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Levy committee meets Monday at Nordonia High

By John Published: February 25, 2011

        The Friends of Nordonia political action committee will hold an organizational meeting on Monday at 6:30 p.m. at Nordonia High School, 8006 South Bedford Road.
        The Nordonia Hills  school district has put a 6.5 mill operating levy on the May 3 ballot.

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Neuroscientists want to make a difference in education

By John Published: February 24, 2011

Britain's Royal Society academy of science has issued a report endorsing the emerging field of educational neuroscience, according to Reuters.

"Every day we are discovering more and more about how the brain works and if this information can help us to learn more effectively or hone the skills of the workforce, then we should be using it," said Uta Frith, head of a working group at Britain's Royal Society academy of science, which published a report on neuroscience and education.

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"Pray for Ryan" Trewin returns to school

By John Published: February 24, 2011

The Massillon Independent reports that 3rd grader Ryan Trewin is back in school at Stinson Elementary.

The Stinson Elementary School third-grader returned to the classroom for the first time since being diagnosed with inoperable brain and spinal cancer last fall. At the time, doctors gave the Canal Fulton boy only several weeks to live. However, Ryan's condition has stabilized in recent weeks, according to Stinson Principal Lori Mariani.

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Ohio Senate panel OKs increase to 5 snow days for schools

By admin Published: February 23, 2011

Associated Press

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Akron Community Foundation funds early ed

By John Published: February 22, 2011

The Akron Community Foundation is continuing its focus on early childhood education, funding a variety of area programs aimed at kindergarten readiness.

Here's the press release on this year's grants:

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Ohio higher education chancellor stepping down

By John Published: February 22, 2011

Julie Carr Smyth
Associated Press

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Teen sex on TV

By John Published: February 21, 2011

The Dayton Daily News explores the depictions of teens sex on television shows such as MTV's Skins and asks whether they reflect reality or shape it.  Sounds like they they may do both.

And therein lies the problem, according to many experts as well as parents and teens. To what extent do shows like ''Skins'' merely reflect teen behavior, and to what degree do they influence it?

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Augmented realities in learning

By John Published: February 19, 2011

Some non-Williams-Bolar news from Copley-Fairlawn

By John Published: February 18, 2011

This one fell between the cracks in the newsroom, but on Feb. 7, Copley-Fairlawn got a new board member:

    The Copley-Fairlawn school board has appointed Fairlawn attorney Richard V. Levin to replace Charles Dressler, who resigned in January for personal reasons.
    Dressler's 4-year term would have expired in 2013, but Levin will have to be elected in November to keep his seat.
    Levin previously served on the board from January 1986 through the end of 1997 and again from January 2000 through the end of December 2003.

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Fight brewing over federal education budget

By John Published: February 18, 2011

Education Week has the rundown on the brewing budget fight over federal education spending.

Approval would set up a fiscal face-off in the Democratic-controlled Senate. And, should a bill with severe cuts make it through that chamber, President Obama has pledged to veto it. The current temporary measure expires March 4, and failure to reach agreement on a new one could mean the first federal government shutdown in more than a decade.

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Voucher expansion in the works?

By John Published: February 18, 2011

School Choice Ohio reports that the legislature will consider expansion of Ohio's limited voucher program:

 Rep. Huffman's proposal would combine the Cleveland and EdChoice Scholarship into a new statewide scholarship. Under Huffman's plan, current scholarship students would continue to be eligible and current scholarship caps would be eliminated.

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Rise up for Soul Food dinner

By John Published: February 18, 2011

Project RISE is holding its annual Soul Food Dinner on Feb. 28 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church in Akron.

Monday, February 28, 2011

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Stow-Munroe Falls lists possible cuts

By John Published: February 18, 2011

After holding 44 community meetings seeking ideas for trimming the budget, Stow-Munroe Falls has announced this week cuts that the district has made so far and potential cuts down the road.

The district, which does not have a levy on the May ballot,  has eliminated $3.5 million in expenses over the last three years, but still faces a shortfall in 2012, according to its press release.

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Wadsworth's Central Intermediate School is one to watch

By John Published: February 18, 2011

The Ohio Department of Education has named Wadsworth's Central Intermediate School as an Ohio School to Watch for the 2010-2011 school year. Wadsworth Middle School has been previously honored. Erwine Middle School in Coventry also was previously named an Ohio School to Watch.

 Also selected were: 

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How brains learn not so elementary, dear Watson

By John Published: February 17, 2011

By now you've heard about IBM's super reader, Watson, who beat the human Jeopardy! champs.

Simulating artificially how the brain learns will be much more difficult. This article titled How Brains are Built in the January issue of Cerebrum, published by the Dana Foundation, explains why:

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Big Ed meets Big Labor in Denver

By John Published: February 16, 2011

The president's education chief, Arne Duncan,  is meeting with school administrators and teachers' union officials in Denver this week (read Duncan's speech here). Akron superintendent David James and Akron Education Association president Jeff Moats are among the attendees. Coventry's superintendent Russell Chaboudy, board president  Tina Gable and union president Joanne English also  are in Denver. Ohio sent officials from 13 districts from around the state.  The event was by invitation only and districts had to be participating in President Obama's Race to the Top school reform program.

The Washington Post's story is here and mentions the Akron delegation.

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Pennsylvania teacher strikes nerve with blog criticizing today's students

By John Published: February 16, 2011

Patrick Walters
Associated Press

FEASTERVILLE, Pa.: A high school English teacher in suburban Philadelphia who was suspended for a profanity-laced blog in which she called her young charges "disengaged, lazy whiners" is driving a sensation by daring to ask: Why are today's students unmotivated and what's wrong with calling them out?

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Lunch links: education stimulus and international test scores

By John Published: February 15, 2011

The Hechinger Report,  Education Writers Association and 30 newspapers across the country (including the Columbus Dispatch and the Plain Dealer) have dug deep into federal education stimulus spending and have a comprehensive report here. (Full disclosure, I have benefitted from training at EWA and the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media.)

Also, see this post by Kevin Drumm at Mother Jones about the myth that America once led the world in performance on international math and science tests, but has since fallen behind.

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King meeting Feb. 23

By John Published: February 15, 2011

Officials with Akron Public Schools unveiled the first set of renderings and floor plans for a new King elementary school Monday. We published an artist's rendering of what the school would like from Memorial Parkway in today's print edition, but I can't find it online. I'll try to dig it up and post it here.

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New leader will expand education curriculum

By John Published: February 15, 2011

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

Akron's National Inventors Hall of Fame middle school isn't supposed to be an isolated island of excellence.

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Tallmadge district apologizes to parents of students

By John Published: February 10, 2011

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

Parents of Tallmadge seventh-graders who took a confidential survey last month have received apology letters because the district didn't ask for their consent in advance.

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Williams gets new court-appointed attorney

By John Published: February 9, 2011

Ed Meyer
Beacon Journal staff writer

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Museum trip helps students work on art of reading

By John Published: February 9, 2011

John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

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8th Annual Day of Reading is on!

By John Published: February 9, 2011

The Akron Art Museum kicked off the 8th Annual day of Reading this morning with a visit from children at Leggett elementary school.  You can report your reading minutes today online at This City Reads. Here's a video I made from this morning at the museum. Story coming soon.

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Ohio lawmakers explore increasing school snow days

By admin Published: February 9, 2011

Associated Press

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Ohio auditor cites Manchester

By John Published: February 9, 2011

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

The Manchester school district failed to catch payroll clerical mistakes that resulted in some underpayments and overpayments to employees.

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Revere renewal levy passes

By John Published: February 8, 2011

John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

Revere voters overwhelmingly approved the renewal of an emergency levy in the February special election on Tuesday the only issue on the Summit County ballot.

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Teaching evolution

By John Published: February 8, 2011

A couple of days ago I posted on a survey of biology teachers that showed tepid endorsement of evolution in the classroom.

The Hechinger Report has a lot more to say about the challenges of teaching evolution versus, say, the  Periodic Table of the Chemical Elements.

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Kasich hires cabinet-level education advisor

By John Published: February 8, 2011

The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that Ohio Gov. John Kasich has named Robert Sommers to a new cabinet post for eduction.

The Republican governor named Robert Sommers as director of the Governor's Office of 21st Century Education.

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Video highlights of APS State of Schools address

By John Published: February 7, 2011

Here are some video excerpts from Akron Public Schools superintendent David James' State of the Schools address to the Akron Press Club on Feb. 3, 2011. My story on the speech is here.

Here's David James on popularity of Akron Public Schools:

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More on how ODE resolves residency disputes

By John Published: February 7, 2011

My Saturday story on the Williams-Bolar case discussed why her case wasn't resolved at the state level.  Here's some more information about that process than I had room for in the story.

A single sentence in the Ohio Revised Code language on school residency explains that the superintendent of public instruction resolves disagreements. Here's the relevant ORC section. You have to scroll down almost to the bottom to get to Section K.

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Affidavit triggers suspicion

By John Published: February 7, 2011

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

When school officials and parents disagree about where a student lives, either side in the dispute can ask the state to referee.

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Learning changes rats' brains in dramatic, but focused ways

By John Published: February 5, 2011

New research into the education of lab rats shows dramatic structural changes in the  specific network of neurons involved in the learning, according to a study reported in ScienceDaily. The lab rats aren't learning algebra, they're learning how to snag food, but this research shows specifically how their brains change when they learn.

The finding, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Mark H. Tuszynski, MD, PhD, professor of neurosciences and colleagues at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, underscores the brain's remarkable ability to physically change as it learns (not just in rats, but presumably in humans too), but also reveals that the effect is surprisingly restricted to the network of neurons actually involved in the learning.

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School address highlights progress

By John Published: February 4, 2011

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer 

 

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APS defends itself

By John Published: February 3, 2011

Akron superintendent David James will give his 3rd annual State of the Schools address around noon today to the Akron Press Club. The speech in available online here.

James also issued a statement defending the quality of Akron Public Schools in light of the international coverage of the Kelley Williams-Bolar case:

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Gov. Kasich orders review of Copley school residency case

By John Published: February 1, 2011

John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has ordered his legal staff to review the Kelley Williams-Bolar school residency case in detail.

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All-day kindergarten mandate gone

By John Published: February 1, 2011

The Columbus Dispatch reports today that the state is releasing local districts from the requirement to offer free all-day kindergarten. Many districts were getting waivers to postpone implementing this requirement anyway, but now it's official in an email from the state superintendent to local districts.

With the writing on the wall, Delisle told local school districts in an e-mail today that they do not have to comply with any requirement that costs money, and there essentially is just one: offering tuition-free, all-day kindergarten starting next fall.

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