Dispatch editorial: KidsOhio stood above the fray

KidsOhio.org will be ceasing operations on December 31, 2016 after nearly 15 years of providing nonpartisan research, publications and public policy work in education reform. Our sincerest thanks to our board, funders and former staff for making all of this work possible. We look forward to the next chapter of continuing our work in the central Ohio community.

We also thank The Columbus Dispatch for their supportive editorial on Sunday, December 4, 2016:


Editorial: KidsOhio stood above the fray

Sunday December 4, 2016 5:00 AM

For 15 years, the education think tank called KidsOhio.org provided Ohio with credible, authoritative, objective and insightful analysis of educational issues, ranging from third-grade reading, to why parents value charter schools, to voter participation in education-related elections.

In a field filled with conflicting philosophies about education and sometimes bitter political fights over school funding, charter schools and testing, KidsOhio stood above the fray, offering clear and trustworthy data and conclusions. President Mark Real and colleague Mary Hopmann earned wide respect as they worked with all sides in many contentious areas of education.

In all, the agency produced more than 90 reports, and shining through each one is the love and concern that the board and staff feel for Ohio’s children. According to Real, the leaders of KidsOhio have decided that it now is time to use other means to advance education in Ohio.

Many thanks are owed to founder Abigail Wexner and the board of community leaders and the funders who made this work possible. And good luck to Real and Hopmann, who remain an invaluable resource for the advancement of education.


Career-Technical Education Programs in Columbus

KidsOhio’s new report, “Career-Technical Education Programs in Columbus: A View from Employers, Educators, and Students,” is a follow-up report to “Understanding Career Education Options for Columbus Students.” This report profiles the four employers, two educators, and four seniors who participated in a new Fort Hayes Career Center pilot program that provided construction internships during the 2015-2016 school year. Read about the experiences of the first year of the construction pilot program and plans for growth:


Notes from the Field: Linden Park Neighborhood Early Childhood Education Center Opens

A new city-school district partnership opens a new early childhood education center in the Linden neighborhood. Here are Mark Real’s observations from the center’s open house on October 27, 2016:


USDOE Releases Guidelines on Using Evidence to Strengthen Education Investments

Today, the US Department of Education released non-regulatory guidance on using evidence to strengthen education investments to support evidence-based decision making by states, districts, schools, educators, and partners: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2016/09/15/State_releases_report_cards_for_Ohio_schools.html


Today’s Columbus Dispatch Story on Central Ohio Schools’ Grade Cards

The 2015-2016 reports were sent to public school districts and buildings on Thursday. Read more about the Central Ohio schools’ grade cards in today Columbus Dispatch: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2016/09/15/State_releases_report_cards_for_Ohio_schools.html


Join us at next week’s Columbus Metropolitan Club Forum

On Wednesday, September 14 from noon-1:15 pm, CMC will present a forum featuring Ohio Auditor David Yost, who will discuss the recent changes in legislation regarding charter schools from HB 2 and how learning-based funding could be a preferred measurement tool. The panel will also include Chad Aldis, VP for Ohio Policy and Advocacy at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, and State Senator Peggy Lehner, Ohio District 6. Cathy Candisky from The Columbus Dispatch will moderate.

We have partnered with the Columbus Metropolitan Club for a special guest price of $33.00 for this forum. Just click on the special “KidsOhio.org Guest” button on the registration page and use the password “Kids” (case sensitive): http://www.columbusmetroclub.org/event-2315147

Columbus City Schools Propose Issue 57 on the Fall Ballot

Issue 57 is the Columbus City Schools’ proposed ballot issue for 6.92 mills to support the district with additional staffing, make deferred repairs, and set up an ongoing schedule of maintenance, repair and replacement to prevent future backlogs. Details about Issue 57 can be found here in our latest nonpartisan guide: CCS Proposed Ballot Issue 57 Guide – 4-pager – FINAL – 090116

The district’s report card is available on the ODE website, including a downloadable printed version: http://reportcard.education.ohio.gov/Pages/District-Report.aspx?DistrictIRN=043802