I am not meant to be an ideologue. I make a poor leader, too, I think. Criticism gets to me. It sits in my pores and hangs on my shoulders, and people around me notice. I am plagued with the ability to see the reason in even the most ignorant of arguments. And the worst part is that most arguments aren’t ignorant. Most arguments are made by reasonable, intelligent people.

It’s not that I don’t think my arguments aren’t valid. I know they are. I know they are important. But I am one kid. I am 21-years-old. Most of the issues I think are important, I’ve only been thinking about for five years tops. And for the first two or three years of that, I thought Atlas Shrugged was the fifth Gospel. So, obviously, I’ve been misguided before.

I tend to ignore absolutes. If someone says they are “for charter schools,” I usually take that to mean that they have seen charter schools do good things, not that they think that charter schools are good 100% of the time. The latter would be an indefensible position.

There is too much truth in both sides of any argument that we should never completely write-off an opposing side.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been dragged firmly into the ed reform debate. Not the childish one that goes on at most college campuses where people honestly don’t know that there is an achievement gap, but the real one. The one where people have opposing ideas about how to close that gap.

Mostly this has made me want to tear my hair out. I’m not a debater. It’s not in my blood.

Because here’s the thing: both sides have legitimate truths. The typical TFA/SFER/DFER/Students First angle is that advocating for student and parent choice is the quickest way of ensuring that a lot of students (much more than are being served now) can receive excellent educations. The typical Ravitch/teacher union/anti-reform angle is that choice isn’t the best way long-term of ensuring an equal education for all. Both of these ideas are probably right. Charter schools aren’t going to solve the problems of classism and racism in this country unless we pair them with intense laws concerning integration and maybe also outlaw private schools altogether. And if we are going to go the charter route, we should probably also start thinking seriously about if we want for-profit schools. Admittedly, that does sound a little scary.

The design of neighborhood schools, though, is probably outdated. The middle class isn’t staying in one place anymore. The lower class is stuck in cities and rural areas. So while the middle class can move to good school districts and make choice that way, the lower class doesn’t have that benefit. In Ohio, the way we fund schools has been ruled unconstitutional on several separate occasions. Funding by income tax DOES NOT provide an equal education for everyone.

I would love to see a completely socialized education system that works in the US. But that’s probably a long ways from happening. We don’t like socialism in this country for various reasons. And even if we got rid of charters and parochial schools, we would still have to deal with the fact that our upper class parents were sending their children to private schools.

Mostly, I feel defeated. I feel like I’m up against a rock and a hard place. I’m not a politician or a millionaire. I can’t walk into my Statehouse and say, “Hey, instead of worrying about charter schools today, let’s start thinking up ways that we can free teachers and administrators in traditional public schools to replicate some of the things that have made some charters so successful.”

I feel defeated because I know that there are bad teachers, and I know there needs to be an objective way to identify them, but I also know that standardized testing is problematic.

I feel defeated because I suspect that there are many Republicans who support ed reform because it might mean union busting, and I don’t want union busting.

I feel defeated because while we argue about what’s the best way to fix the education system, even more students drop out, get a bad education, and are incarcerated.

What War On Teachers?

Now, we believe that the majority of teachers in America know our system must be reformed, to put students first so that
America can compete, that teachers don’t teach to become rich or famous.  They teach because they love children. – Chris Christie

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stated his belief in the good-will of teachers on August 28 at the Republican National Convention. It’s not a hard stand to take. According to the latest Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll, Americans almost universally support teachers. About three fourths of Americans say they have confidence in K-12 teachers. Compare this with the way Americans would grade schools and the difference is striking – over three fourths say they would give the US public education system a C or lower. Governor Christie, then, is by no means stretching himself when he supports teachers. Most people hold teachers fondly. Most of us had a couple dozen of them before we graduated high school, and we associate the majority of them with helping us navigate our formative years.

It’s confusing, then, when leading critics against the education reform movement, like Diane Ravitch, say there is a “war on teachers.

What war on teachers?

I have never met a person who universally hates teachers. In fact, basically everyone I know in education, education reform, and education policy absolutely adores teachers.

But Diane Ravitch is not alone in the war on teachers claim. Teacher unions claim it, too.

On Tuesday night, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers Union, tweeted about Gov. Christie’s remarks.

The remarks Weingarten probably takes issue with are these:

They believe the educational savages will only put themselves ahead of children, that self- interest will always trump common sense, they believe in pitting unions against teachers, educators against parents, lobbyists against children. They believe in teachers’ unions. We believe in teachers. – Gov. Christie

But this is not an attack on teacher’s’ unions. It’s an attack on Democrats (which, quite frankly, is to be expected at the Republican National Convention). This is a sentiment with which unions should agree. Unions should not be set up to perpetuate themselves but to support teachers.

This, then, is where the divide begins.

For the teachers’ union, the interest of the union is the interest of teachers is the interest of children. The problem with this line of thinking, of course, is that these three interests are not the same. They are definitely related and often overlap, but they are not the same. Critics of ed reform, however, believe that they are the same. One need look no further than Diane Ravitch’s interview with Randi Kaye on CNN.

In the interview, Kaye asks Ravitch about merit pay. Ravitch answers matter-of-factly that “teachers don’t want merit pay.” Kaye challenges this idea by showing Ravitch a comment from an inner-city teacher that says merit pay is not a war on teachers.

Ravitch, of course, is making the mistake I outlined above. The interest of the union is not necessarily in the interest of every teacher. That’s not how unions work. Most everyone who supports merit pay supports it precisely because it is a way to reward the teachers they hold most dear. No one supports merit pay in a sinister attempt to divide teachers. There is no war on teachers.

It’s important to note that there are thinly veiled attempts at union busting that are lauded as ed reform. Ohio faced this issue with SB5 a year ago. The bill would have outlawed collective bargaining. This bill did not have children at interest. It had the state’s budget at interest.

With all of that being said, it’s surprising to see Weingarten express distaste for Gov. Christie. Just a couple of weeks ago, Gov. Christie signed a law into effect that makes it harder for teachers in New Jersey to gain tenure. Teachers’ unions helped shape the law, and it was met with bipartisan support. This is the kind of compromise we should be working for.

But we can’t hope to promote this type of compromise when we are demonizing sides. Saying there is a “war on teachers” implies that the supporters of teacher tenure laws are enemies of teachers. This is damaging rhetoric. If teachers’ unions feel like they aren’t being respected, they should speak up and say so, but they also need to respect that the ed reform movement loves students and loves teachers.

War metaphors, in general, are lazy. So let’s try a little harder.


Behold the Achievement Gap

A couple of days ago, I ran across this article from Cleveland.com that showed the median household incomes for school districts in Ohio. I thought it would be interesting to add to this chart, each school district’s rating from the 2010-2011 school year. The results are seen below. The rating system in Ohio is ranked (from best to worst) Excellent with Distinction, Excellent, Effective, Continuous Improvement, Academic Watch, and Academic Emergency.

County School district Median AGI Rank Rating
Delaware Olentangy LSD $76,444 1 Excellent with Distinction
Cuyahoga Orange CSD $75,280 2 Excellent with Distinction
Summit Hudson CSD $75,016 3 Excellent with Distinction
Hamilton Indian Hill EVSD $74,736 4 Excellent with Distinction
Lucas Ottawa Hills LSD $73,248 5 Excellent
Franklin New Albany-Plain LSD $72,772 6 Excellent
Hamilton Wyoming CSD $69,798 7 Excellent
Cuyahoga Chagrin Falls EVSD $68,241 8 Excellent with Distinction
Warren Springboro Community Sd $67,434 9 Excellent with Distinction
Montgomery Oakwood CSD $66,054 10 Excellent with Distinction
Licking Granville EVSD $65,931 11 Excellent with Distinction
Franklin Upper Arlington CSD $64,770 12 Excellent with Distinction
Franklin Bexley CSD $64,682 13 Excellent with Distinction
Summit Revere LSD $64,158 14 Excellent with Distinction
Warren Mason CSD $63,227 15 Excellent with Distinction
Lorain Avon LSD $60,407 16 Excellent with Distinction
Cuyahoga Bay Village CSD $59,936 17 Excellent
Geauga Kenston LSD $59,605 18 Excellent
Cuyahoga Beachwood CSD $58,396 19 Excellent
Greene Sugarcreek LSD $57,874 20 Excellent
Butler Lakota LSD (Butler Co.) $57,127 21 Excellent with Distinction
Cuyahoga Solon CSD $57,065 22 Excellent
Hamilton Maderia CSD $56,114 23 Excellent
Greene Beavercreek CSD $55,555 24 Excellent with Distinction
Medina Highland LSD (Medina Co.) $55,365 25 Excellent
Lorain Avon Lake CSD $55,355 26 Excellent
Portage Aurora CSD $55,072 27 Excellent with Distinction
Hamilton Forest Hills LSD $54,964 28 Excellent with Distinction
Hamilton Sycamore CSD $54,736 29 Excellent with Distinction
Hamilton Loveland CSD $54,388 30 Excellent
Lucas Anthony Wayne LSD $53,716 31 Excellent
Warren Little Miami LSD $53,458 32 Excellent
Wood Perrysburg EVSD $53,334 33 Excellent
Ottawa Middle Bass LSD $52,670 34
Franklin Dublin CSD $52,377 35 Excellent with Distinction
Cuyahoga Brecksville-Broadview Heights CSD $51,589 36 Excellent with Distinction
Hamilton Mariemont CSD $50,763 37 Excellent
Montgomery Centerville CSD $50,638 38 Excellent with Distinction
Franklin Hilliard CSD $50,583 39 Excellent with Distinction
Fairfield Pickerington LSD $50,379 40 Excellent with Distinction
Cuyahoga Westlake CSD $49,739 41 Excellent
Cuyahoga Shaker Heights CSD $49,218 42 Effective
Franklin Gahanna Jefferson CSD $49,156 43 Excellent with Distinction
Summit Twinsburg CSD $49,037 44 Excellent with Distinction
Summit Copley-Fairlawn CSD $48,874 45 Excellent
Delaware Buckeye Valley LSD $48,517 46 Excellent
Cuyahoga Rocky River CSD $48,331 47 Excellent with Distinction
Delaware Big Walnut LSD $48,275 48 Excellent
Lake Kirtland LSD $47,990 49 Excellent
Franklin Grandview Heights CSD $47,967 50 Excellent with Distinction
Geauga West Geauga LSD $47,869 51 Excellent
Mahoning Canfield LSD $47,824 52 Excellent
Hancock Van Buren LSD $47,464 53 Excellent
Union Fairbanks LSD $47,409 54 Excellent with Distinction
Franklin Worthington CSD $47,348 55 Excellent
Cuyahoga Strongsville CSD $47,279 56 Excellent
Fairfield Bloom-Carroll LSD $47,065 57 Excellent with Distinction
Cuyahoga Independence LSD $46,995 58 Excellent
Medina Medina CSD $46,679 59 Excellent
Lucas Sylvania CSD $46,544 60 Excellent
Hamilton Three Rivers LSD $46,538 61 Excellent
Summit Nordonia Hills CSD $46,173 62 Excellent with Distinction
Licking Southwest Licking LSD $46,152 63 Excellent
Clermont Milford EVSD $45,706 64 Excellent
Lorain North Ridgeville CSD $45,701 65 Excellent with Distinction
Warren Kings LSD $45,634 66 Excellent
Franklin Canal Winchester LSD $45,355 67 Excellent with Distinction
Franklin Westerville CSD $44,663 68 Excellent with Distinction
Licking Licking Heights LSD $44,432 69 Excellent
Union Marysville EVSD $44,428 70 Excellent with Distinction
Lake Riverside LSD $44,402 71 Excellent
Miami Bethel LSD $44,234 72 Excellent
Cuyahoga Olmsted Falls CSD $44,196 73 Excellent
Geauga Chardon LSD $44,187 74 Excellent
Stark Jackson LSD $44,044 75 Excellent with Distinction
Butler Monroe LSD $43,853 76 Excellent
Medina Buckeye LSD (Medina Co.) $43,592 77 Excellent
Greene Yellow Springs EVSD $43,546 78 Excellent with Distinction
Putnam Kalida LSD $43,445 79 Excellent
Cuyahoga North Royalton CSD $43,096 80 Excellent
Mahoning Poland LSD $42,990 81 Excellent
Miami Tipp City EVSD $42,597 82 Excellent
Summit Stow Munroe Falls CSD $42,526 83 Excellent
Licking Northridge LSD ( Licking County ) $42,515 84 Excellent with Distinction
Summit Green LSD (Summit Co.) $42,265 85 Excellent with Distinction
Warren Wayne LSD $42,174 86 Excellent
Butler Ross LSD $42,154 87 Excellent with Distinction
Sandusky Woodmore LSD $42,016 88 Excellent with Distinction
Clark Greenon LSD (Mad River Green) $41,838 89 Excellent with Distinction
Wood Otsego LSD $41,809 90 Excellent
Warren Lebanon CSD $41,800 91 Excellent
Putnam Jennings LSD $41,743 92 Excellent
Allen Shawnee LSD $41,623 93 Excellent with Distinction
Hamilton Oak Hills LSD $41,505 94 Excellent
Shelby Anna LSD $41,460 95 Excellent
Putnam Miller City-New Cleveland LSD $41,447 96 Excellent
Licking Johnstown Monroe LSD $41,305 97 Excellent
Cuyahoga Mayfield CSD $41,284 98 Excellent with Distinction
Geauga Ledgemont LSD $41,260 99 Effective
Medina Brunswick CSD $41,104 100 Excellent
Stark Lake LSD (Stark Co.) $41,104 100 Excellent
Cuyahoga Fairview Park CSD $41,077 102 Excellent
Lorain Amherst EVSD $41,002 103 Excellent
Lake Mentor EVSD $40,957 104 Excellent
Auglaize Minster LSD $40,862 105 Excellent with Distinction
Hamilton Finneytown LSD $40,847 106 Effective
Lake Perry LSD (Lake Co.) $40,808 107 Excellent
Madison Jonathan Alder LSD $40,607 108 Excellent with Distinction
Hancock Liberty Benton LSD $40,598 109 Excellent
Stark North Canton CSD $40,569 110 Excellent
Cuyahoga Cleveland Hts-University Hts CSD $40,558 111 Continuous Improvement
Cuyahoga South Euclid-Lyndhurst CSD $40,540 112 Continuous Improvement
Portage Rootstown LSD $40,516 113 Excellent
Clinton Clinton Massie LSD $40,440 114 Excellent with Distinction
Erie Huron CSD $40,425 115 Excellent
Miami Miami East LSD $40,377 116 Excellent with Distinction
Knox Centerburg LSD $40,370 117 Excellent with Distinction
Medina Wadsworth CSD $40,364 118 Excellent with Distinction
Wood Eastwood LSD $40,007 119 Excellent
Montgomery Valley View LSD $39,888 120 Excellent with Distinction
Pickaway Teays Valley LSD $39,872 121 Excellent with Distinction
Lorain Keystone LSD $39,869 122 Effective
Clark Northeastern LSD (Clark Co.) $39,747 123 Excellent with Distinction
Shelby Russia LSD $39,664 124 Excellent
Defiance Northeastern LSD (Defiance Co.) $39,569 125 Excellent
Fairfield Liberty-Union-Thurston LSD $39,529 126 Excellent
Lorain Columbia LSD $39,524 127 Excellent with Distinction
Geauga Newbury LSD $39,457 128 Excellent
Ottawa Genoa Area LSD $39,423 129 Effective
Logan Benjamin Logan LSD $39,260 130 Effective
Hancock Arlington LSD $39,253 131 Excellent
Clermont New Richmond EVSD $39,218 132 Excellent with Distinction
Fulton Evergreen LSD $39,074 133 Excellent
Putnam Ottoville LSD $39,073 134 Excellent
Erie Kelleys Island LSD $39,070 135
Montgomery Northmont CSD $38,988 136 Excellent with Distinction
Richland Lexington LSD $38,855 137 Excellent
Butler Madison LSD (Butler Co.) $38,827 138 Excellent
Hancock Vanlue LSD $38,826 139 Effective
Lorain Firelands LSD $38,812 140 Excellent
Allen Bluffton EVSD $38,784 141 Excellent with Distinction
Summit Tallmadge CSD $38,749 142 Excellent
Ottawa Benton-Carroll-Salem LSD $38,716 143 Excellent
Defiance Ayersville LSD $38,674 144 Excellent
Mahoning Western Reserve LSD (Mahoning Co.) $38,595 145 Excellent
Champaign Triad LSD $38,560 146 Effective
Stark Northwest LSD (Stark Co.) $38,493 147 Excellent
Mercer Marion LSD $38,483 148 Excellent
Butler Fairfield CSD (Butler Co.) $38,418 149 Effective
Auglaize New Bremen LSD $38,328 150 Excellent
Henry Liberty Center LSD $38,282 151 Excellent with Distinction
Cuyahoga Cuyahoga Heights LSD $38,253 152 Excellent
Summit Manchester LSD $38,220 153 Excellent
Lucas Springfield LSD (Lucas Co.) $38,188 154 Excellent
Delaware Delaware CSD $38,102 155 Excellent with Distinction
Greene Greeneview LSD $38,031 156 Effective
Montgomery Miamisburg CSD $38,008 157 Excellent
Henry Holgate LSD $37,953 158 Effective
Butler Edgewood CSD $37,901 159 Excellent
Marion Pleasant LSD $37,830 160 Effective
Clark Southeastern LSD $37,810 161 Excellent
Portage Field LSD $37,797 163 Effective
Cuyahoga North Olmsted CSD $37,797 162 Excellent
Lucas Oregon CSD $37,784 164 Effective
Montgomery Vandalia-Butler CSD $37,773 165 Excellent
Lorain Midview LSD $37,764 166 Effective
Trumbull Lakeview LSD $37,682 167 Excellent
Summit Norton CSD $37,670 168 Excellent
Van Wert Crestview LSD (Van Wert Co.) $37,658 169 Excellent
Mahoning South Range LSD $37,635 170 Excellent
Lorain Sheffield-Sheffield Lake CSD $37,610 171 Excellent
Shelby Fort Loramie LSD $37,590 172 Excellent
Shelby Botkins LSD $37,574 173 Excellent
Fulton Swanton LSD $37,535 174 Excellent
Marion Ridgedale LSD $37,479 175 Continuous Improvement
Champaign West Liberty Salem LSD $37,474 176 Excellent
Portage Streetsboro CSD $37,457 177 Effective
Clark Clark-Shawnee LSD $37,447 178 Excellent with Distinction
Union North Union LSD $37,390 179 Excellent
Hamilton Northwest LSD (Hamilton Co.) $37,367 180 Effective
Richland Ontario LSD $37,344 181 Excellent
Mercer St. Henry-Consolidated LSD $37,299 182 Excellent
Champaign Mechanicsburg EVSD $37,247 183 Excellent with Distinction
Hancock Cory-Rawson LSD $37,232 184 Effective
Ross Zane Trace LSD $37,210 185 Effective
Hancock Arcadia LSD $37,196 186 Excellent
Clark Northwestern LSD (Clark Co.) $37,150 187 Excellent with Distinction
Pickaway Westfall LSD $37,101 188 Effective
Montgomery Brookville LSD $37,044 189 Excellent
Madison Madison Plains LSD $36,947 190 Effective
Trumbull Mathews LSD $36,926 191 Excellent
Fairfield Fairfield Union LSD $36,911 192 Effective
Stark Tuslaw LSD $36,824 193 Excellent
Erie Berlin-Milan LSD $36,793 194
Allen Allen East LSD $36,788 195 Excellent
Mercer Ft. Recovery LSD $36,759 196 Excellent with Distinction
Butler Talawanda CSD $36,736 197 Excellent with Distinction
Miami Newton LSD $36,720 198 Excellent
Erie Perkins LSD $36,718 199 Effective
Champaign Graham LSD $36,694 200 Effective
Putnam Columbus Grove LSD $36,691 201 Excellent with Distinction
Montgomery Huber Heights CSD $36,668 202 Effective
Putnam Pandora-Gilboa LSD $36,595 203 Excellent
Clermont Clermont-Northeastern LSD $36,573 204 Effective
Shelby Jackson Center LSD $36,531 205 Effective
Medina Cloverleaf LSD $36,524 206 Excellent
Wood Rossford EVSD $36,511 207 Excellent with Distinction
Marion River Valley LSD $36,472 208 Effective
Wayne Chippewa LSD $36,470 209 Excellent
Fulton Archbold Area LSD $36,459 210 Excellent with Distinction
Pickaway Logan Elm LSD $36,406 211 Excellent with Distinction
Clermont Batavia LSD $36,404 212 Excellent
Summit Woodridge LSD $36,373 213 Excellent
Wood Lake LSD (Wood Co.) $36,370 214 Excellent
Darke Franklin-Monroe LSD $36,352 215 Excellent
Tuscarawas Tuscarawas Valley LSD $36,325 216 Excellent with Distinction
Ashland HilLSDale LSD $36,322 217 Effective
Warren Carlisle LSD $36,317 218 Excellent
Hancock Mc Comb LSD $36,289 219 Excellent
Brown Fayetteville-Perry LSD $36,271 220 Excellent
Van Wert Lincolnview LSD $36,246 221 Excellent
Montgomery Kettering CSD $36,243 222 Excellent
Lorain Oberlin CSD $36,239 223 Effective
Clermont West Clermont LSD $36,217 224 Excellent
Wood Northwood LSD $36,197 225 Excellent with Distinction
Belmont St. Clairsville-Richland CSD $36,112 226 Excellent
Trumbull Lordstown LSD $36,089 227 Excellent
Miami Troy CSD $36,082 228 Excellent with Distinction
Fulton Pettisville LSD $36,037 229 Excellent
Ashland Mapleton LSD $36,020 230 Effective
Trumbull Champion LSD $35,959 231 Excellent
Medina Black River LSD $35,853 232 Excellent
Seneca Old Fort LSD $35,841 233 Excellent
Huron Monroeville LSD $35,822 234 Effective
Cuyahoga Berea CSD $35,815 235 Excellent
Portage Crestwood LSD $35,789 236 Excellent
Geauga Berkshire LSD $35,777 237 Excellent
Darke Versailles EVSD $35,752 238 Excellent with Distinction
Putnam Ottawa-Glandorf LSD $35,744 239 Excellent
Muskingum East Muskingum LSD $35,688 240 Excellent
Knox East Knox LSD $35,681 241 Effective
Hardin Hardin-Northern LSD $35,636 242 Effective
Mercer Coldwater EVSD $35,612 243 Excellent
Cuyahoga Richmond Heights LSD $35,529 244 Continuous Improvement
Perry Northern LSD $35,488 245 Excellent
Hamilton Southwest LSD (Hamilton Co.) $35,482 246 Excellent
Hamilton Deer Park CSD $35,477 247 Excellent
Franklin Reynoldsburg CSD $35,462 248 Excellent
Hamilton Princeton CSD $35,397 249 Effective
Crawford Colonel Crawford LSD $35,368 250 Effective
Portage Waterloo LSD $35,315 251 Excellent
Washington Warren LSD $35,292 252 Excellent
Madison Jefferson LSD (Madison Co.) $35,241 253 Effective
Licking North Fork LSD $35,179 254 Effective
Greene Cedar Cliff LSD $35,137 255 Excellent
Portage Southeast LSD (Portage Co.) $35,117 256 Effective
Trumbull Southington LSD $35,112 257 Effective
Seneca Seneca East LSD $35,079 258 Effective
Trumbull Howland LSD $35,074 259 Excellent
Lawrence Fairland LSD $35,066 260 Excellent
Lucas Maumee CSD $35,021 261 Excellent
Auglaize Waynesfield-Goshen LSD $34,994 262 Effective
Ottawa Danbury LSD $34,944 263 Excellent
Preble Twin Valley LSD $34,940 264 Excellent
Scioto Wheelersburg LSD $34,940 264 Excellent
Lorain Wellington EVSD $34,923 266 Effective
Hamilton Winton Woods CSD $34,906 267 Continuous Improvement
Scioto Green LSD (Scioto Co.) $34,896 268 Excellent
Auglaize New Knoxville LSD $34,892 269 Excellent
Wayne Greene LSD $34,888 270 Excellent
Stark Louisville CSD $34,877 271 Excellent
Allen Bath LSD $34,868 272 Effective
Erie Vermilion LSD $34,852 273 Effective
Richland Clear Fork Valley LSD $34,809 274 Excellent
Lake Willoughby-Eastlake CSD $34,771 275 Excellent
Wood Elmwood LSD $34,759 276 Effective
Richland Lucas LSD $34,716 277 Effective
Stark Plain LSD (Stark Co.) $34,680 278 Excellent with Distinction
Knox Fredericktown LSD $34,657 279 Excellent
Wayne Dalton LSD $34,633 280 Excellent
Marion Elgin LSD $34,604 281 Effective
Wayne North Central LSD (Wayne Co.) $34,587 282 Excellent
Henry Patrick Henry LSD $34,529 283 Effective
Hardin Riverdale LSD $34,484 284 Excellent
Paulding Antwerp LSD $34,450 285 Excellent
Fairfield Amanda-Clearcreek LSD $34,439 286 Effective
Defiance Central LSD $34,394 287 Excellent with Distinction
Erie Margaretta LSD $34,375 288 Excellent
Ross Union-Scioto LSD $34,373 289 Effective
Summit Mogadore LSD $34,366 290 Effective
Preble Preble-Shawnee LSD $34,354 291 Effective
Fairfield Berne-Union LSD $34,329 292 Excellent
Mahoning Springfield LSD (Mahoning Co.) $34,303 293 Excellent
Crawford Buckeye Central LSD $34,261 294 Excellent
Richland Crestview LSD (Richland Co.) $34,236 295 Excellent with Distinction
Clermont Williamsburg LSD $34,228 296 Excellent
Shelby Fairlawn LSD $34,172 297 Excellent with Distinction
Scioto Minford LSD $34,160 298 Excellent
Morrow Northmor LSD $34,158 299 Effective
Seneca Hopewell-Loudon LSD $34,158 300 Excellent
Lake Madison LSD (Lake Co.) $34,133 301 Excellent
Preble Tri County North LSD $34,120 302 Effective
Logan Riverside LSD $34,101 303 Effective
Portage James A. Garfield LSD $34,068 304 Excellent
Preble Eaton Community Sd $34,037 305 Excellent
Wyandot Mohawk LSD $34,031 306 Excellent with Distinction
Paulding Wayne Trace LSD $34,005 307 Effective
Lake Wickliffe CSD $34,005 308 Excellent
Licking Lakewood LSD $33,965 309 Effective
Morrow Highland LSD (Morrow Co.) $33,945 310 Effective
Summit Coventry LSD $33,913 311 Excellent
Henry Napoleon CSD $33,908 312 Excellent
Huron Western Reserve LSD (Huron Co.) $33,905 313 Effective
Sandusky Gibsonburg EVSD $33,814 314 Excellent
Trumbull Mc Donald LSD $33,801 315 Excellent
Stark Perry LSD (Stark Co.) $33,783 316 Excellent
Darke Arcanum-Butler LSD $33,776 317 Excellent
Mahoning Lowellville LSD $33,760 318 Excellent
Fulton Pike-Delta-York LSD $33,700 319 Excellent
Clermont Bethel-Tate LSD $33,698 320 Excellent with Distinction
Summit Cuyahoga Falls CSD $33,688 321 Excellent
Auglaize Wapakoneta CSD $33,671 322 Effective
Wayne Triway LSD $33,643 323 Excellent
Fairfield Walnut Twp LSD $33,596 324 Effective
Seneca New Riegel LSD $33,585 325 Excellent
Madison London CSD $33,583 326 Effective
Mahoning Jackson Milton LSD $33,569 327 Excellent with Distinction
Tuscarawas Strasburg-Franklin LSD $33,567 328 Effective
Trumbull Maplewood LSD $33,557 329 Excellent
Clermont Goshen LSD $33,548 330 Excellent
Ross Adena LSD $33,540 332 Effective
Franklin South Western CSD $33,540 331 Excellent
Cuyahoga Parma CSD $33,539 333 Excellent
Licking Licking Valley LSD $33,524 334 Excellent
Huron Bellevue CSD $33,496 335 Excellent
Allen Spencerville LSD $33,446 336 Excellent
Hardin Ada EVSD $33,429 337 Excellent
Jefferson Edison LSD $33,428 338 Excellent
Ashtabula Jefferson Area LSD $33,424 339 Effective
Hardin Ridgemont LSD $33,421 340 Effective
Miami Covington EVSD $33,340 341 Excellent
Putnam Continental LSD $33,329 342 Excellent
Miami Milton Union EVSD $33,302 343 Excellent
Columbiana Beaver LSD $33,288 344 Excellent
Mahoning Boardman LSD $33,270 345 Excellent
Crawford Wynford LSD $33,257 346 Effective
Trumbull Joseph-Badger LSD $33,239 347 Excellent with Distinction
Scioto Valley LSD $33,157 348 Excellent
Shelby Hardin-Houston LSD $33,152 349 Effective
Auglaize St. Marys CSD $33,146 350 Effective
Sandusky Lakota LSD (Sandusky Co.) $33,040 351 Effective
Sandusky Clyde EVSD $33,028 352 Excellent with Distinction
Columbiana Crestview LSD (Columbiana Co.) $32,957 353 Excellent
Carroll Brown LSD $32,945 354 Effective
Morrow Cardington-Lincoln LSD $32,903 355 Effective
Darke Tri-Village LSD $32,869 356 Excellent
Allen Elida LSD $32,852 357 Effective
Williams Edon-Northwest LSD $32,839 358 Excellent
Muskingum West Muskingum LSD $32,815 359 Excellent
Stark Marlington LSD $32,660 360 Excellent
Scioto Bloom/Vernon LSD $32,564 361 Excellent
Huron New London LSD $32,556 362 Excellent
Licking Heath CSD $32,495 363 Excellent
Scioto Clay LSD $32,468 364 Effective
Meigs Eastern LSD (Meigs Co.) $32,461 365 Effective
Mahoning Austintown LSD $32,425 366 Effective
Fulton Wauseon EVSD $32,399 367 Excellent
Muskingum Tri-Valley LSD $32,354 368 Excellent
Tuscarawas Dover CSD $32,353 369 Excellent
Athens Alexander LSD $32,317 370 Excellnet
Pike Waverly CSD $32,296 371 Effective
Logan Indian Lake LSD $32,243 372 Effective
Columbiana Columbiana EVSD $32,187 374 Excellent
Mercer Parkway LSD $32,187 373 Excellent
Trumbull Bristol LSD $32,175 375 Excellent
Wyandot Upper Sandusky EVSD $32,167 376 Effective
Allen Delphos CSD $32,143 377 Excellent
Ross Southeastern LSD (Ross Co) $32,133 378 Effective
Williams Edgerton LSD $32,125 379 Effective
Jefferson Indian Creek LSD $32,086 380 Effective
Highland Lynchburg Clay LSD $32,078 381 Excellent
Warren Franklin CSD $32,077 382 Effective
Trumbull Weathersfield LSD $32,063 383 Effective
Ross Paint Valley LSD $32,042 384 Effective
Summit Springfield LSD (Summit Co.) $32,011 385 Excellent
Brown Eastern LSD (Brown Co.) $31,996 386 Effective
Trumbull Hubbard EVSD $31,983 387 Excellent
Cuyahoga Lakewood CSD $31,977 388 Excellent
Trumbull Liberty LSD $31,959 389 Effective
Carroll Carrollton EVSD $31,958 390 Excellent
Harrison Conotton Valley LSD $31,910 391 Effective
Clinton Blanchester LSD $31,907 392 Excellent
Columbiana United LSD $31,893 393 Excellent
Belmont Union LSD $31,843 394 Effective
Wayne Northwestern LSD (Wayne Co.) $31,838 395 Excellent
Noble Noble LSD $31,836 396 Effective
Hancock Findlay CSD $31,824 397 Excellent
Huron South Central LSD $31,817 398 Effective
Greene Xenia Community CSD $31,775 399 Effective
Wayne Orrville CSD $31,740 400 Excellent
Wood North Baltimore LSD $31,723 401 Effective
Williams Millcreek-West Unity LSD $31,699 402 Effective
Mahoning West Branch LSD $31,682 403 Excellent
Williams Stryker LSD $31,632 404 Effective
Coshocton River View LSD $31,630 405 Ecellent
Wayne Wooster CSD $31,624 406 Excellent with Distinction
Williams North Central LSD (Williams Co.) $31,616 407 Excellent
Montgomery New Lebanon LSD $31,587 408 Effective
Franklin Groveport-Madison LSD $31,564 409 Excellent
Clark Tecumseh LSD $31,527 410 Effective
Highland Fairfield LSD (Highland Co.) $31,493 411 Effective
Hardin Upper Scioto Valley LSD $31,480 412 Effective
Defiance Hicksville EVSD $31,450 413 Excellent
Ottawa Put In Bay LSD $31,411 414
Cuyahoga Bedford CSD $31,340 415 Continuous Improvement
Morrow Mount Gilead EVSD $31,330 416 Excellent
Stark Minerva LSD $31,317 417 Effective
Washington Wolf Creek LSD $31,309 418 Excellent
Fayette Miami Trace LSD $31,273 419 Excellent
Clermont Felicity-Franklin LSD $31,241 420 Effective
Stark Osnaburg LSD $31,210 421 Excellent
Putnam Leipsic LSD $31,209 422 Effective
Meigs Southern LSD (Meigs Co.) $31,179 423 Effective
Wyandot Carey EVSD $31,162 424 Effective
Ashtabula Buckeye LSD (Ashtabula Co.) $31,158 425 Excellent
Clinton Wilmington CSD $31,149 426 Excellent
Brown Western Brown LSD $31,116 427 Effective
Fulton Gorham-Fayette LSD $31,069 428 Excellent
Knox Mount Vernon CSD $31,042 429 Effective
Ottawa Port Clinton CSD $31,031 430 Effective
Stark Fairless LSD $30,996 431 Excellent
Greene Fairborn CSD $30,939 432 Effective
Hamilton Mount Healthy CSD $30,883 433 Continuous Improvement
Gallia Gallipolis CSD $30,867 434 Excellent
Lawrence Symmes Valley LSD $30,862 435 Effective
Belmont Shadyside LSD $30,835 436 Effective
Darke Ansonia LSD $30,822 437 Excellent
Columbiana East Palestine CSD $30,777 438 Effective
Richland Shelby CSD $30,767 439 Effective
Montgomery Jefferson LSD (Montgomery Co.) $30,766 440 Academic Watch
Jackson Jackson CSD $30,764 441 Effective
Hamilton Reading CSD $30,750 442 Excellent
Mercer Celina CSD $30,720 443 Excellent with Distinction
Tuscarawas Indian Valley LSD $30,707 444 Effective
Preble National Trail LSD $30,642 445 Effective
Ashtabula Grand Valley LSD $30,632 446 Effective
Lucas Washington LSD (Lucas Co.) $30,588 447 Effective
Ashtabula Geneva Area CSD $30,574 448 Effective
Stark Sandy Valley LSD $30,521 449 Excellent
Wood Bowling Green CSD $30,502 450 Excellent with Distinction
Lawrence Chesapeake Union EVSD $30,487 451 Effective
Cuyahoga Brooklyn CSD $30,474 452 Effective
Trumbull Newton Falls EVSD $30,392 453 Excellent with Distinction
Columbiana Southern LSD (Columbiana Co.) $30,365 454 Effective
Paulding Paulding EVSD $30,319 455 Excellent
Washington Fort Frye LSD $30,306 456 Effective
Coshocton Ridgewood LSD $30,293 457 Excellent
Preble College Corner LSD $30,280 458
Sandusky Fremont CSD $30,265 459 Effective
Seneca Bettsville LSD $30,246 460 Effective
Wayne Rittman EVSD $30,242 461 Effective
Geauga Cardinal LSD $30,217 462 Effective
Miami Bradford EVSD $30,201 463 Effective
Fairfield Lancaster CSD $30,177 464 Excellent
Defiance Defiance CSD $30,154 465 Effective
Ashland Ashland CSD $30,123 466 Effective
Scioto Northwest LSD (Scioto Co.) $30,117 467 Effective
Stark Canton LSD $30,002 468 Effective
Washington Marietta CSD $29,964 469 Effective
Monroe Switzerland Of Ohio LSD $29,902 470 Effective
Montgomery West Carrollton CSD $29,898 471 Excellent
Clinton East Clinton LSD $29,893 472 Effective
Muskingum Franklin LSD $29,884 473 Effective
Columbiana Leetonia EVSD $29,869 474 Effective
Cuyahoga Garfield Heights CSD $29,819 475 Continuous Improvement
Athens Federal Hocking LSD $29,757 476 Effective
Williams Bryan CSD $29,714 477 Excellent with Distinction
Seneca Tiffin CSD $29,700 478 Excellent
Van Wert Van Wert CSD $29,641 479 Excellent with Distinction
Jefferson Buckeye LSD (Jefferson Co.) $29,625 480 Excellent
Wayne Southeast LSD (Wayne Co.) $29,597 481 Excellent
Shelby Sidney CSD $29,568 482 Continuous Improvement
Hocking Logan CSD $29,503 483 Excellent
Ashland Loudonville-Perrysville EVSD $29,480 484 Effective
Lake Fairport Harbor EVSD $29,456 485 Effective
Tuscarawas New Philadelphia CSD $29,438 486 Excellent with Distinction
Franklin Hamilton LSD $29,434 487 Effective
Jefferson Toronto CSD $29,426 488 Effective
Tuscarawas Garaway LSD $29,408 489 Excellent
Knox Danville LSD $29,358 490 Effective
Champaign Urbana CSD $29,311 491 Effective
Jackson Oak Hill Union LSD $29,287 492 Effective
Cuyahoga Maple Heights CSD $29,284 493 Effective
Harrison Harrison-Hills CSD $29,281 494 Effective
Cuyahoga Euclid CSD $29,268 495 Continuous Improvement
Perry Crooksville EVSD $29,258 496 Effective
Gallia Gallia County LSD $29,247 497 Excellent
Huron Willard CSD $29,240 498 Excellent
Pickaway Circleville CSD $29,238 499 Effective
Hardin Kenton CSD $29,223 500 Effective
Scioto Washington/Nile LSD $29,186 501 Effective
Washington Frontier LSD $29,163 502 Effective
Ross Chillicothe CSD $29,117 503 Effective
Brown Georgetown EVSD $29,103 504 Effective
Portage Kent CSD $29,080 505 Effective
Huron Norwalk CSD $29,073 506 Excellent
Ashtabula Pymatuning Valley LSD $29,066 507 Effective
Hamilton North College Hill CSD $29,033 508 Continuous Improvement
Hamilton Cincinnati CSD $28,988 509 Effective
Portage Ravenna CSD $28,944 510 Effective
Columbiana Lisbon EVSD $28,931 511 Excellent
Montgomery Mad River LSD $28,916 512 Effective
Trumbull Brookfield LSD $28,909 513 Effective
Washington Belpre CSD $28,795 514 Effective
Trumbull Labrae LSD $28,784 515 Effective
Darke Greenville CSD $28,726 516 Excellent
Crawford Galion CSD $28,697 517 Excellent
Belmont Barnesville EVSD $28,693 518 Effective
Holmes West Holmes LSD $28,614 519 Excellent
Perry New Lexington CSD $28,520 520 Effective
Highland Bright LSD $28,439 521 Effective
Perry Southern LSD (Perry Co.) $28,393 522 Effective
Guernsey East Guernsey LSD $28,348 523 Effective
Lawrence South Point LSD $28,296 524 Effective
Logan Bellefontaine CSD $28,279 525 Excellent
Lorain Elyria CSD $28,273 526 Effective
Lawrence Dawson-Bryant LSD $28,267 527 Effective
Athens Athens CSD $28,266 528 Excellent
Richland Madison LSD (Richland Co.) $28,215 529 Excellent
Lawrence Rock Hill LSD $28,208 530 Effective
Columbiana Salem CSD $28,164 531 Excellent
Vinton Vinton LSD $28,129 532 Effective
Jackson Wellston CSD $28,118 533 Effective
Pike Eastern LSD (Pike Co.) $28,100 534 Effective
Ross Huntington LSD $28,038 535 Effective
Allen Perry LSD (Allen Co.) $27,987 536 Effective
Hamilton St. Bernard-Elmwood Place CSD $27,962 537 Effective
Brown Ripley-Union-Lewis LSD $27,952 538 Effective
Noble Caldwell EVSD $27,936 539 Effective
Franklin Columbus CSD $27,859 540 Continuous Improvement
Miami Piqua CSD $27,842 541 Effective
Butler Hamilton CSD $27,810 542 Continuous Improvement
Hamilton Norwood CSD $27,648 543 Excellent
Richland Plymouth LSD $27,617 544 Effective
Morgan Morgan LSD $27,615 545 Excellent
Trumbull Niles CSD $27,525 546 Effective
Holmes East Holmes LSD $27,467 547 Excellent with Distinction
Adams Ohio Valley LSD $27,352 548 Effective
Trumbull Bloomfield-Mespo LSD $27,322 549 Excellent
Muskingum Maysville LSD $27,274 550 Effective
Highland Hillsboro CSD $27,231 551 Effective
Meigs Meigs LSD $27,180 552 Effective
Crawford Crestline EVSD $27,016 553 Effective
Pike Scioto Valley LSD (Pike Co.) $27,010 554 Continuous Improvement
Williams Montpelier EVSD $27,004 555 Effective
Licking Newark CSD $26,941 556 Excellent
Stark Massillon CSD $26,910 557 Effective
Athens Trimble LSD $26,894 558 Effective
Belmont Martins Ferry CSD $26,893 559 Continuous Improvement
Guernsey Rolling Hills LSD $26,865 560 Effective
Summit Barberton CSD $26,841 561 Effective
Trumbull Girard CSD $26,833 562 Effective
Portage Windham EVSD $26,821 563 Effective
Ashtabula Ashtabula Area CSD $26,774 564 Continuous Improvement
Lawrence Ironton CSD $26,682 565 Effective
Darke Mississinawa Valley LSD $26,616 566 Effective
Tuscarawas Newcomerstown EVSD $26,590 567 Effective
Columbiana Wellsville CSD $26,537 568 Continuous Improvement
Ashtabula Conneaut Area CSD $26,402 569 Effective
Cuyahoga Warrensville Heights CSD $26,305 570 Academic Watch
Highland Greenfield EVSD $26,213 571 Effective
Butler Middletown CSD $26,122 572 Continuous Improvement
Columbiana East Liverpool CSD $26,116 573 Continuous Improvement
Mahoning Struthers CSD $26,074 574 Effective
Montgomery Trotwood-Madison CSD $26,057 575 Continuous Improvement
Mahoning Sebring LSD $25,984 576 Effective
Belmont Bellaire CSD $25,979 577 Effective
Marion Marion CSD $25,922 578 Continuous Improvement
Fayette Washington Court House CSD $25,873 579 Excellent
Lucas Toledo CSD $25,846 580 Continuous Improvement
Belmont Bridgeport EVSD $25,769 581 Effective
Crawford Bucyrus CSD $25,651 582 Effective
Tuscarawas Claymont CSD $25,600 583 Effective
Summit Akron CSD $25,484 584 Continuous Improvement
Butler New Miami LSD $25,435 585 Excellent
Lake Painesville CSD $25,292 586 Continuous Improvement
Jefferson Steubenville CSD $25,192 587 Excellent
Seneca Fostoria CSD $25,177 588 Continuous Improvement
Pike Western LSD $24,984 589 Continuous Improvement
Guernsey Cambridge CSD $24,717 590 Effective
Mahoning Campbell CSD $24,711 591 Effective
Coshocton Coshocton CSD $24,678 592 Effective
Franklin Whitehall CSD $24,451 593 Continuous Improvement
Athens Nelsonville York CSD $24,392 594 Effective
Adams Manchester LSD (Adams Co.) $24,348 595 Effective
Scioto Portsmouth CSD $24,232 596 Continuous Improvement
Stark Alliance CSD $24,015 597 Effective
Clark Springfield CSD $24,014 598 Effective
Lorain Clearview LSD $23,977 599 Effective
Lorain Lorain CSD $23,896 600 Continuous Improvement
Montgomery Dayton CSD $23,673 601 Continuous Improvement
Hamilton Lockland CSD $23,417 602 Continuous Improvement
Montgomery Northridge LSD (Montgomery Co.) $23,300 603 Excellent
Richland Mansfield CSD $23,262 604 Continuous Improvement
Muskingum Zanesville CSD $23,143 605 Continuous Improvement
Cuyahoga Cleveland Municipal S.D. $23,095 606 Academic Watch
Trumbull Warren CSD $22,992 607 Academic Watch
Ottawa North Bass LSD $22,198 608
Erie Sandusky CSD $22,097 609 Continuous Improvement
Allen Lima CSD $21,820 610 Continuous Improvement
Stark Canton CSD $21,747 611 Continuous Improvement
Cuyahoga East Cleveland CSD $20,982 612 Academic Watch
Mahoning Youngstown CSD $20,826 613 Academic Watch
Scioto New Boston LSD $18,928 614 Continuous Improvement

Ohio Department of Education, District Rating Data 2010-2011
Ohio Department of Taxation, 2010

An Addendum to a Short Math Lesson

I have written before about time management. After failing hardcore for a couple of weeks at keeping my own simple time constraints, I have found something that I very much missed the first time around. Sometimes, we don’t have enough time in a day to be the kind of person we want to be because we don’t use our free time to help ourselves out. As exams come to a close and free time begins to pour in on us like the good manna of heaven, here are some fun, educational, soul-serving things I plan on doing in the near future. Join if you like!

Leave some educational entertainment in the comments and have a great weekend!

Lessons from Eighth Graders

I’m in this really awesome national organization called Students for Education Reform. I started a chapter at my university. Our mission is to educate the next generation of leaders about the achievement gap so that we can close it. Because it needs to be closed.

This is our first quarter at OU, and it’s not been terribly easy. A lot of our plans have fallen through, but throughout the quarter, there have been some really great things that have kept me excited. Today, I had an experience that will keep me excited about ed reform for the rest of the year. I got the chance, with a couple of other students, to visit KIPP Journey in Columbus. The school was, simply put, kick ass.

KIPP Journey is a charter school for fifth through eighth graders. Most students enter KIPP well below grade level in both reading and math. By the time they leave, though, they are not only testing better than most of their peers in Columbus but also than most KIPP schools around the nation. That’s incredible!

One of the most notable things about the school was that in most of the classrooms we observed, the teachers had visible and public graphs, tracking each student’s test scores. I have heard stories about teachers doing this, and I’ve always been skeptical. I know in my own public schools, public information like that would have been toxic. Those at the top would have been ridiculed for being nerds and those at the bottom would have been ridiculed for being stupid. At least I thought so until today.

We got a chance to talk to a couple of outstanding eighth graders. I asked them about the charts. They smiled at me, knowingly. The following is a paraphrase of their answer:

Of course we like knowing where we are. It’s important to know where we have come and where we are going. And plus, we can see where other kids are. So we can help the ones who are beneath us. And we can ask for help from the ones who are above us. It’s not really about being smart or dumb. Sometimes certain subjects are just easier for some people. I may be better at math. But she might be better at science. It doesn’t really matter. In fact, it’s better that way. It makes it easier to help each other. We have a goal here of everyone scoring Proficient on the OAA. That’s a tough goal, but we are helping each other get there.

I still don’t know if the chart thing would be successful in my junior high, but I do know that the culture at my school was completely different than that. At my school, being an A student was important in and of itself. I didn’t really care about learning as long as I was getting A’s. A lot of this was my fault, but a lot of it was also that I didn’t know what else to base my academic goals on. If someone had told me, “Hey, you are reading at a tenth grade reading level. That’s great, but here’s what you could do to be reading at a college level,” I would have loved it.

And that’s exactly what’s happening in KIPP Journey. The culture isn’t about valuing the grade. It’s about valuing knowledge and learning. If a student masters a skill, s/he doesn’t say, “This is good enough.” Instead, s/he asks, “What else can I master?” And they realize there is always someone who is above them. That’s so so healthy. KIPP Journey isn’t about being the best. It’s about being the best you can be. And somehow, as the test results show, when kids/people concentrate on that, they become the best.