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
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.