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StateImpact Ohio Celebrates One Year of Covering the World of Ohio Education

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Monday, June 25, 2012 at 2:42 PM

No, we did not bake this cake ourselves.

Can you believe it's been one year since three public radio stations joined with the NPR mothership to build StateImpact Ohio?

We can.

StateImpact Ohio is a radio and online production of NPR and WCPN, WKSU and WOSU. We cover the world of Ohio education, and partner with StateImpact startups in seven other states to bring you national context. As the bigwigs put it:

StateImpact is a collaboration among NPR and local public radio stations in eight pilot states to examine public policy issues in-depth. The cross-platform reporting network seeks to inform and engage communities with explanatory, data-driven stories focused on how government decisions affect people’s lives.

This past year, we explained how decisions made in Columbus affect communities, teachers, students, families and taxpayers across Ohio:

  • Issue 2: In November 2011, voters repealed Senate Bill 5. SB 5 would have significantly changed how Ohio public schools operated.
  • School Funding: State lawmakers cut funding for public schools, and promised a new, fair way of funding schools would be coming ... one day.
  • School Rankings: The 2011 state budget required annual rankings of Ohio public schools.

And we explored the wide landscape of Ohio education, covering the state Legislature's creation of new opportunities for charter schools and discussions about increasing accountability for them. The legislature expanded state voucher programs, too.

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Ohio responded to federal pressure, too, receiving a waiver from some parts of the No Child Left Behind Act, spending $400 million in federal Race to the Top grant money, and receiving a $70 million federal grant to improve pre-K and early childhood education in Ohio.

When a student shot and killed three students in the Chardon High School cafeteria, we covered it. And while prosecutors say mental illness, not bullying, was behind the shooting, we've explained how state lawmakers have -- and have not -- beefed up Ohio's anti-bullying laws.

In the coming year, we'll cover teachers as they figure out how to teach a new, national curriculum, the Common Core, to students.

We'll see Gov. John Kasich reorganize state workforce development programs and high schools and colleges try to increase the number of high school graduates who are actually ready to take college-level classes.

Teachers will face new ways of being evaluated. And state lawmakers will once again try to come up with a good way to fund public education.

What else do you think we should be covering in our second year? What other voices do you want to hear on StateImpact? Tell us in the comments below or email

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