July 22, 2016 - Cincinnati Enquirer Commentary - "Effort to discredit charter schools unfair"



Effort to discredit charter schools unfair

4:54 p.m. EDT July 7, 2016

Tom Lippert of Evendale is a former trustee of CSR Academy in Over-the-Rhine and an advocate of school choice.


Michelle Dillingham makes some strange assertions for the Cincinnati Educational Justice Coalition in her June 20 commentary ("CPS ignoring charters terrible record"). She seems unaware that many charter and voucher schools the country over are producing better educational outcomes than district public schools, especially for the poorest families and minorities in our inner cities - and at big savings for the taxpayer. In Ohio she need look no further than Columbus, Toledo and Cleveland for striking examples. In fact, Cleveland's inner-city charter schools have been so successful that their school district is now helping to fund them.

Few people realize that when Ohio's General Assembly in 1997 established charter schools in Ohio it imposed a unique provision requiring them to operate only in major urban districts. The bad news is that meant consigning them to the toughest task of teaching lots of underprivileged kids in high-poverty neighborhoods - kids whom experts calculate enter school an average of two to three years behind those in affluent areas. The good news was that it provided thousands of poor inner-city families with a new (and often safer and more disciplined) educational choice for their children. And as Ronald Reagan insisted, you don't get excellence without competition.

The state of Ohio requires that every charter school be public and nonprofit. But ironically the Legislature provides charters with only half the public funding of traditional district schools. They must even pay for their own school buildings, and typically rely on private donations, fundraising or a philanthropic sponsor to finance amenities like sports facilities, band and other extracurricular. So at the same time charters are saving Ohio taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, it was inspiring to see 100 percent of last month's 75 graduates of Horizon Science Academy in Columbus receive acceptance to two- or four-year colleges, with $2.3 million in scholarships and 23 awarded honors.

It is fair to ask what the mission of CEJC is other than to discredit charter schools, deny parents the right to school choice, and shield CPS schools from any kind of competition. Dillingham is upset that the CPS board agreed with the recommendation of Cincinnati's Accelerator group to explore the possibility of working with Indiana's innovative and successful Phalen Leadership Academies to open a new charter school on the West Side.

Perhaps it is because board members recognize the goal of the Accelerator is to provide Cincinnati's underprivileged kids the highest-quality educational opportunities available anywhere, and Phalen's strong suit is teaching technology. Dillingham's op-ed then throws in the red herring of fraud and waste among charter schools, failing to note that Columbus City Schools' recent 10-year scandal took a higher toll in human damage and waste of taxpayer money than arguably all of Ohio's comparatively minor charter school scandals combined.

Perhaps the CEJC could revise its agenda to take on the following more worthwhile tasks:

1. Help make CPS inner-city schools as disciplined and safe as charter and voucher schools.

2. Introduce the CPS Board to best business practices by reducing costs when students transfer to other schools, rather than disingenuously accuse those schools of "stealing" funding from CPS.

3. Encourage more widespread use by CPS of individualized lesson plans, teacher evaluations and enthusiastic instruction models, which are strengths of many successful charter schools.

4. Help align the priorities of CPS with those of the Accelerator to provide this city's poorest as well as richest families the best choice of school fitting the needs of every child and the future needs of our community. 

July 22, 2016


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July 18, 2016 - With your input, Ohio education can improve

Please complete this survey to create more ways for Ohio students to get high-quality training and skills.  

The Ohio Department of Education believes every young person deserves a pathway to economic success. That is why we are pursuing a grant from the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium and JP Morgan Chase. The three-year grant would allow our state to expand and improve career-focused education that prepares students for high-skill and high-wage jobs.

To prepare for the grant application, the department is conducting a survey to gather information from citizens throughout Ohio, including educators, parents, students, businesses and community organizations. We want to learn about the quality of and access to career preparation resources currently available in schools. This includes next steps needed for building programs, courses or other experiences that support career-ready students.

The department will use the information from the survey to create the grant proposal on how Ohio will increase pathways for students to get the training and skills they need to compete for jobs.

Here is the New Skills for Youth survey. We encourage you to participate in the survey and to share it with your family, friends and community. Thank you for helping us in this effort.


 Ohio Department of Education


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July 13, 2016 - Inside SPED: Professional development opportunities all summer long

5 Free Resources

Your Summer SPED Reading List

Summer Resource Reading List, PresenceLearning

The dog days of summer… is there any better time to catch up on reading for both fun and professional development? Our summer reading list brings you a bit of each from the resources educators have most frequently downloaded over the past school year. Whether you are on the beach, by the pool, or in the mountains, we wish you a restful break and hope this collection of white papers, eBooks, infographics, and more gives you fresh inspiration and ideas for 2016-17.

Free Webinar Series

Behavior Challenges, School Climate, and More

Summer Decathlon Series, PresenceLearning

Have you signed up for the PresenceLearning Decathlon Challenge? Through August 10, we are offering 10 on-demand webinars for credit, giving you the opportunity to earn a certificate of attendance for each webinar completed (passing quiz score and feedback survey required). ASHA and NASP members can respectively earn up to 1.5 CEUs and 15 CPD credits.

Our 10-webinar Decathlon is divided into 3 tracks:

  • Autism and Attention Disorders (4 webinars), featuring Dr. Temple Grandin, Dr. Marty Burns, Dr. Barry Prizant, Amy Laurent, and Emily Rubin
  • Behavior Challenges (4 webinars), featuring Dr. Joe Ryan, Dr. Daniel Crimmins, Dr. Michael Gamel-McCormick, Dr. Ed Dunkelblau, and Dr. Ross Greene
  • Legal & Ethics (2 webinars), featuring Julie Weatherly, Esq. and Dr. Frances Stetson

Viewers will also be able to download slide decks, Q&A, and any supplemental handouts associated with each webinar. On your mark, get set, GO!

USDOE, PresenceLearning

From the Blog

Every Student Succeeds – Or Will They?

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was designed narrow the achievement gap between students, especially those most in need of support: students of color, students with disabilities, and students from low-income families. However, factors such as access to health care and housing affect children’s abilities to achieve. Pedro Noguera, professor of education at UCLA, explained to NPR how schools and communities need to take a holistic approach.

North Adams, PresenceLearning

Success Story

Improved Student Outcomes AND Improved Staff Satisfaction

While it’s hard to think about winter driving in July, it is never too early prepare for the disruptions that winter weather can wreak upon school district schedules. North Adams School District at the foot of the Berkshire Mountains faced such a challenge with its occupational therapy program when dangerous driving conditions prevented its students from receiving consistent therapy. When the district augmented its program with online OT, students responded well and became engaged in their sessions, and job satisfaction improved for onsite staff whose workloads were normalized.

This mom created a baseball league for children with special needs to make sure EVERYONE is included.
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Catch a glimpse of Lightyear in the "What's New" section of @techlearning’s June/July issue! #SPEDChat #edtech
» View More

What do schools and clinicians love about PresenceLearning's new online therapy solution? Find out in T.H.E. Journal.
» View More

July Events

Find out where we'll be!

The team at PresenceLearning will be in Minnesota, Kentucky, New York, Texas, and New Hampshire in July. We hope to see you at one of these great events!

8 - 10

ASHA Connect
Minneapolis, MN

11 - 13

KYCASE 2016 Summer Institute
Lexington, KY

18 - 20

NYCASE 2016 Summer Institute
Saratoga Springs, NY

19 - 21

TCASE Interactive 2016
Austin, TX

24 - 27

NHSEA Summer Academy
Meredith, NH

© 2016 All Rights Reserved.

July 12, 2016 - Reminder - Strengthening Your Board-CEO Partnership

Hi James Leonard,

We wanted to make sure you’ve heard about the webinar and virtual walk-in clinic that BoardOnTrack is holding called “Strengthening Your Board-CEO Partnership.”

The Board-CEO partnership is an integral part of charter school success. With 2.5 million students enrolled in charter schools across the country, a strong Board-CEO partnership helps give great educational opportunities to the children who deserve them. Let BoardOnTrack help you to develop your partnership so that your organization runs smoothly and successfully.

[Webinar] THURS, July 14 | 2 pm EDT, 11 am PDT

This educational session will cover the roles and responsibilities of a Board-CEO partnership, common mistakes and how to overcome them, and handy tips to strengthen your partnership.

[Virtual Walk-In Clinic] THURS, July 21 | 2 pm EDT, 11 am PDT

Join the BoardOnTrack coaching team along with an exciting panel of charter board leaders who will be available to answer your questions, give tips, and tell their own stories from the trenches.

If you want to learn how to strengthen your Board-CEO partnership, these sessions are not to be missed. Please submit any questions ahead of time to Jessica@BoardOnTrack.com.

Can’t make it? Don’t worry. Register today and we will email the session recordings to you.


Team BoardOnTrack
Email: info@boardontrack.com
Phone: 844-BOT-TEAM
Web: www.boardontrack.com

9 Damonmill Square, Suite 5A-1 Concord, MA 01742 BoardOnTrack.com

July 12, 2016 - Literacy Webinar: The FIVES Strategy for Reading Comprehension

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Join us in welcoming Mary Shea and Nancy Roberts, authors of The FIVES Strategy for Reading Comprehension, for an informative webinar about a topic that impacts every subject area: literacy.

Shea and Roberts will unpack the FIVES Path to Full Comprehension and discuss an instructional approach that increases any learner’s capacity to listen, view, and visually represent complex concepts about authentic texts and real-world issues. Each part of the FIVES strategy connects to specific standards and can be universally applied across disciplines, so this presentation will be incredibly valuable to any teacher or instructional coach.

We’re really looking forward to presenting this and hope you can attend!


Thursday, July 14, 2016


3 p.m. EDT


Mary Shea and Nancy Roberts, Authors
The FIVES Strategy for Reading Comprehension 

Register Now

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©2016 Learning Sciences International
All Rights Reserved

July 8, 2016 - Proposed revised ELA and math standards available this afternoon for comment

Ohio Banner

An online survey will be available here by mid-afternoon today for educators and members of the public to comment on proposed revisions to Ohio’s Learning Standards in English language arts and mathematics. Survey takers will be able to see how the proposed revisions would change the standards for each subject by grade or topic. The survey closes at 5 p.m. on Aug. 1.  

To begin proposing the draft revisions, advisory committees of education leaders began by reviewing more than 1,000 comments received through an initial survey conducted earlier this year. The advisory committees determined which standards to consider for revision. Members of educator working groups in English language arts and mathematics proposed the revisions under an advisory committee’s oversight.  

Based on the original survey feedback, the committees and working groups primarily clarified text in certain places and made it more suitable for the grade level intended. The department also will address some comments in Ohio’s Model Curricula, which describe the standards in more detail and help local educators make choices about how to teach them. The model curricula will be revised following the adoption of the revised standards.  

In early August, the math and English language arts advisory committees will review results from the July 8-Aug. 1 survey and refer any additional revisions to the educator working groups. The department will send the final proposed standards revisions to the State Board of Education and Ohio Senate and House Education Committees this fall. The approval process is expected to be completed by year’s end.  




 Ohio Department of Education


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July 2016

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