July 24, 2016   School Closings
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American Graduate

Become an American Graduate Champion

Become an American Graduate Champion

An American Graduate Champion commits their time, skills and resources to make sure that young people succeed. He or she is an individual who plays an active role in improving educational outcomes for students. A champion is a parent who is active in the lives of young people or a volunteer who creates a positive environment daily for youth in their community.

Make the commitment to help all young people succeed by becoming or recognizing an American Graduate Champion. Recognize yourself or someone else online now.


Today’s global economy demands a more educated workforce. Communities are working together to improve 21st century learning and increase high school graduation rates to prepare more students for college and successful careers. Public media stations across the country are at the center of this community-based work — from quality content and forums to local partnerships and classroom resources — to increase understanding and access to solutions.

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American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen is a long term public media commitment, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), to help communities implement solutions to the high school dropout crisis. Public media plays a significant role building individual activity, community capacity, and national awareness.

The dropout crisis demands attention now, and we are rising to the challenge of doing our part to address this problem. A new study conducted by the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins School of Education finds that the American Graduate initiative has succeeded in building community capacity to meet the national priority of ending America’s high school dropout crisis.

Working with Alma and Colin Powell’s America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, Johns Hopkins Everyone Graduates Center, and The Alliance for Excellent Education, and over 1000 local partners, the initiative puts faces on the numbers and increases understanding of the risks and solutions through national and local content, covering all facets of the issue for broadcast, web and  mobile platforms. In addition, American Graduate is engaging and empowering teachers, parents and students to help those most at risk of dropping out through community collaborations and classroom resources.

More than 80 public radio and television stations in over 30 states have joined forces with over 1000 partners and at-risk schools to shed light on the problem and share solutions. Through American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen, public media is increasing national and local reporting, convening diverse local stakeholders, and providing access to free, digital classroom resources for teachers and parents. By working with the community, public broadcasting stations are increasing the footprint of progress, reaching more children and families to seed the foundation for a prosperous economic future for our country.

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Local Partners

Broadway P16 Council/Slavic Village Development Corporation
Cleveland Metropolitan School District
College Now
Cuyahoga Community College
Neighborhood Connections
Neighborhood Leadership Institute
Third Federal Foundation

Senate Education Chair Reacts to ECOT Debacle

Friday, July 22, 2016 at 5:50 PM

by Andy Chow

One of the state’s top education leaders in the Legislature has a simple message for Ohio’s largest e-school: follow the law. That call comes as the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, or ECOT, refuses to turn over attendance information for a state audit, claiming a dispute over a contract with the state. 

ECOT and the Ohio Department of Education are now locked in a legal battle, with the online charter school refusing to hand over student log-in information. The school even has ads playing on TV criticizing Ohio’s leaders.

Akron Schools at Risk of Closing

Friday, July 22, 2016 at 3:22 PM

by Tim  Rudell

Continuing enrollment declines in Akron’s public school system could spell the end for one or more of the city’s well-known high schools. That’s because funding for a massive school re-building program in Akron is affected by the student population numbers.

A dozen years ago Akron voters OK’d a tax to pay for part of redoing the city’s school infrastructure; and, the state of Ohio agreed to pay the rest based a per-pupil-being-served formula.

Advocates Present the Case for Free Community College

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 5:10 PM

by Michelle Faust

A group advocating for free community college held a panel discussion at Cuyahoga Community College Wednesday as republicans are gathered in Cleveland this week. The Republican chair of the state senate education committee likes the idea, but has other priorities.

Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering), who was not at the event, is favor of a program that would cover the costs of community college, but she says Ohio is years away from being ready for that.

Westlake Teachers Have a Contract, Strike Averted

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 at 9:08 PM

by Michelle Faust

The Westlake City Board of Education and the Westlake Teachers Association have come to an agreement.

The board voted to adopt the newly negotiated contract in a special meeting Tuesday. Teachers voted to accept the proposed contract Monday.

Teachers will receive pay increases based on experience, but base rates of pay are frozen for the length of the contract, which will run through the 2017-2018 school year.

The district saved money with changes in teachers’ health insurance coverage.

Wright State University Won't Host Presidential Debate

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 at 6:43 PM

by Jerry Kenney

Wright State University near Dayton, Ohio has dropped out of the first Presidential Debate in September.

Wright State President David R. Hopkins cites both a fundraising shortfall and growing security concerns for the decision to drop the debate.

“Having a large open campus, accessible to the public, led to concerns about whether we could ensure the safety and security of those on and around our campus during the debate.”

Ohio House Speaker says Online Charter is One Many Schools Under Scrutiny

Monday, July 18, 2016 at 2:49 PM

by Karen Kasler

The Speaker of the Ohio House hasn’t been able to escape questions about ECOT—the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow—even on his visit to Cleveland for the Republican National Convention.

The state’s largest online charter school is refusing to turn over records on attendance of some 15,000 students to the Ohio Department of Education.

The Battle Over Attendance Between ECOT and ODE Continues

Friday, July 15, 2016 at 6:49 PM

by Andy Chow

Ohio’s largest online charter school is firing back against state officials who say they don’t have enough information to perform an attendance audit. The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, or ECOT, says it won’t hand over student log-in times unless a judge tells them to. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports.

The Ohio Department of Education says it still needs detailed information on when ECOT’s students logged-in and -out of school every day in order to get a clear idea of how much instruction time they received.

Ohio College Students Study Up-Close at RNC

Friday, July 15, 2016 at 1:54 PM

by Michelle Faust

Over the next two weeks as the Republican and Democratic national conventions get underway, some 300 college students will have the opportunity to get a close up look at the American political system at work.

Audit Shows Most Students in Controversial E-School Spend Only 1 Hour Online a Day

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 at 6:17 PM

by Karen Kasler

The Ohio Department of Education has started its audit of student attendance at the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, after a judge denied ECOT’s request to stop that audit yesterday. Questions about the laws that govern charter schools have both supporters and opponents once again calling for changes. 

University of Akron Picks An Interim President

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 at 3:32 PM

by Tim Rudell

The University of Akron has an interim president.  Mathew Wilson, Dean of the law school, was picked Monday by the university’s board of trustees. 

Mathew Wilson, joined the University of Akron two years ago. And, he says he decided to go for what is likely to be a very difficult job because he’s become sold on the potential of the U of A, and of the community.  He sees both as vastly underrated.