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Akron wins stimulus money for Buchtel overhaul

By John Published: June 30, 2011

Akron Public Schools has won school improvement grants, part of the federal stimulus funds for education reform, to help fund  its plans for Buchtel High School ($1.2 million), the Akron Opportunity Center ($1.1 million)  and Bridges Learning Center ($882,000). Here's what I wrote previously about the reform plans for these schools:

The teaching approach focuses on projects that capture students' interest and require them to draw on knowledge and skills from different subjects.

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Education reform: a lot of talk, not much science

By John Published: June 30, 2011

I've added Sarah D. Sparks' blog Inside School Research at Education Week to my Google reader.  She has this post today about a meeting of the National Board of Education Sciences, the advisory board for the Education Department's research agency.

This quote speaks volumes about the quality of education research.

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Education highlights of budget bill

By admin Published: June 30, 2011

What is expected to be the final version of the state’s $56 billion budget, approved by the Senate on Tuesday, contains several provisions for education:

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Area districts win federal school reform grants

By admin Published: June 30, 2011

The state announced 45 winners of Innovation Grants, a competitive program worth $16.2 million. The money  is part of Ohio's $400 million Race to the Top award last year.  The Akron Digital Academy,  a charter school staffed and sponsored by Akron Public Schools, won $61,000 over three years to purchase a college-readiness system called AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination). Buckeye Local Schools in Medina County won $250,000 for the third year of developing Science Technology Engineering and Mathmatics  (STEM) instruction. Jackson Local Schools in Stark County won $600,000 to  work with the ASIA Society's International Studies School Network.

State's press release follows:

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Education highlights in state budget

By John Published: June 29, 2011

What is expected to be the final version of the state's $56 billion budget, approved by the Senate on Tuesday, contains several provisions for education, according to the Legislative Service Commission (Dept. of Education budget  begins on page 212 of the comparison document linked here):

1. All districts will be required to have a teacher evaluation system by the 2013-14 school year based at least 50 percent on student performance. In districts that have accepted federal school reform money (Race to the Top), such as Akron, teachers will be paid based on performance instead of level of education and experience.

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Canton teachers agree to contract that forgoes raises

By admin Published: June 29, 2011

CANTON: Teachers will get no routine raises for two years under a contract approved by the school board and the Canton Professional Educators Association.

The contract formalized Monday has no raises in base pay or step increases. Individuals who acquire additional educational credentials would still receive additional compensation.

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Flossie stays at Firestone

By John Published: June 24, 2011

MONDAY UPDATE: The board voted unanimously tonight to overturn superintendent David James' recommendation and keep Flossie for another season as varsity football coach at Firestone. The district could not substantiate allegations that Flossie hit a student last season, but Flossie admitted that he had used profanity.

My colleague, George Thomas, has the story on Firestone's controversial football coach, Tim Flossie, who will not be asked to return for another season.  

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MIT creates free way for teachers to share knowledge online

By John Published: June 23, 2011

MIT has created a Web-based  tool to help teachers communicate with each other. The Educational Collaboration Space  was born in the university's math department. But it was developed further with a National Science Foundation Grant and now it can be downloaded for free and customized for any group of educators who want to share questions, tips and ideas about teaching. 

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KSU, Kent collaborate on walkway extension

By John Published: June 22, 2011

By Carol Biliczky
Beacon Journal staff writer

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Seniors to take a run at diploma

By John Published: June 21, 2011

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

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Northwest out of fiscal caution

By John Published: June 20, 2011

?  The Ohio Department of Education removed Northwest Local Schools from the list of districts in ''fiscal caution'' on Monday, which ends the state's monthly monitoring of the district's finances.
    The district's budget cuts combined with the passage of a 1-percent earned income tax last year should eliminate the potential for deficits through the next two fiscal years, according to Interim State Superintendent Stan W. Heffner.
    "This improved financial position is evident in both your district's five-year forecast and the Department of Education's two-year financial analysis," according to Heffner's letter to the district.
    Northwest slipped into fiscal caution -- the first step toward state takeover -- in 2008 when it finished the fiscal year with a $1.1 million deficit.
    Voters rejected new operating money for the district -- which includes Canal Fulton, Clinton and a portion of New Franklin -- 10 times in five years before approving the tax increase in May of 2010.

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No fib, fab labs are flourishing

By John Published: June 20, 2011

The Plain Dealer's science writer, John Mangels, catches readers up on personal fabrication labs in Northeast Ohio, which are to industrial manufacturing what the personal computer is to the coroporate mainframe.

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Bucyrus chief is named Falls superintendent

By John Published: June 18, 2011

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

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Bucyrus school chief to lead Cuyahoga Falls district

By John Published: June 17, 2011

The Cuyahoga Falls school board will vote Monday at 6:30 p.m. on a tentative three-year contract to hire Todd Nichols, the superintendent of Bucyrus City School District in Crawford County.

Nichols was one of two finalists for the Falls job. He'll be moving from a district of about 1,700 students to one of about 5,000.  He's been at Bucyrus since December of 2007 and also has experience as a principal and a math teacher.

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KSU study finds getting answers right on practice tests improves memory

By John Published: June 16, 2011

Kent State University graduate student Kalif Vaughn conducted an interesting experiment to determine if getting answers right on practice tests would improve recall not only of the thing you're trying to remember, but things that trigger that memory and things associated with what you're trying to remember.

Vaughn and KSU Associate Professor Katherine Rawson tested students on how well they remembered the English equivalent of a Lithuanian word. After successful practice tests (correct answers), they not only recalled the English equivalents better (target memory), they also did a better job recalling the Lithuanian words (cue memory) and the word pair (associative memory), according to the Association for Psychological Science, which  will publish their work in an upcoming issue of the association's journal, Psychological Science

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Charters draw mixed reviews

By John Published: June 13, 2011

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

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Training project targets principals

By John Published: June 10, 2011

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

Akron Public Schools announced a two-year training program for principals at eight schools whose low test scores haven't budged despite the usual remedies.

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Ritzman parents rejoice/new plan for flat-lining schools

By John Published: June 9, 2011

Akron Public Schools this morning  announced a leadership shakeup at 11 schools whose test scores have flat-lined in recent years. Some of those schools will get new principals, which means others will lose principals they love.

I got some excitable calls from Ritzman elementary parents this week who thought they would lose their beloved principal, Larry Bender, in the shakeup. The district had tagged him to lead Seiberling elementary, which is one of the 11 "turnaround schools." Parents were ready to storm next Monday's school board meeting.

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Springfield school district says it's back on track

By John Published: June 7, 2011

By Kathy Antoniotti
Beacon Journal staff writer

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Charters go off course

By John Published: June 6, 2011

By David Knox
Beacon Journal staff writer

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Aspiring businessman builds strong resume

By John Published: June 5, 2011

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

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Misconceptions persist following mom's conviction

By John Published: June 1, 2011

Note: This story was published March 5 in the Akron Beacon Journal. Not sure why the system is putting it on my blog now, but as far as I can tell, it's never been on the blog before, so I'll just go with it -- JH

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

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