Dispatch Education Insider :Abigail Wexner-founded KidsOhio policy group to close after 15 years

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 article in Education Insider on Wednesday November 23, 2016  & Editorial December 4, 2016.

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2016/11/23/education-policy-group-kidsohio-to-close-after-15-years.html and http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/editorials/2016/12/04/1-kids-ohio-stood-above-the-fray.html

Education Insider: Abigail Wexner-founded KidsOhio policy group to close after 15 years

Wednesday November 23, 2016 8:30 AM

After 15 years, KidsOhio.org is going out of business at year’s end. The nonpartisan organization was founded in 2002 by Abigail Wexner to analyze complex education data and work to improve public schools.

President Mark Real let people know in a KidsOhio Closing Letter “My longtime colleague Mary Hopmann and I will settle accounts and close the office. … Our website www.kidsohio.org will remain open for the next two years so readers can access past reports.”

Real explained on Tuesday that there had been a three-year discussion among the group’s financial backers about forming a single education organization. FutureReady Columbus, formed in July 2015, will be getting the funding going forward.

FutureReady’s board consists of Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther; former Mayor Michael B. Coleman; Columbus schools Superintendent Dan Good; Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown; David Harrison, president of Columbus State Community College; and George Barrett, chairman and CEO of Cardinal Health.

“I’m really fortunate,” Real said. “Fifteen years is a really long time in this business. … We feel good about that.”

Counting all seniors

The latest federal data on high school population trends include some good news for Ohio colleges and universities: The numbers of high school seniors (i.e., potential college freshmen) might not plunge as badly as expected in the next decade.

According to the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio, the number of graduating seniors in Ohio will dip from a little more than 117,000 in 2017-18 to about 114,000 in 2022-23, but then remain flat for the foreseeable future.

That’s way better than the “near-catastrophic” decline, beginning in 2022, that was projected the last time the National Center for Education Statistics released projections, according to association Director Todd C. Jones.

Jones’ group, along with enrollment honchos at most higher-education institutions, keeps close watch on demographic projections because a shortage of potential students is making it difficult for tuition-dependent schools to keep their finances healthy.

They already have suffered a steep decline; according to preliminary numbers, the number of graduates fell from a peak of more than 124,000 in 2011 to about 116,000 in 2015. Virtually every financially struggling college has cited that decline as a factor.

“This is very good news for our state,” Jones said of the revised forecast. Perhaps in a Rivalry Week dig, he added, “As the old saying goes, at least we’re not Michigan — they’re still declining.”

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.

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


Let’s collect some books for Columbus City Schools students!

News Release Banner

Library joins Columbus City Schools and Panera Bread to collect books for students
Plus, special drive-up event to be held Aug. 31

COLUMBUS OH. July 27, 2016 – Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) is partnering with Columbus City Schools (CCS) and Panera Bread to collect new and gently used kids’ books for the Books for Breakfast program. The goal of the program is to provide K-5 CCS students books to read both at school and at home at the breakfast table. Donated books will be available for students to read if they eat breakfast at school.  Each day, approximately 25,000 CCS students take advantage of the district’s free breakfast program.

Reading at breakfast offers young people a way to engage their minds first thing in the morning so they are ready to learn by the time they reach their first class at school.

Collection boxes can be found at CML locations beginning Monday, Aug. 1. Customers can ask a staff member for more information. Monetary donations can be made at any Columbus area Panera Bread location.

The collection period will end on Tuesday, Aug. 30. Then, on Wednesday, Aug. 31, CML, CCS and Panera Bread will hold a special collection event at the German Village Panera Bread at 684 S. High St. Customers who drive by and drop off new or gently used kids’ books between 7 a.m.-noon will receive a coupon for one free breakfast entree at Panera Bread (includes any breakfast sandwich, baked egg soufflé or oatmeal).

Last year, CML collected approximately 8,000 kids’ books in support of what was then known as Books on the Bus, an initiative to collect books for kids to read on CCS school buses. This year, the effort has a new goal to collect books for kids to read at school and to take home with them.

Columbus City Schools has seen a dramatic turnaround in reading scores and literacy skills for children in the community since the inception of the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. They’ve gone from a 42% passage rate to a more than 92% passage rate on the test. Books for Breakfast will help CCS reach closer to 100% and put books in the hands of every student in every zip code of Columbus.

CCS’s success has come in large part because the central Ohio community has rallied around the importance of reading and encouraging young people to read more often by making books available in more places – not just in the classroom.

Gregg Dodd, Marketing Director
Columbus Metropolitan Library
(614) 849-1043 office, (614) 205-7816 cell

Ben Zenitsky, Marketing & Communications Specialist
Columbus Metropolitan Library
(614) 849-1045 office, (614) 315-3766

Scott Varner, Executive Director of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs
Columbus City Schools
(614) 365-5680 office

Liz Fiorino
Regional Marketing Director – Columbus/Central Ohio
Covelli Enterprises (franchisee of Panera Bread, LLC)
(412) 310-3323 office

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Catch the Spirit. Download the App.

Now you can stay in touch and get messages sent directly to your phone with the Columbus City Schools App. Just go to the App store on your mobile device and search for Columbus City Schools.

Office of Communications and Media Relations
270 E. State Street
Columbus, OH 43215

ODE: 2016 Ohio Report Cards Update

The Ohio Department of Education has published a new fact sheet about the Achievement component and its two measures – Performance Index and Indicators met. Another fact sheet explains the components that are receiving their first letter grades on the Ohio School Report Cards in September. Read them here.




ODE Plans ESSA Regional Meetings & Web Briefings

The Ohio Department of Education has scheduled 10 regional meetings and a number of web briefings on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  For the complete schedule and additional information, go here http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Every-Student-Succeeds-Act-ESSA


Columbus Board of Education Special Meeting – July 21

The school board will hold a special meeting on Thursday, July 21, at 8:00 am at the Columbus Education Center, 270 E. State Street, Assembly Room. The board is expected to discuss and possibly vote on whether to proceed with placing a combination levy/bond request on the November 8 ballot. The meeting with also include a presentation and discussion on the potential sale of several school buildings (to be identified by the Superintendent), with proceeds of the sales being directed to addressing a backlog of building maintenance, repairs, and replacements across the district.

Updated Decision-making Schedule – Final Levy Millage Committee meeting on June 27; Special School Board meeting on June 30

The Columbus Board of Education’s Levy Millage Committee holds its final meeting on Monday, June 27 from 7:30-9:30 am at the Columbus Downtown High School, 364 S. Fourth Street, Room 100, Columbus, OH 43215.

The Columbus Board of Education will hold a special meeting on Thursday, June 30 at 8:00 am.

Here is an updated calendar for decision-making regarding a potential fall 2016 ballot issue for Columbus City Schools.

Updated Decision-making Timeline – Final, 062316