Ohio rewards good ideas with Straight A Fund

Posted on Monday, 10/28/2013 8:43 AM

While many schools provide an educational experience of a high quality, it is clear that other institutions have some work to do. The Common Core State Standards and Race to the Top are just two initiatives designed to improve student achievement levels on a national level.

Then, there are the efforts aimed at helping schools in specific states, such as the Ohio Department of Education's Straight A Fund.

Promoting innovation
Educators are the ones teaching students on a daily basis, which means they understand where these pupils could stand to improve. For this reason, it only makes sense that many instructors would have ideas for improving student achievement.

The Straight A Fund is designed to reward teachers who take the initiative and have a plan for turning things around. According to the department's website, the $250 million Straight A Fund provides money to educational entities that have solutions that meet students' learning needs, reduce operational costs and bring more money into schools.

In Ohio, the application deadline of Oct. 25 has passed. A department press release states that 1,481 Intent to Apply notifications had been received, which just goes to show how many educators think they have the right ideas. Overall, $100 million of the $250 million in funding will be awarded during the fiscal year 2014, while $150 million will be dispersed during the fiscal year 2015.

Eager for funding
With so much money up for grabs, Ohio educators are understandably optimistic about what Straight A Fund awards could mean for them. For example, officials from the Marysville Schools district hope to receive $15 million from the fund to transform the former Maple Street Middle School building into an alternative high school, ThisWeek Community News reported. This particular school would adhere to an early college model.

"Early college does a couple of things: By the time you graduate, you can have your associate's degree and your high school diploma or up to 50 hours of college credit you can transfer," Diane Mankins, the Marysville superintendent, told the news source.

Meanwhile, officials from the Cincinnati Public Schools have several ideas as to how they can improve instruction, according to Cincinnati.com. More resources for English language learners and a blended high school are among them.

Even if school officials do not receive the funding they desire, it is important for them to remember simple steps like introducing more hands-on learning activities or student software to a classroom could also make a difference.




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