From the Superintendent



Last week, Gov. Kasich unveiled his new school funding plan. In case you missed the message from Dick Ross, Director of the Governor’s Office of 21st Century Education, you can find the details of the proposal here.

People attending the 2013 Educational Technology Conference, Feb. 11-13, will have the opportunity to learn about the Ohio Instructional Improvement System (IIS). Officials from service provider Thinkgate will demonstrate the new state-of-the-art system in sessions at 10:45 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. on both Monday and Tuesday. Additional information and demonstrations will occur all three days at trade booth #1013 and the Cyber Kiosk in the Pavilion.

IIS is a powerful online learning platform designed to help teachers analyze student achievement and select the best learning resources for instruction. Features include access to curriculum and standards, online and clicker test administration options that teachers can use to determine what progress students have made and what help they need, data analysis and reporting capabilities, a portfolio of student work and integration with ilearnOhio’s statewide bank of online courses. Thinkgate also is hosting a series of introductory webinars on IIS you can share with staff.

Last Monday, we participated in a live chat on Twitter moderated by educators from around Ohio. Teacher evaluation was the topic of this lively hour-long discussion with many ideas and updates being exchanged. The chat is archived here. These weekly chats are a great opportunity for teachers and administrators to learn from each other. Weekly topics are determined through a poll of Twitter users. Participants send questions to a designated moderator by Sunday afternoon and the discussion starts on Monday at 9 p.m. and runs until 10 p.m. You can participate by following the #ohioedchat hashtag during that time. Tonight’s discussion topic is the Common Core curriculum.

To build upon last week’s great discussion, ODE has established the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System group on LinkedIn to give educators a place to share ideas, experiences and expertise in greater depth. To join the group and begin contributing, you must have a LinkedIn account and profile. Feel free to share this link with your staff.

Finally, with the passage of HB 555, Ohio is changing the way it measures and rates the performance of schools and districts. The 2012-2013 school and district report cards will grade schools and districts on a mix of new and previously used items with an A-F letter-grade system. In coming months, the State Board of Education will be working with educators and communities to determine how to award letter grades for each measure.

Information on how the new report card will work, descriptions of the various measures and categories to be used, and materials to explain the changes to parents and staff, can be found here, or at www.newreportcard.education.ohio.gov. ODE will continue to provide updated information based upon the State Board of Education Accountability Committee via this webpage. Weekly updates are expected.

Have a great week and thank you for all you do day in and out for Ohio’s children.


Michael L. Sawyers