8 Features Tech Directors Want in Student Data Storage & Analytics

No one is more invested in student data management than district technology administrators. Am I right, tech directors, tech coordinators? After all, you are the folks who maintain this data and often spend countless hours gathering and disseminating valuable data points to teachers, principals, curriculum directors, counselors, and superintendents.

Graduation Requirements for Class of 2018 Finalized With Ohio's State Budget

The Class of 2018 finally has clarity for what they need to do to graduate. After a great deal of debate in educational and legislative circles over the past year, new pathways to graduation are now official for seniors beginning this fall. Governor John Kasich signed Ohio's state budget in late June, approving the state school board’s recommendations. Before the approval of the budget, this year's seniors had the following graduation alternatives available to them:    

What it Takes to Lead a High-Performing School District

Wyoming City Schools, serving just under 2000 students, proves that small districts can achieve big results. Not only was their superintendent, Dr. Susan Lang, named the 2017 Ohio Superintendent of the Year for being an exemplary educational leader and innovator, but the district has also been regularly recognized at the state and national level for academic excellence.

Under Dr. Lang’s tenure, Wyoming City Schools has earned top rankings in US News & World Reports, the Washington Post and numerous national and statewide competitions. However, Dr. Lang attributes much of the district’s celebrated accomplishments to the school community, where stakeholders are committed to education and the whole-child learning experience.

We sat down with Dr. Lang to ask her about her career, her leadership style, and the “Wyoming Way” school culture.  

Teachers: Your Top 15 Summer Activities for a Great School Year

Teaching is one of the noblest professions known to man that brings many challenges and benefits. One of the attractive benefits of being a teacher, beyond the love of working with young people, is the opportunity to have time in the summer to pursue other interests, hobbies and pastimes. Moreover, the summer is also an extremely valuable time for educators to immerse themselves in various activities to position themselves and their students for an outstanding school year. Below are 15 of the best measures teachers can take during the summer that will pay off in time and efficiency.

Blended Learning and LMS Use in Ohio Classrooms: ProgressBook Teacher Survey Results

We recently surveyed 3,900 Ohio PreK – 12 teachers (and ProgressBook users) about their approach to digital learning and use of Learning Management Systems (LMS) in their classrooms. Our goal was to gather insight about what teachers currently use, want, or need from tools designed to facilitate coursework, enhance teaching, and improve learning outcomes.

Ohio Delays ESSA Submission to Federal Government

In an earlier blog, I highlighted a number of important proposals in Ohio's plan submitted to the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) for compliance with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) spent over a year gathering input from stakeholders across the state via webinars and face-to-face regional meetings with educators, parents and interested citizens. After compiling the results and reporting the subsequent plan that Ohio prepared to submit to the federal government, the backlash took place. Many who participated in the feedback sessions complained that they were not heard or that their thoughts were not incorporated into the final plan. Consequently, State Superintendent of Instruction Dr. Paolo DeMaria decided to withhold Ohio's submission until the end of September to "...allow more time to review statewide testing and other issues before finishing the plan."

Preparing Kids for State Tests: Less Time Than We Think!


All fifty states in the country are required to administer state assessments at the end of the school year to comply with the accountability measures laid out by the federal government. For example, all states MUST test students in English Language Arts (ELA) and math every year in grades 3-8 and also in social studies and science two times within that grade band. In addition, all states must require state tests in math and English at least one time in high school. Logically, schools want as many instructional days as possible to prepare their students for these high stakes tests that have serious implications for students, parents, buildings and districts across the United States. Given the traditional school calendar, school should be able to count on 180 days of instruction to prepare kids, right? Well, for numerous reasons, schools rarely, if ever, have even one student in attendance ready for instruction for 180 school days. In fact, when we look at all of the factors involved, the typical student is likely in their seat and available for instruction anywhere from 140 to 150 days every school year. Let's take a look at why.

Ohio's State Plan for ESSA

Since the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December of 2016, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has been busy preparing Ohio's draft plan which must be submitted to and approved by the U.S. Department of Education. The draft plan must adhere to all state requirements outlined in ESSA and will serve as a blueprint for Ohio to address standards, assessments, accountability and special help for struggling schools. The ODE has sought stakeholder input over the past year through a host of meetings held throughout the state, a series of webinars covering each of the major topics and the opportunity for individuals to weigh in via electronic resources. Below is an outline of some of the major provisions in Ohio's ESSA draft plan.

Get Students Writing in 7 Easy Steps

As a high school principal for over twelve years, I continually promoted the virtues of writing. Additionally, I constantly encouraged teachers to engage their students purposefully in writing during class on a daily basis. Only, I didn’t have to grade all those writing assignments! I can vividly picture the English teachers I worked with leaving the building with bundles of essays they were taking home to spend their entire weekend grading. With six classes, it was not unlikely that these teachers had upwards of 150 essays to wade through. I almost felt guilty. Moreover, how was I to get the art teacher and the social studies teacher let alone members of the math department to get their kids to write in class? I made it my mission to explain at every opportunity why writing is so important for the development of our students. In the link below, Marquette University’s Writing Center gives specific reasons why learning to write really matters.

3 Essential Components of Educational Data Tools

Educators today are continuously bombarded with data about their schools, classrooms, and individual students. State assessment data is reported for up to 32 tests. Vendor assessments such as M.A.P., DIBELS, TerraNova, AIMSWEB and the suite of tests from ACT are just a few of the examples of data that educators must wade through to make informed decisions about their instruction with the ultimate goal of improving academic achievement. Add in classroom and district created common assessments and it is no wonder that teachers, principals, and administrators are searching for data tools with three essential components: 1) can provide quick and easy access to the data, 2) is simple to use, and 3) can be employed as a point of collaborative work..

Pages