools 5x less likely to have National Board certified teacher than students in "A" schools
Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) has the highest number of teachers with certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (139) of any Ohio district, but the way these teachers are distributed across the??district threatens to undermine CPS' mission to improve learning for all students.??
The Enquirer recently posted numbers illustrating the inequitable spread of Board certified teachers. Unsurprisingly, they are more likely to be located in buildings that are higher performing, and children in?? schools rated "D" or "F" are less likely to come into contact with such "highly qualified" teachers.
The discrepancy between "A/A+" schools and "F" schools is stark, with 213 students per one board certified teachers in the highest achieving CPS schools, and 1,097, or five times as many students per one such teacher in the most struggling CPS schools.
Student/teacher ratios for National Board certified instructors in Cincinnati Public Schools??(broken down by academic rating)
Source: Ohio Department of Education and Cincinnati Enquirer article
Whether National Board certification improves a teacher's classroom effectiveness is up for debate, as is the relationship between a school's academic status and the number of "highly qualified" teachers who teach there (e.g. is the school "F" because its teachers are not "highly qualified," or do no "highly qualified" teachers want to work there because it is an "F" school?)
Nevertheless, National Board certification is a selective process and signifies that a teacher has put in the effort to apply for
In early December, the Ohio Education Association (OEA) told school districts to stay tuned for updates on the Race to the Top (RttT) grant program, promising to advise on "the value of supporting or not supporting" Ohio's application.?? Given the OEA's early concerns about RttT (particularly "over-reliance on student test score data") and their letter to Sen. Husted calling legislation to make Ohio more competitive "distracting" and "counterproductive", it seemed possible that local teacher unions (at the behest of the OEA) might try to thwart Ohio's chances of winning by encouraging districts to not participate.
A state earns points in its application for garnering support from LEAs (45 points to be exact). Union buy-in counts towards a state's odds of winning as much as turning around low-performing schools and implementing data systems. Stephen Sawchuck on Teacher Beat has been wondering for a while (see here, here, and here) how the level of union support in various states would impact the RttT competition.??
In Ohio, we don't have to wonder anymore. Last week the OEA posted two updates encouraging LEAs to carefully consider signing up, even promising that "some of Ohio's RttT grant will be used to support structural improvements to the system broadly" (a little misleading as to what RttT is about, if you ask me).?? OEA's attitude toward RttT seems far more acquiescent than it was several months ago (and worlds away
This year, 18 urban school districts participated in the voluntary NAEP Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA). Math results were released today, and student performance in Cleveland might be the only thing in that city more depressing than the Browns.??
Whether you're wondering how Cleveland compares to its peer cities, or whether students have made academic improvements since TUDA was first administered in 2003 (as many cities' students have), the stats on both fronts are discouraging.
Among the 10 cities that have participated in TUDA since 2003, Cleveland is the only district whose scores have not seen an increase in either fourth or eighth grade.?? Compared to the other 17 cities, Cleveland ranks second to last (next only to Detroit) in 4th grade, and fourth to last in 8th grade (behind Detroit, DC, and Milwaukee). While we've lamented before that Ohio's NAEP scores are low (45 and 36 percent of 4th and 8th graders scored proficient or above, respectively), Cleveland's scores are even more painful in comparison: only eight percent of both 4th and 8th graders in the city scored proficient or higher.
Average scores for eighth-grade public school students in NAEP mathematics (five lowest scoring cities) - 2009
Average scores for fourth-grade public school students in NAEP mathematics (five lowest scoring cities) - 2009
Source: NAEP TUDA 2009 Math Results
Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eugene Sanders is preparing to unveil a district "transformation plan" in
One of the great canards in public education is that no one should profit from the public schools. For example, cries of "corporate takeover of public schools" and "profits come before the needs of children" have been part of the anti-charter school rhetoric in Ohio and elsewhere since the first for-profit charters opened in the early 1990s.
In 2007, for example, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Federation of Teachers called Ohio's charter schools a "franchise system of corporate-run schools." Ohio Governor Ted Strickland sought to outlaw all forms of "for-profit" charter operators in the Buckeye State in his budget proposals in both 2007 and 2009. In 2006, then gubernatorial candidate Strickland got great applause from the teacher unions and allies when he called charters "a rip-off." He even threw out the applause line that "There are people operating these schools getting rich and they're doing so on the backs of our children."
Yet, despite such political rhetoric every penny spent on education profits someone - teachers, administrators, text book publishers, computer companies, food service providers, bus drivers, school consultants, et al. Some, however, profit far more than others.
According to????a recent article in Education Week one of the organizations currently profiting nicely from public education is e-Luminate, a marketing and communications-consulting firm that was set up by Ken Kay. Ken Kay is the prophet of 21st Century Skills and according to Education Week
About the Editor
Michael J. Petrilli
Executive Vice President
Mike Petrilli is one of the nation's foremost education analysts. As executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, he oversees the organization's research projects and publications and contributes to the Flypaper blog and weekly Education Gadfly newsletter.
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