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Derby gets FirstEnergy donation

By System Administrator Published: March 28, 2012

The All-American Soap Box Derby is getting a financial shot in the arm from FirstEnergy, but isn’t saying for how much.

The power company and youth racing organization announced Wednesday that the Akron-based company would be the title sponsor for the next three years.

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Akron doubles incentive to boost retirements

By John Published: March 26, 2012

Akron is using federal Race to the Top money to double the retirement incentive for teachers from $500 to $1,000.  So far, the district knows of 90 teachers who say they're retiring, about 20 to 25 more than usual, said human resources executive director Kathy McVey, who updated the Akron school board tonight on labor matters. It's too soon to say whether that will offset the 140 teaching jobs that must be eliminated for the next school year to avoid a $22 million deficit.

"We have to match up the people who are retiring with the openings that we'll have," McVey said. "We expect it will offset some of the layoffs that we have to do, but probably not all of them."

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Celebrations March 25

By admin Published: March 24, 2012

All aboard for learning

By admin Published: March 23, 2012

Seven school buses pulled into the Botzum railroad station in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park on Thursday morning.

Then 229 first-, second- and third-graders from Romig Road Community School climbed aboard the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad train to learn about animals that live in the park.

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Report: number of high schools with low graduation rates up in Ohio

By admin Published: March 19, 2012

WASHINGTON: A new report says the number of Ohio high schools considered ''dropout factories'' jumped from 75 to 135 over the eight years ending 2010, an increase that far outpaced other states.

The data is part of research being presented Monday at the Grad Nation summit in Washington. The summit has been organized by the children's advocacy group America's Promise Alliance, founded by former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

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Education and the poor: what the research says

By John Published: March 19, 2012

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham outlines the research on poverty and education in the Spring issue of American Educator: "Why does Family Wealth Affect Learning?"  When scientists speak of poverty they use the term Socioeconomic Status (SES) to capture not only income, but education level and occupation.

Willingham focuses on two main categories: family investment models and stress models. Family investment theories explore all the ways that higher SES parents tend to invest in their children's social, academic and career-path development. They have more money, for sure, and can afford to live in healthier conditions with better nutrition and higher quality daycare and preschool. But they also spend more time with their children, on average, and engage them in stimulating conversations about the world around them. The stress theories are more directly biological: the high chronic stress common in low SES households floods young developing brains in hormones such as cortisol that  directly impacts brain development, particularly in memory formation and regulation of emotions. Willingham points out that these theories of parental investment and stress are not mutually exclusive.

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By admin Published: March 18, 2012


Joshua Woolls,an international business major at the University of Akron, won the $2,000 top prize at the 2011-12 World Collegiate Sales Open at Northern Illinois University. The competition is designed to mimic real-world activities that a sales representative would need to master, which may not be part of the college curriculum. Woolls expects to graduate this year from UA.

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KSU may launch Cuban studies program

By admin Published: March 16, 2012

Anne Morrison took up salsa dancing.

Then she went to Cuba with a colleague.

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KSU student robbed on campus

By admin Published: March 14, 2012

Beacon Journal staff report

Kent State Police are investigating the robbery of a student at 12:20 a.m. Tuesday in Risman Plaza.

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Flunk third graders until they can read

By John Published: March 13, 2012

The Columbus Dispatch has a story mostly focused on Gov. John Kasich's support for Cleveland' s proposed school reforms. The story includes this little nugget:

''It follows a seven– or eight-year cycle,'' says retention researcher Lorrie Shepard, a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder. ''Right now, politicians are seeing retention as the remedy. Once they feel the negative side effects, they'll back off.''

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Hoban finishes second in state mock trial competition

By John Published: March 12, 2012

Indian Hill High School in suburban Cincinnatti won the championship round in the state mock trial competition on Saturday, which you can see here. Press release from Ohio Supreme Court says this:

Since September, these students put in hundreds of hours of work alongside volunteer attorneys and judges. Their mock trial case was titled, ''State of Ohio vs. Storm Jackson.'' The defendant argued that using global positioning system data collected from his cell phone was in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure. 

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By admin Published: March 11, 2012


Kim Peer, an athletic training education program coordinator and associate professor of health sciences at Kent State University, was named to the Ohio Athletic Trainers' Association Hall of Fame. ?Marisa Lolli, a senior at Lake Center Christian School, won second place in prose/poetry at the State Speech and Debate Tournament. She competed against students from 85 Ohio districts on March 3-4 at Jackson High School. She is the daughter of Robert and Janice Lolli.

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Ohio schools could see drop in their state ratings

By admin Published: March 9, 2012

Associated Press

COLUMBUS: Ohio schools will see their state-issued ratings drop under a new system of evaluating their progress.

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Teach For America program coming to Ohio this fall

By admin Published: March 8, 2012

COLUMBUS: Teach For America, the service-oriented program that places recent college graduates in low-income public schools, will expand into Ohio this fall, organization and state officials said Wednesday.

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Woodridge school levy fails; Triway passes income tax

By admin Published: March 8, 2012

Woodridge was the only district in Summit County asking for new money, and it narrowly failed.

The 6.83-mill levy had been expected to bring in about $3 million a year. It would have cost the owner of a $100,000 home, who now pays about $1,100 a year for school taxes, an additional $193 a 17 percent increase.

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State approves a new White Hat school in Akron

By John Published: March 7, 2012

The Ohio Department of Education has agreed to sponsor two new start-up charter schools operated by White Hat Management: a dropout prevention high school in Warrensville Heights and a new K-8 school in Akron called Signal Tree Academy East.

ODE spokesman Patrick Gallaway said the state approved White Hat's applications on Feb. 21 after White Hat agreed to make changes assuring that the schools would have independent school boards. However, ODE rejected applications for four other state-sponsored schools.

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Buckeye fails for 11th straight time

By John Published: March 7, 2012

I'm looking at 100 percent Medina results this morning showing that Buckeye's 1 percent earned income tax failed. Renewals for Brunswick and Norwayne passed.

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Triway income tax, Chippewa renewal levy pass; Woodridge fails

By admin Published: March 7, 2012

The Triway school district in Wayne County easily passed its 0.75 percent earned income tax Tuesday.

Triway was one of a dozen area districts with issues on the ballot and one of three trying to renew or pass an earned income tax.

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Midnight in Ohio

By John Published: March 7, 2012

It looks like Buckeye's 1 percent earned income tax is going down, but we'll have to follow up tomorrow on that one. Also not sure about Canton Local's bond issue also appeared to be failing. It looks like all the renewals passed, but we've got incomplete results from Stark and Medina counties.

Triway won, Woodridge lost a squeaker (Akron can tell you all about how that feels), and Field and Waterloo once again failed. They're the only districts I'm aware of that faced organized opposition (Portage County Tea Party).

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Field and Waterloo both fail, both opposed by Portage County Tea Party

By John Published: March 6, 2012

Results are in now for Portage County and both Field and Waterloo have failed again to pass new taxes.

This just in from Waterloo superintendent Andrew Hill:

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Woodridge fails by 249 votes

By John Published: March 6, 2012

The Woodridge levy failed by 249 votes. Cuyahoga Falls renews its levy. Manchester passing its renewal comfortably with one precinct left to count. In Wayne, Triway wins and Norwayne and Chippewa get renewals passed. Still waiting on results from Portage, Stark and Medina.

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Triway passes earned income tax

By John Published: March 6, 2012

We're still waiting for boards of election to post results, but we have our first winner of the night, Triway in Wayne County. Voters soundly approved a .75 earned income tax with

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A dozen area districts watching election results tonight

By John Published: March 6, 2012

I'll be updating election results tonight for school issues.

We'll be watching Woodridge closely, also Buckeye, which must pass an earned income tax or prepare for state takeover. Field and Waterloo in Portage County are trying to overcome Tea Party opposition. Triway in Wayne is looking for an earned income tax and Canton Local in Stark County has a bond issue on the ballot to build a new high school and middle school without help from the state school construction fund.

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Akron board approves closure of three elementary schools

By admin Published: March 5, 2012

The Akron school board voted unanimously to close three elementary schools Monday night and got a preview of more cuts to come.

Barrett, Essex and Rankin elementary schools will close their doors at the end of the school year.

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APS board votes to close Barrett, Essex and Rankin

By John Published: March 5, 2012

The Akron school board tonight voted to close Barrett, Essex and Rankin elementary schools. Superintendent David James also gave them a preview of pain to come, which could include the elimination of 140 teaching jobs for starters. The district must whack $22 million off of expenses by May, then pass a levy in November or face the prospect of cutting another $23 million this time next year.

It's going to be a rough spring.

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Threat investigated in Springfield schools

By admin Published: March 3, 2012

SPRINGFIELD TWP.: Springfield High School was evacuated and students were sent home Friday morning after a bomb threat was received.

Summit County sheriff's deputies and bomb-sniffing dogs were searching the campus about 9 a.m., spokesman Bill Holland said.

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School districts face tough choices if ballot issues fail

By admin Published: March 2, 2012

The Woodridge school district covers nearly 43 square miles of hilly terrain from North Akron and Cuyahoga Falls deep into the Cuyahoga Valley National Park beyond Peninsula into a sliver of Brecksville on the north side.

So the district spends $1.6 million a year to provide bus service to every student from kindergarten to high school

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