Education

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.

a photo of a school hallway
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

As the state considers changing the school takeover model for struggling districts, a group is calling on lawmakers to make sure students and school leaders of color are represented. The group says local experts need to be part of the conversation.

Academic Distress Commissions are designed to take over failing school districts from the local school boards by handing control to an appointed CEO.

A photo of Torsten Hegmann at a podium
ELLA ABBOTT / WKSU

Following a national search, Kent State’s Liquid Crystal Institute found its new director right on campus.

The university introduced Torsten Hegmann today at an event that included several department heads. Hegmann has been at Kent since 2011 and an assistant director of the institute for the past year.

Kent State President, Todd Diacon, said he expects Hegmann to be a collaborative leader.

A photo of George Wood and Ted Strickland
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A school district in southeast Ohio flipped the switch on its new solar energy installation, officially bringing in 70% of its energy from the renewable source. School officials hope more local districts follow their lead.

  

Federal Hocking Local Schools turned on its solar power array, generating about 700 kilowatts through nearly 2,000 solar panels on the roof of the connected middle and high school buildings. The district said the move can be a good educational opportunity for students.

The Ohio State University plans to increase tuition for incoming freshmen students, according to a plan going before university trustees on Wednesday.

A photo of Representative Bob Cupp
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

School administrators are looking through the latest estimates from a new school-funding formula proposal. While many lawmakers and some larger education groups have come out to support the plan, there are individual school districts that are still not on board. 

photo of Diacon in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design
/ KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

When Kent State University president Beverly Warren announced she’d be stepping down this year after five years in office, the school conducted a national search. But it turned out, they didn't go far. The University’s Board of Trustees ultimately chose Provost and Executive Vice President Todd Diacon to succeed Warren. July 1 is his first day on the job. We sat down with Diacon to talk about his priorities and how they align with those of the outgoing president.

Picture of Kent State President Beverly J. Warren.
KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

Kent State University president Beverly Warren’s last day on the job is this Sunday. Warren is stepping down after five years leading the university.  We sat down with her to talk about her tenure as the university’s 12th president. 

A photo of the Kent State brain sculpture
MICHAEL DERR / FLICKR, CREATIVE COMMONS

According to recent studies, depression continues to increase year-to-year in the college population. Kent State is working to expand counseling services for students.

The university wants to add a $20 fee next year to support increasing the number of mental health counselors on campus.

Senior Vice President Mark Palatajko said the goal is to create a ratio of about 1,300 students to each counselor. Currently, the university has one counselor for every 3,300 students.

The Ohio State Board of Education is expanding its social-emotional learning standards to include all students.

Department of Education implemented standards for children in kindergarten through third grade starting in 2012, to build skills in five areas, including self-awareness and decision making. The new standards now include all students, through 12th grade.

a photo of the Kent campus
KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

After more than a year of negotiations, a new contract is now in place for members of the Kent State faculty union.

The University Board of Trustees unanimously approved the contract at a meeting Wednesday. The faculty union had ratified it earlier in June.

University President-elect Todd Diacon, who takes over Monday, welcomed the decision.

“And we know that the source of our strength as an institution is the quality of our faculty. And for that reason, we’re especially thankful that we have our new contract.”

a photo of Eric Resnick
THE OHIO CHANNEL

A group of Canton city school leaders joined others from around the state in Columbus Wednesday to speak out against school district takeovers by academic distress commissions.

In its version of the state budget, the Senate restored the commissions despite the House decision to eliminate them.

Canton school board member Eric Resnick urged the governor to reject the takeovers which he says have failed to improve results for students and taken control from locally elected leaders.   

photo of students at school
ASHTON MARRA / WCPN

The Senate's budget includes a set of high school graduation requirements that could settle that issue, which the state has been struggling with for years. The proposal in the budget comes from a coalition of business groups, school districts and a charter schools organization.

Historic Oberlin College Building
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

The attorney who represented an Oberlin merchant in a successful lawsuit against Oberlin College expects the school to fight a $44 million dollar jury award. 

Lee Plakas sued the college on behalf of the Gibson family, which owns Gibson’s Bakery

Ohio's two historically black colleges are neighbors, both about an hour southwest of Columbus. But they are considering getting even closer by merging some operations.

Wilberforce University President Elfred Anthony Pinkard is calling this a "Collaborative Learning Arrangement" and "shared services relationship" with Central State University.

photo of East CLC
EAST CLC

The GAR Foundation is helping teachers in Akron expose students to career opportunities through the new college and career academies.

GAR is providing a half-million dollar grant to support teacher development, student leadership and communications.

stock photo of graduates
SYDA / SHUTTERSTOCK

Some high schools throughout Ohio have decided not to name valedictorians at graduation. But one state lawmaker is proposing a bill that would require schools to name at least one valedictorian or salutatorian. 

State Rep. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) is proposing a bill that would allow districts to determine the criteria, but require at least one valedictorian. He said it would create competition.

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