Fast Facts

•Graduation Rate: 59.5% •Average SAT Score: 1606 •Average ACT Score: 21.8 •4th Grade NAEP Math Score: 48% •8th Grade NAEP Math Score: 40% •4th Grade NAEP Reading Score: 37% •8th Grade NAEP Reading Score: 39% •Per Pupil Funding: $11,007 •Public School Enrollment: 1,764,297
State Happenings


Ohio was an early pioneer of school choice with statewide reach, and is home to hundreds of quality charter opportunities for students. Parent power in the Buckeye State has improved over time, though not enough to stop one now famous mom from being thrown in jail for trying to get her daughter into a better public school. Hopefully that will change with a statewide parent trigger law now on the books. Teacher quality measures are above average, and strong online options abound despite hostile policies.

Scholarship programs exist and vary widely in scope and size, from an autism scholarship to a special needs scholarship serving up to five percent (approximately 12,000) of students with disabilities statewide to a voucher program for a maximum of 60,000 students in failing schools across Ohio. Cleveland also has its own voucher program for low-income students capped at $23.4 million. The state permits parent choice among public schools, allowing students to attend any public school in the state if there is room. In 2013, the state made several key expansions to its existing programs and created the income-based EdChoice Scholarship program. The new program, starting Fall 2013, will serve 2,000 low-income students in kindergarten and will expand a grade each year until it is available to eligible students through the 12th grade.

SOURCE: The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice

Ohio has recently enacted new accountability provisions that are positively balancing-out the previous generation of legislative changes, which opened up the authorizing process to incapable and unqualified organizations. The mayor of Columbus became an authorizer in July and the long-standing moratorium on approving new virtual charter schools was finally lifted, providing even more growth in this sector across the state.

SOURCE: 2014 Charter School Law Rankings and Scorecard

Ohio offers a host of full-time online options for students, but they are limited in scope. Blended options do not exist and Ohio students would have better access to diverse options with policy updates for online course providers, such as allowing students to enroll with multiple providers simultaneously.

SOURCE: Digital Learning Now!

Ohio’s annual teacher evaluations use multiple measures, and student growth must make up 50 percent of the overall score. Teachers receive tenure after five years and it does not have to be tied to performance. Consistent ineffective classroom performance is grounds for dismissal and seniority cannot be a factor in layoffs or teacher reinstatement.

In Ohio, teacher compensation is controlled by a state salary schedule based on years of experience and advanced degrees. Cleveland and other cities that have won federal grants are allowed to implement performance-pay systems.

SOURCE: National Council on Teacher Quality

Ohio’s department of education website is very parent-friendly. It takes only three clicks to find comprehensive and readable school report cards. The website also provides information about and applications to the private school choice programs as well as charter school options. School board members in Cleveland are appointed by the mayor. The other 611 local school boards are elected in November of odd-numbered years on the general election date.



Best Performing Outlets

  • wcpo.com 100%
  • Ashland Times-Gazette - Online 83%

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Worst Performing Outlets

  • Western Star - Online 0%
  • WDTN-TV - Online 17%
  • Charter Schools are innovative public schools designed by educators, parents or civic leaders that are open by choice, accountable for results and free from most unnecessary rules and regulations governing conventional public schools. For more information about CER's annual charter law rankings, click here.
  • School choice means giving parents the power and opportunity to choose the school their child will attend. States that give all parents the opportunity to choose the best school for their child – whether public, private, parochial or charter – ensure Parent Power!.
  • Teacher quality comes with strong, data-driven, performance-based accountability systems that ensure teachers are rewarded, retained and advanced based on how they perform in adding value to the students who they teach, measured predominantly by student achievement, along with skills and responsibilities.
  • Transparency in education means giving parents access to good and objective information about their schools, student and teacher performance and options.
  • The movement toward improving education in the U.S. today includes a strong focus on online learning, an approach that involves a myriad of delivery mechanisms via online tools for students, no matter where they live or attend school. Online learning is opening up classrooms to the world and ensuring students access to some of the best content and educators.
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