Education

Ohio is one of six states chosen for a program to increase the upward mobility of adult learners. The goal of the "Educate for Opportunity" project is to train workers for technical and other jobs that are in high demand. 

At least four Southwest Ohio schools are participating in a program which uses a smart thermometer and an app to track and stop the spread of disease.

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District is no longer failing, according to the Ohio schools report card released Thursday. The district’s overall grade rose to a D this year, but news was mixed for three schools under state oversight. Lorain City Schools, like Cleveland, received a D overall. East Cleveland and Youngstown school districts both failed.

photo of the Ohio Board of Education
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

School districts all around Ohio are taking a close look at their new report cards. The state-issued analysis includes an overall letter grade for each district.

Seven of the state's eight big urban districts improved from an "F" to a "D." That includes Dayton, which was in danger of a potential state takeover.

David James
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

The state of Ohio has released 2019 school district report cards, and Akron Public Schools Superintendent David James says the district is outpacing "most all other urban school systems."

Overall the district earned an achievement grade of D. 

But James points out, "Fifty-one percent of our 46 schools received report card grades of either A, B or C, and we continue to improve at a healthy rate."

Akron results include one A for Akron Early College High School. The rest of the school performances:

photo of Hiram College entrance
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Hiram College’s plan to reduce tuition by thirty-five percent for all undergrads could have an impact well beyond the school.

Hiram College President Lori Varlotta says the goal is to reduce the sticker shock of going to Hiram and ease concern when applying. Varlotta says in the past her students rarely paid the full price, which was $37,710.

Ohio lawmakers will soon consider a school funding formula overhaul, which has undergone some changes since it was first introduced in March. But the state’s leading school funding expert says he’s giving the plan mixed grades, and that it needs more work.

photo of Juul
ANNA HUNTSMAN / WKSU

A local school district is trying a new way to fight the vaping epidemic. The Revere School District has installed 16 “FlySense” chemical and noise detectors in the middle school, high school and field house.

photo of University of Akron
UNIVERSITY OF AKRON

Ohio's public universities are teaming up to create one simplified process for students and staff to commercialize their research and inventions. Leaders believe this will bring Ohio national attraction for entrepreneurship.

The partnership among the state's public universities will create a set of guiding principles so researchers can take their work and inventions to the marketplace.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said there are many universities around the country that do this well.

a photo of a classroom
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Kids are back in class all over Ohio, and this year’s incoming freshman class has a new set of standards they’ll have to meet to graduate in four years. What are the new requirements and how will they test the kids who will need to achieve them?

Amy Obhof greets a classroom full of new freshmen at Licking Heights High School, in central Ohio, before jumping straight into her World History lesson.

a photo of Lorain Academic Distress Commission
LORAIN SCHOOLS TV20 / YOUTUBE

On its most recent report card from the state education department, Lorain City Schools earned five Fs and one D. Its poor performance led the state to take control of the district under controversial legislation known as House Bill 70.  

Lorain is one of three Ohio districts under state control.

The Ohio State University plans to increase its minimum wage for non-union and Wexner Medical Center employees to $15 an hour starting next year.

The Ohio Medical Board had credible evidence of sexual misconduct by longtime Ohio State doctor Richard Strauss in 1996 but didn't inform law enforcement, a review by a state working group found.

A photo of Joe Miller speaking
THE OHIO HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

A state representative is joining the call for the state-appointed CEO of Lorain City Schools to be more transparent.

In a letter to David Hardy, Amherst Democrat Joe Miller requested financial documents, contracts and administrator evaluations.

Hardy was appointed to the post under the provisions of House Bill 70. Passed in 2015 it allowed for the state to take control of three failing school districts; Lorain, East Cleveland and Youngstown.

Miller says the bill doesn’t give districts the help they need.

photo of Lorain City Schools logo
LORAIN CITY SCHOOLS

The president of the Lorain school board said there’s no risk that employees will not be paid. Mark Ballard responded to comments from the district's CEO David Hardy. Hardy wrote staff saying a restraining order from the school board would prevent him from hiring a new treasurer to handle payroll. Ballard called Hardy an "unqualified dictator."

“First of all, we know state law is never going to allow teachers who are doing their job to not get paid, or public employees not to get paid. So that was a false narrative that he put out.”

Wilberforce University near Dayton needs to raise $2 million to keep its accreditation. But the “Wilberforce Unite” effort has brought in roughly $478,000, according to its campaign website.

That’s less than a quarter of its goal.

Wilberforce officials refused a request for comment. 

A comeback will be difficult given the school’s troubles, says MaryBeth Gasman, director of the Center for Minority Serving Institutions at Rutgers University and an expert on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Gov. Mike DeWine says more needs to be done to make sure Ohio’s schools are safe. And he's signed an executive order to immediately put more resources in place.

Libraries are pushing back against new e-book and e-audiobook policies by some of the biggest publishers. Companies like Macmillan and Simon & Schuster are adjusting how they sell to or allow libraries to use their content, and libraries say the new rules are bad news for patrons.

a photo of Gary L Miller
JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

The University of Akron named its 18th president today. The Board of Trustees voted unanimously this morning to appoint Gary L. Miller   to the position.

Miller comes to Akron from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay where he served as chancellor. 

a photo of archaeological excavation behind Indian Valley High School in Gnadenhutten
IRA WENTWORTH / INDIAN VALLEY LOCAL SCHOOLS

The construction of new athletic facilities for Indian Valley High School in Tuscarawas County has unearthed a rare find that speaks to the area’s Native American legacy.

The discovery has had the community talking.

a photo of a horse drawn plough at Akron North High School
JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

It's a sight you wouldn’t expect to see in Akron.

Students and teachers at North High School watched as two sturdy white horses pulled an old fashioned plough, preparing the ground for an urban farm that will enable students to learn about growing, preparing and marketing food.

Akron Public Schools will work with nonprofit Shanti Farms to teach students in all grades aspects of farming, from sampling soil to preparing food. 

photo of Sara Abou Rashed
DAVID WILLIAMS / WKSU

Educators and Administrators from around Northeast Ohio are attending a summit at Kent State this week, intended to better prepare them to teach the next generation of students about the history and legacy of May 4.

One of the speakers they heard from is Syrian immigrant, poet and activist Sara Abou Rashed. She believes it's important to accommodate students of all backgrounds. She spoke about the hurdles she faced transitioning to a new education system in a different language. She says the words of one teacher really stuck with her.

a new medical lab at Stark State College Akron
JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

Stark State College Akron has finished construction on the final phase of its building in time to welcome students for the fall semester.

It's getting to be back-to-school time and recent graduates of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District  (CMSD) will begin their freshman year at college with the first round of funding from a new tuition assistance program.

For some, one big  reason they will be able to purse post-secondary education is the "Say Yes to Education" program. This is the first year Say Yes is providing tuition assistance to CMSD graduates.

a photo of a school bus
PEXELS

With just over a month left until school starts, some districts are still trying to find bus drivers.

William Andexler is the coordinator of transportation at Akron Public Schools. He said, in his own district and elsewhere, they’ve recruited drivers from anywhere they could.

“I’ve had people in the [Akron Public Schools] Board office get their Commercial Driver's Licenses to drive students. So all the districts are really creative on how we get the students home,” he said.

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