Events & Appearances
Stretching the School Dollar: Insights for the Buckeye State
District superintendents, treasurers, lawmakers, policymakers, and education reformers gathered September 27 in Columbus to find solutions to tight education budgets at our Stretching the School Dollar event, which was co-hosted by the Ohio Grantmakers Forum and KidsOhio. (Read about the book, Stretching the School Dollar, published by Harvard Education Press, here). Discussing smart cost savings were economist Marguerite Roza, Steven Wilson of the NYC-based charter management organization Ascend Learning, and Fordham’s own Eric Osberg and Terry Ryan.
Read what others had to say about it:
Panel warns that education spending has to change, Catalyst Ohio.
Forum on School Budget Challenges Casts Wary Eye on Small Class Sizes, Hannah Report; subscription required.
In November, Terry Ryan also presented on this topic -- "doing more with less" in education-- at Ohio Grantmakers Forum's 2010 annual conference in Cincinnati. View the PowerPoint presentation here.
Terry Ryan and Kathryn Mullen Upton were among the presenters at the National Association of Charter School Authorizers' annual conference, held in October in Phoenix. Terry joined representatives from Renaissance School Services and Imagine Schools for a lively debate about what authorizers and management organizations wish the other would do. He and James Merriman of the New York City Charter School Center shared the challenges and unintended consequences of charter laws, policies, and authorizer actions in New York and Ohio. Kathryn co-led a session in which participants made fast-paced, live-action decisions about whether to close (fictitious) failing schools. Finally, Terry joined colleagues from Ohio and Minnesota to share how they are using grant dollars from NACSA’s Fund for Authorizing Excellence to improve authorizing policies and practices.
Also related to charter school quality, Terry Ryan led a professional development session jointly with Bill Sims, president of the Ohio Alliance of Public Charter Schools, on the topic of Ohio's automatic charter school closure at a NAPCS event in November. View the PowerPoint presentation here.
Co-authors of Ohio’s Education Reform Challenges Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Terry Ryan participated in three book events in August. The first event, hosted by the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools, took place at Horizon Science Academy High School in Columbus and was attended mostly by folks from the charter school world (and charter advocates generally).
The second was held at the Columbus Metropolitan Club (CMC), where they were joined by Jim Mahoney, executive director of Battelle for Kids, and Brad Mitchell, director of Battelle-OSU STEM Education & Economic Development Engagement to talk about charter schools – and other reform issues ranging from STEM and project-based learning to teacher compensation and Race to the Top – with central Ohio’s business and civic community. Checker encouraged community leaders to play a more direct role in pushing education reform and removing the “stake” from current education stakeholders’ hands, as a key lesson from the book is that even reformers and innovators become defenders of vested interests over time.
The third took place in Washington, DC, and convened national charter experts. You can see footage of the event here.
Read what others had to say about the events:
Think Tank: Sponsoring Charters Harder Than It Looks, EdBeat (blog).
Ohio Needs To Correct 'Mixed Bag' Of Charter Schools To Guarantee Excellence, Education Stakeholders Say, Gongwer News Service; subscription required.
Charter school advocates argue Ohio's system needs reform, Catalyst Ohio.
In May, Terry Ryan and Kathryn Mullen Upton, Fordham’s director of charter school sponsorship, delivered testimony to the Ohio House Primary and Secondary Education Subcommittee on ways to improve Ohio’s charter school program.
We see it as an inherent conflict of interest when a sponsor also functions as the (paid) purveyor of services to its schools, or blurs the line between operator and sponsor in other ways.
Also in May Terry Ryan and Kathryn Mullen Upton offered testimony to the Ohio State Board of Education announcing Fordham’s plans to merge and consolidate our charter school sponsorship operations with that of the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio and jointly launch a new statewide sponsorship entity. The new statewide authorizer would hold its schools to a high standard of performance, support the development of great new schools, and recruit outstanding models to Ohio. The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) has provided grant support to aid this effort.
Read the press release here.
Knowing the economic challenges facing public education, and charter schools specifically, it makes great sense for charter school sponsors to try and work together in coming months to develop cost efficiencies and economy of scale.
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