Canton Repository

January 8, 2002

State gets high, low marks on educational evaluation 

Copley Washington correspondent

WASHINGTON — Ohio has slipped in the area of educational standards and accountability, according to the latest nationwide survey from Education Week. But the Buckeye State has made progress in the resources it provides to public schools and in improving teacher quality.

Education Week, a nonprofit newspaper devoted to education, develops its own indexes to evaluate the progress states have made to improve their public schools in its annual “Quality Counts” survey.

Ohio’s grade in “standards and accountability” fell at a time when the state is developing new standards for what students should learn, said Scott Spicer, a researcher for Education Week. Compared with other states, Ohio ranked 35th in standards and

The state’s rating fell because the American Federation of Teachers, a teachers union, determined the standards for science and social studies were not “clear and specific,” Spicer said. Education Week used data from a union study as part of the basis for its evaluation.

Bob Bowers, Ohio’s associate superintendent for curriculum and assessments, said the state will have a new set of standards in
place by December.

“We’re in the process of rewriting the science and social studies standards to make them more clear and concise,” he said.

Ohio’s rating rose to a “B minus” from a “C” last year in the “adequacy” of resources provided to public schools. The state ranked 26th in adequacy of funding among states.

Its grade went up to a “D minus” from an “F” last year in the “equity” of resources, a measure of how equitably funding is distributed among rich and poor school districts. Ohio ranked 46th among states in equity.

The state’s equity score improved because there was “less of a discrepancy between the amount of revenue poor districts have as opposed to property-wealthy districts,” said Greg Orlofsky, a researcher with Education Week.