Ohio charters recognized in U.S. News best high schools rankings

U.S. News & World Report released their annual rankings of the best public high schools this week. Nationally, charter public schools make up 10 percent of the country's public high schools, but they account for 23 percent of the top schools on the U.S. News list. Among the rankings for Ohio’s best high schools, three charter schools were recognized for their performance, including the Arts and College Preparatory Academy (76), Dayton Early College Academy (111), and the Toledo School for the Arts (227).

GreatSchools releases College Success Awards

On Thursday, GreatSchools announced the winners of the 2019 College Success Awards, which celebrate high schools that do an outstanding job of preparing students who are traditionally underserved to succeed in college and ultimately their careers. In Ohio, 143 public schools earned an award, including Dayton Early College Academy and the Toledo School for the Arts. You can find more information about the awards and the charter schools that made the list here.

Giving charters greater flexibility in hiring

Recent changes to Ohio law require public school teachers to be “properly certified or licensed,” which means they must possess one of the state’s approved teacher licenses. For charters, which rely a great deal on long-term substitute licenses, this could be an issue. But according to Fordham’s Jessica Poiner, the proposed state budget offers a simple fix.

Toledo charter becomes a district school

The school board of Toledo Public Schools recently approved a contract to open and operate Escuela SMART Academy, which will be a K-5 magnet school. To make this happen, the district will take over Toledo SMART Bilingual Elementary, a successful K-5 charter school that’s been operating in Toledo since 2014. Toledo SMART’s current principal will retain her role as school leader.

Legislative update

It was a busy week at the Statehouse. The House Primary and Secondary Education Committee heard testimony on bills dealing with school facilities, interschool athletics, and student religious expression. In addition, the committee favorably reported HB 154, which eliminates academic distress commissions in favor of local intervention. The full House of Representatives passed the bill the following day. You can find testimony from the hearing here and more information about the passage of HB 154 here. Lastly, the House Finance Committee met yesterday to accept the sub bill for HB 166. You can find a comparison document that compares the governor’s budget proposal to the House substitute version here.

School Performance Institute workshop

Are you a school leader interested in helping your team to build their capacity to lead and implement change? Then check out the School Performance Institute’s upcoming workshop on May 16th. You (and your team) will have an opportunity to visit a high-performing middle charter school during a school day (to observe how the school has been purposefully designed to get results in a high-poverty context using proven methods) and discuss concrete ways to apply these ideas in your own school. You can register here, if interested, or contact John A. Dues for more information.

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Chad Aldis is the Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s Vice President for Ohio Policy and Advocacy. In this role, Chad plans and leads Fordham’s Ohio policy, advocacy, and research agenda . He represents the Institute in its work with the media, state and local policy makers, other education reform groups, and the public.

Chad has a strong background in Ohio education policy work having previously served as the…

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Madison Yoder was the communications and policy associate for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Prior to joining Fordham, she served as the communications specialist for an Ohio coalition dedicated to supporting high standards for all Ohio students, regardless of zip codes.

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