Eye on Education

Federal Grant Will Soon Give Akron Students A Chance to Grow Their Own Vegetables

More than $44,000 will be used to take Akron elementary school students on field trips to local farms this spring. The Northeast Ohio Media Group reports a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will help 525 third, fourth, and fifth graders learn how to plant, harvest, and eventually eat fresh vegetables through the “Farm to Schools” program.

“A lot of these kids think of vegetables as the sloppy things that come out of cans, over salted, not very appetizing,” program coordinator Catherine Schwartz told NEOMG. “This will allow them to experience what a fresh Brussels sprout or fresh green been or fresh lettuce taste like.”

AKRON, Ohio — A $44,999 check from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School program will put Akron third, fourth and fifth graders on local farms come spring. The grant, sponsored in part by U.S. Rep.

Read more at: www.cleveland.com

Compared to Their Parents, Millennials May Not Actually Be Doing So Well

A new survey from the U.S. Census Bureau doesn’t reveal the most uplifting results for millennials. The American Community Survey shows that compared to their parents decades ago, Americans between the ages of 18-34 are more likely to live in poverty and earn lower wages, Time reports.

Millennials make less money, are more likely to live in poverty and have lower rates of employment than their parents did at their ages 20 and 30 years ago. That’s the bleak assessment from the U.S.

Read more at: time.com

Teach for America Turns 25

One in five teachers earn their certifications outside of the traditional college education courses. One of the most talked alternatives is Teach for America. As the program celebrates its 25th anniversary, NPR’s education team reports on its origins and where the program currently stands.

“We, the Committee of Public Safety, find Jean Valjean guilty. The sentence is death by guillotine!” Molly McPherson, a redhead with glasses, is dressed in a blue bathrobe – in costume as Robespierre. Her seventh-graders are re-enacting the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror, with a little assist from Les Miserables.

Read more at: www.npr.org

Division One School Cuts Football Program

The University of Alabama-Birmingham became the first Division One campus to cut its football program in two decades. The New York Times reports administrators performed an internal study, which found that sustaining the program within the highest level of collegiate sports just didn’t make economic sense. College programs without the deep pockets of their big-name brethren may have trouble trying to compete at the same level, the Times reports.

The University of Alabama-Birmingham said Tuesday that it was terminating its football program, the first university in the top tier of college sports to do so in nearly 20 years and the most visible sign yet that athletic officials throughout the country are considering radical options in the face of mounting financial burdens.

Read more at: www.nytimes.com

The Fate of H.B. 288 May Depend on One Report



Nationwide, the issue of standardized testing has emerged as a hot button issue.

Experts have questioned the security of testing practices, along with the pressure tests can place on students, and teachers’ concern about losing classroom instruction time.

Late last month, the issue emerged in the state legislature after the Ohio house passed a bill aiming to limit the amount of time students spend on those exams.

Under House Bill 228, standardized testing would be capped at a maximum of four hours per subject per year for a majority of students.

But the bill’s fate could hinge on another piece of state issued paper.

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The Issue of On-Campus Alcohol Consumption

To dive into the alcohol culture on college campuses, the Chronicle of Education visited the University of Georgia’s main campus in Athens, a school that’s made a handful of appearances on lists of the country’s top party schools over the years. The Chronicle’s reporters took a look at a wide variety of people whose lives regularly come into contact with binge drinking and underage consumption, including a police chief, a student who used to create fake ID cards, a bar owner, and an educator.

The supplies are rolling in. At 1 p.m. on a Thursday, three delivery trucks line College Avenue. Around the corner, five more clog East Clayton Street. In downtown Athens, the center lane belongs to those who bring the booze. Out come the boxes.

Read more at: chronicle.com

Five Takeaways from #TheFutureOfEducation Discussion


Bill Rice

Technology’s becoming a stronger force in some classrooms.

Teachers are tweeting. Students skim textbooks on iPads. Two Ohio superintendents even recently traveled to Washington D.C. to talk tech with President Obama.

Experts say technology can help students reach higher levels of educational success–and earlier this week, Civic Commons ideastream hosted a panel discussion to find out how a handful of technology leaders have attempted to do that within their own organizations.

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Ohio’s Rural Students Have Less Access to Upper-Level Classes

A student’s zip code isn’t supposed to dictate the quality of their education. But a recent Columbus Dispatch analysis of high school course offerings across the state found that students living in poor and rural areas have less access to quality classes, while suburban and urban students have access to a wider variety.

Students in Dublin schools can pick among dozens of rigorous courses such as Advanced Placement studio art, computer science and calculus, along with engineering design, statistics, theater and a variety of International Baccalaureate classes. They can learn foreign languages including Japanese, German, Latin and Chinese. In all, Dublin offers 92 advanced courses to students.

Read more at: www.dispatch.com

The Cost of Northeast Ohio’s Superintendents

Superintendents are basically CEOs of the public school system. Recently, the Northeast Ohio Media Group surveyed 25 administrators with the top gig at schools throughout Northeast Ohio. Their findings point out the average salary is roughly $141,000, with an even higher total compensation package.

PARMA, Ohio — Superintendents are the chief executives of your school districts. But unlike the leaders of municipalities, they’re not elected. And so, they don’t receive the same direct scrutiny from taxpayers, who bankroll their more-than-$100,000 salaries and pay tens of thousands of dollars in retirement contributions, often absorbing superintendents’ individual share.

Read more at: www.cleveland.com

Higher Ed Faculty Adjust to Increasing Amounts of International Students

The number of international students sitting in the United State’s college classrooms is on the rise—up 72 percent since 2000, according to the Institute of International Education. And as Inside Higher Ed reports, the increase is causing some professors to adjust their teaching styles. Non-native English speakers may not be used to the American style of instruction, so things like classroom discussions and participating in group work may be out of their comfort zones, Inside Higher Ed reports.

In the past few years it’s not been unusual for Don Bacon to walk into his classroom on day one and find that half his students are from China. “I realized I’m going to have to change how I do some things,” said Bacon, a professor of marketing at the University of Denver.

Read more at: www.insidehighered.com

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