Archives for July 2010

Speak Out:17,000 student COTA passes deactivated by CCS

"people mover" by Flickr user fensterbme.

"people mover" by Flickr user fensterbme.

Recently, Columbus City Schools temporarily suspended secondary students’ COTA bus passes. Until last week, the seven year-old program provided more than 17,000 high school students with free rides on COTA buses. CCS deactivated service for students on Friday, Jul. 24, following the conclusion of the district’s summer-school term.

The decision to deactivate student COTA passes comes more than a month after the Columbus Board of Education voted to reduce the number of high school bus stops from 1,466 to 205. High school students will now have to walk to the closest open CCS school or other location(s) designated by the district to catch their bus to school; 90 percent of those students are within 2 miles of their new bus stops.

The district’s current contract with COTA, paid in full, runs through September of this school year. One-way service on COTA costs riders $1.75; an express pass costs $2.50. District students have been paying the full price since last week.

CCS officials have indicated that students will be issued new COTA bus passes with a magnetic swipe card to verify the validity of the passes. The district has previously stated that the mass deactivation was not a result of inappropriate student behavior on COTA, and that the bus pass replacement process could begin as early as August.

The CEA Blog wants to know:

What is your opinion regarding the district’s decision to deactivate more than 17,000 student bus passes? What do you think will be the long and short-term effects of this decision will be for teaching and learning in your classroom?

[Read more…]

Speak Out: Web 2.0 and you

"2.0 buttons/badges" from Flickr user vespertin.

The creation of the World Wide Web in the early 1990’s caused an immediate and dramatic shift in how the world shared information. Educators were among the first groups of professionals to recognize and take advantage of the important resources offered by Web to improve teaching and learning in our classrooms.

Over the past 20 years, the Web has quickly evolved from its original purpose of information storage and retrieval to become a virtual space where interaction, collaboration and learning between online users is the norm. This “newer” version of the Web is collectively referred to as “Web 2.0”.

Wikipedia (itself a Web 2.0 site) provides the following definition of Web 2.0:

The term “Web 2.0” is commonly associated with web applications that facilitate interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design and collaboration on the World Wide Web.

The CEA Blog asks the following question:

As an education professional, what Web 2.0 tools have you used to create and/or deliver learning experiences to your students? What sites would you recommend to other educators?

 Visitors to the CEA Blog do not need to be registered to leave a reply. Simply click on the “Comments” link directly below the post title. Type in a screen name of your choice, enter your email address and leave your comment. Please make sure your comment adheres to our posting guidelines. Once your comment has been moderated, it will be visible to all visitors to the CEA Blog.  

Ohio is a finalist for the second round of Race to the Top

Ohio was one of 36 states that submitted an application to the second round of the United States Department of Education’s Race to the Top (RttT) competitive grant program. The Department recently announced that due to the strength of its application, Ohio was one of 18 states and the District of Columbia that earned RttT finalist status. This marks the second time Ohio has earned finalist status for RttT. The Columbus Education Association and Columbus City Schools were co-signatories on Ohio’s first and second round RttT applications.

Ohio’s RttT pitch team is expected to give their presentation to a panel of judges during the week of Aug. 9 in Washington, D.C. Ohio’s first round pitch team included Governor Ted Strickland, State Supt. Deborah Delisle, CCS Supt. Gene Harris, Deputy State Supt. Marilyn Troyer and Jim Mahoney, Executive Director of Battelle for Kids. Education Secretary Arne Duncan will announce RttT winners in early September.

In Franklin County, a total of 11 school districts signed on to the state’s RttT application.  They include: Bexley, Columbus, Canal Winchester, Dublin, Grandview Heights, Groveport Madison, Hiliard, Reynoldsburg, Upper Arlington, Whitehall and Worthington. Only five districts declined to join the state’s application, including: Gahanna, Hamilton Local, New Albany, South-Western and Westerville.

Ohio has asked for $400 million from the federal government to implement the reforms outlined in the state’s application. Columbus City Schools could receive more than $20 million if Ohio’s proposal is accepted by the federal government.