Ohio Education Gadfly
VOLUME 6, NUMBER 22
November 14, 2012
FROM THE FRONTLINES
Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: The Edison Story in Dayton
The trials and tribulations of one Fordham-sponsored charter school
By Ellen Belcher
NEW FROM FORDHAM
Moving Up: Fordham Sponsorship and Accountability Report, 2011-12
Annual report on Fordham-sponsored charter schools, with Ellen Belcher's article, "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: The Edison Story in Dayton."
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Student Nomads: Mobility in Ohio's Schools makes headlines
A recap of press coverage about Fordham's latest report on student mobility
NEWS & ANALYSIS
Educators and experts discuss Fordham's student mobility report
Columbus education leaders gather to talk about student mobility
Job openings in the Columbus and DC offices.
Books, bricks, and mortar
Funding for books is up, funding for buildings is down
Ellen Belcher / November 14, 2012
For several years, in our role as charter school authorizer, the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation has worked closely and collaboratively with the governing authority (Alliance Community Schools) of the Dayton View and Dayton Liberty charter schools to encourage better results. After more than a decade of working together, the governing board fired the school’s operator, Edison Learning, at the end of the 2011-12 school year. At the start of this school year the management responsibilities for both buildings were turned over to a veteran Dayton educator and his management team.
Because we believe there are many lessons to be drawn from this experience, we engaged veteran journalist Ellen Belcher to tell the story of these two schools and ongoing efforts to improve the education they provide some of Dayton’s neediest children. Ellen is an award-winning journalist and former editorial page editor of the Dayton Daily News, where she frequently wrote about education issues including those around charter schools.
Our task to Ellen was straightforward – talk to the board members (current and former), administrators, teachers, and parents involved in the two schools and find out their stories. Why, in their words, haven’t the schools lived up to their promise? She also reached out to current and former officials from the schools’ former operator, Edison Learning, to get their perspectives on these issues, and she spoke with Fordham President Chester E. Finn, Jr. for his take as well.
Ellen tackled the assignment with her
November 14, 2012
Moving Up is The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation's charter school sponsorship accountability report for 2011-2012. Through it, we hope to help readers understand the complexities of charter schools and better appreciate the hard work of teachers, school leaders and board members who are serving not only the schools we sponsor but also the schools around the state and nation that are working to make a difference in the lives of children who badly need it. This year's report features an in-depth look at the struggles of two Fordham-sponsored schools in Dayton, researched and written by former Dayton Daily Newsreporter and editor Ellen Belcher.
To read our full report, click on the image below:
Aaron Churchill / November 14, 2012
Fordham and Community Research Partners’ student mobility report made headlines across the Buckeye State this week. The news reports underscore the significance of this report, as well as the ongoing need to educate the public about the scale and magnitude of student mobility. Below is a recap of the press coverage of the report thus far.
The Columbus Dispatch featured student mobility as front-page news in its Thursday and Sunday editions. The Thursday edition focused on the relationship between serially-mobile students—kids who move two or more times within a couple years—and poor academic achievement, a key finding of the report’s data analysis. Meanwhile, the Sunday edition examined schools that perform well despite having high mobility rates. In particular, the Dispatch reported that some schools keep on chugging even as their schools are churning. A couple educators remarked that student mobility, while a challenge, is also a reality that schools are trying to manage:
- "We’ve come to grips that this [high student mobility] is the way [of life] for us, for better or worse. We have to find ways to make it work for students” - Groveport Madison High School principal Aric Thomas
- “This [high student mobility] ought to be a call of action, a mobilization for a collection of resources for kids in the state” – Reynoldsburg School District superintendent Steve Dackin
The Cleveland Plain Dealer featured the student mobility project in its Friday edition, focusing on the scale
Aaron Churchill / November 14, 2012
One in three Columbus students change schools each year. So, it’s little surprise that a group of nearly 100 of Columbus’ education and community leaders gathered last week to hear about and discuss the groundbreaking research findings from Fordham and Community Research Partners’ (CRP) just-released Ohio Student Mobility Project.
In attendance were senior staff members from Columbus City Schools, the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, The Ohio State University, Columbus’ largest charitable foundations, members of the press corps, and education policy and youth program organizations. The Columbus Foundation hosted the event.
Roberta Garber of CRP opened the event with an overview of the research findings for the Columbus metropolitan area. The findings were striking: There’s a lot of student movement—perhaps more than generally appreciated—occurring within school districts, between districts, and between charter schools and traditional districts.
After the presentation of the data, Mark Real of KidsOhio.org moderated a panel discussion that talked about the implications of the research findings. The panel included Matt Cohen of the Department of Education, Nancy Van Meter of the American Federation of Teachers, Steve Dackin of Reynoldsburg School District, and Terry Ryan of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.
Photo courtesy of The Columbus Foundation. From left to right: Moderator Mark Real of KidsOhio.org; Panelists Matt Cohen of the Ohio Department of Education, Nancy Van Meter of the American Federation
Pamela Tatz / November 14, 2012
The Fordham Institute, a high-performing organization with a long track record of innovation and excellence within the domains of media relations and social media, is looking to take our communications to the next level with two new members: a media relations and events manager in D.C. and an external communications and research associate in Columbus, Ohio.
External communications and research associate; Columbus, Ohio office
The Columbus, Ohio office of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute is searching for a fellow Gadfly: an independent-minded advocate for education reform. The External Communications and Research Associate must have at least two years of experience in strategic communications, possess strong writing and editing skills, and have creative strategies for promoting research and policy ideas to state lawmakers, educators, researchers, and media. For more specifics, please see the full description.
Media relations and events manager; D.C. office
The successful candidate must be a dynamic, mission-driven, and experienced media professional who is savvy and knowledgeable in traditional media, social media, and education reform. Reporting to the Executive Vice President, the Media Relations and Events Manager will work collaboratively with other members of Fordham’s communications team and its senior leadership to develop and implement communication strategies and events programming. If you are an innovative thinker with ideas on how to broaden Fordham’s impact and promote our school reform principles, research, analysis, and ideas, we want to hear from you. If we are describing you, take a look at
November 14, 2012
- School districts: Get on your mark! The Ohio Department of Education has started accepting applications for $13 million in competitive grants. The Early Literacy and Reading Readiness grants are meant to support intervention initiatives that can ensure that more kids meet the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.
- The Ohio School Facilities Commission has revised its urban school district project scope. Decreasing enrollment figures in inner-city districts have brought down the estimated project costs. The Commission Chairman cites competition from charters and private schools as a significant factor in enrollment changes.
- Acting Superintendent Michael Sawyers requested clarification on a Third Grade Reading Guarantee requirement that says reading-deficient students must be assigned to a professional with a “reading endorsement.” Few teachers have such a certification and there is not enough time between now and August 2013 to receive training, Sawyers said.
- Among issues covered at last week’s Statewide Education Conference was the black student achievement gap. Author Robert Jackson suggests developing “new peer identities” for black males, and maintaining a positive social image of students in school environments.