Home News Ohio Department of Education Announces Partnership with Harvard to Support Rural Districts

Ohio Department of Education Announces Partnership with Harvard to Support Rural Districts


OHIO – The Ohio Department of Education and the Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR) at Harvard University has announced the award of $10 million from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

The grant will create a network of rural school districts that will work together to create and test solutions to the challenges of chronic absenteeism, college readiness and college enrollment in rural education.

Like CEPR’s Proving Ground initiative, the center applies a continuous improvement approach to help school districts identify and test evidence-based solutions to district challenges. The approach allows school districts to pool data across the network to uncover potential solutions and evaluate their success.

Proving Ground’s current work with urban districts in Ohio led to reduced absenteeism in the Canton City and Maple Heights City schools. Nearly $5 million of the five-year grant will support 30 rural Ohio school districts statewide. Another 30 rural districts in New York also will participate.

“We are excited that rural schools in Ohio will have this fantastic opportunity to help build their capacity to use data analysis to drive continuous improvement,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria. “Our experience with the Proving Ground program has shown that student outcomes can be positively impacted when this model is applied. We are honored to have the opportunity to expand this work.”

Since 2015, CEPR’s Proving Ground has supported partner districts by providing data analysis, strategic advice, hands-on assistance and peer networking opportunities. Ohio was selected to participate in this grant opportunity, in part, because rural districts in Ohio serve a large percent of the state’s school-age children compared to the national average.


About the Ohio Department of Education
The Ohio Department of Education oversees the state’s public education system, which includes public school districts, joint vocational school districts and charter schools. The Department also monitors educational service centers, other regional education providers, early learning and child care programs, and private schools. The Department’s tasks include administering the school funding system, collecting school fiscal and performance data, developing academic standards and model curricula, administering the state achievement tests, issuing district and school report cards, administering Ohio’s voucher programs, providing professional development, and licensing teachers, administrators, treasurers, superintendents and other education personnel. The Department is governed by the State Board of Education with administration of the Department the responsibility of the superintendent of public instruction.

Visit Proving Ground for more information.