For school superintendents, principals and treasurers
2013-2014 Principal’s Toolkit now available
Today, Ohio school building leaders are receiving the Principal’s Toolkit. This online service contains videos, brief news articles, sample handouts and other information to explain the changes in Ohio education for the 2013-2014 school year to families and teachers. The goal is to supply information that principals can easily use in meetings, open houses, curriculum nights and parent conferences. Please share the toolkit with your building leaders or others who might find the materials useful.
PSAT selected for new college-career readiness assessment
Ohio high school sophomores will take the PSAT assessment beginning in October 2014 so that students will know if they are on course to graduate ready for college or a career.
The PSAT, administered nationally by The College Board, will be provided free to students under the provisions of a state law requiring that Ohio establish a college and career assessment program. The assessment will not be used for college admissions, placement or course grades, but rather to help guide high school course selection and preparation.
“Too many students move through high school and graduate without ever knowing if they are really prepared for what comes next,” said State Superintendent Dr. Richard A. Ross. “By taking the PSAT, sophomores will get feedback on their strengths and weaknesses while there is still time to make changes if needed.”
About 40 percent of Ohio high school graduates who attend an Ohio public college need to take one or more non-credit remedial classes because they were not prepared for college-level work.
“Taking remedial courses in college means spending money on classes without getting college credit,” said Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor John Carey. “Providing the PSAT to Ohio’s sophomores will hopefully decrease the number of students who need those remedial classes, and increase the number of students who are ready for the next level when they graduate.”
We will let you know more information about the PSAT administration when it becomes available.
PARCC manual on accessibility and accommodations now available
The first edition of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers’ Accessibility Features and Accommodations Manual is now available to educators. The document outlines the accessibility features available to all students and includes guidance on accommodations for students with disabilities, English learners and English learners with disabilities for the PARCC Performance-Based and End-of-Year Assessments. Additionally, there are online brochures called Expanding Access for parents and teachers of students with disabilities to explain the PARCC assessment and the accessibility system.
Law change will keep GED cost from rising
Language included in the new state budget guarantees that first-time GED® test takers will not have to pay any additional money when costs for the new computer-based version triple in 2014.
In striving to provide more adult learners throughout the state with a high school credential and basic technology skills, several testing centers in Ohio began partnering with GED Testing Service® in fall 2012 to offer the current GED® test on computer. Online registration and scheduling were already available to test takers. The computer-based format costs $120 for a complete test, compared to $40 for the pencil and paper-based exam. Prices are set by the national GED® governing body.
The current 2002 series test is scheduled to end on Dec. 31, 2013. If a test taker has not passed one or more parts of the 2002 series, beginning Jan. 1, 2014, they will need to take the entire new computer-based test and pass to receive a GED®. Prior scores will not be counted. Click here for more information about the program.
Registration now open for Statewide Education Conference Oct. 28-29
The Ohio Department of Education will host the Statewide Education Conference 2013 on Oct 28-29 at the Convention Center in Columbus. Registration is now open in STARS to educators in all Ohio schools.
This event will showcase how Ohio’s Race to the Top strategy supports and molds the transformation of Ohio’s education system. During the conference, educators from around the state learn about various innovative models and promising practices applied by Race to the Top districts and community schools.
Contact Adrienne Carr at email@example.com with any questions or registration help.
2014 budget simulations available
The Ohio Department of Education has posted the foundation funding simulations created by the Ohio Legislative Service Commission in June with data from the department of education and the Ohio Department of Taxation. These simulations show foundation funding by district of residence, including any applicable guarantees or caps, for each city, exempted village, local or joint vocational school district. They are based on non-final ADM data from FY2013 (except for joint vocational schools, which are based on FY2012 data). Also available is a simulation of community school funding based on FY2012 ADM. The department will not be providing any additional simulations. The Ohio Legislative Service Commission does not have simulations for educational service centers or boards of developmental disabilities.
Changes between the legislative service commission estimates and actual state aid may be significant, especially for individual school districts. This month, the department will begin providing online calculators that will allow school districts and community schools to simulate state aid based on student counts they can adjust given their knowledge of their district’s or school’s student population for the coming school year. These funding calculators will allow treasurers to substitute previous year data (such as ADM, number of economically disadvantaged or special education students, educational service center contract amounts, etc.) with their own best estimate of the data, and calculate the estimated foundation payment. When the calculators are available, the department will send out a notification.
U.S. Department of Education spotlights Ohio Department of Education social media efforts in case study
The U.S. Department of Education has published a case study about the department’s use of social media during the Statewide Education Conference 2012 last November and through subsequent Twitter chats with teachers, principals, superintendents and other education professionals to increase awareness around new initiatives. The case study is available here.
The approach to covering the conference is just one of several approaches to promoting Ohio’s education initiatives via social media. The department uses Twitter as a key tool to for communicating news to more than 14,000 followers.