WYSO

Ohio Department of Education

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State authorities are investigating a string of threats made against schools across Ohio.

 

Threats have caused evacuations or closures of some schools in the past week, although there haven't been police reports of finding explosives. The state Department of Education says it doesn't know how many schools have been threatened, but says Ohio Homeland Security has reported "a number of bomb threats."

 

Ben Postlethwait / Ohio Public Radio

Ohio’s charter schools recently received a $71 million dollar grant from the federal government. Some of those schools are known to have issues with student performance. And because of that record, the state’s auditor wants to track how the money is spent.

State Superintendent Richard Ross takes questions from the Ohio Board of Education during its meetings this week.
Mark Urycki / WCPN

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio has received a $71 million federal grant to expand charter schools even as state authorities review possible data scrubbing by a former school choice director and lawmakers push fixing charter oversight.

 

The U.S. Department of Education grant announced Monday represents the largest single portion of a new $157 million to expand charter school opportunities. Evaluators found "no weaknesses" in Ohio's grant application.

 

Arise Academy in Dayton is now closed, and former leaders of the school have been convicted of federal crimes.
User: Paradox 56 / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Ohio Democratic Party is calling for an independent investigation into the state's Department of Education after a top charter school official admitted to scrubbing data for online and dropout recovery charters.

ODP Chair David Pepper compares this controversy to the one that involved bad state investments years ago.

“If people were upset about 'Coingate,' they should be about ten times as upset about ‘Chartergate,’ which is all about money but the victims are our school kids and their families,” Pepper said.

colored penciles, education, art
Alan Cleaver / Flickr Creative Commons

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's public school superintendent has named a three-member panel to advise the department on evaluating charter school sponsors.

Superintendent Richard Ross says the state is committed to creating a system that evaluates charter school sponsors fairly while adhering to complex legal requirements. He says the independent panel will help do that.

Ohio Department of Education

Ohio Gov. John Kasich recently said the state’s school board is too focused on politics. That comment was in response to a request from seven school board members for an outside investigation into Ohio’s charter schools. The board also wants an impartial investigation into whether State Superintendent Richard Ross was involved in the scrubbing of failing grades at some charters. School Choice Director David Hansen has already resigned over the issue.

Superintendent Richard Ross during the July meeting of the Ohio Board of Education.
Mark Urycki / State Impact Ohio

Seven members of the Ohio Board of Education have sent a letter to the state’s superintendent asking for an outside investigator to find out if he was involved in hiding poor charter school assessments.

Library books
Dan Goldblatt, WFIU Public Radio / Flickr/Creative Commons

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The number of school librarians in Ohio has dropped by nearly half in the past 10 years despite studies showing students do better when those jobs are filled.

Ohio Department of Education data shows 923 school librarians in the 2013-2014 school year, down 43 percent from 1,628 in the 2004-05 school year.

Former Fairborn Primary School teacher, Scott Ervin, used his disciplinary skilles to work with the school's toughest kids.
Jerry Kenney

Scott Ervin has served as an educator for 15 years. But his love for teaching has been overshadowed by recent changes and mandates from the Ohio Department of Education. So much so that he recently resigned his teaching position at Fairborn Primary School. Ervin penned his frustrations in a recent editorial for the Washington Post.

The Dayton Public Schools Board of Education is drawing attention to the differences between the state’s traditional public and charter schools. The board wants charters on a more level playing field.

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