Ohio Evidence-Based Model

In 2009, Ohio adopted a program of ambitious education innovation tied to comprehensive school funding reform.

The heart of this plan, the Ohio Evidence-Based Model, was designed to determine funding for school districts based on evidence of what works to improve student performance, including such things as:

  • all-day kindergarten
  • smaller class sizes in grades K-3
  • quality professional development for teachers
  • emphasis on 21st-century skills
  • more effective forms of accountability for results
  • broader graduation requirements

However, the new funding system and the reforms it was meant to encourage have been stymied by the economic and political changes of recent months. Full funding had to be phased in as school districts struggled to implement the model, and new ideas for how to structure school funding arose.

We aimed to encourage innovation that will drive higher student achievement by developing tools to help districts implement key principles of the Ohio Evidence-Based Model within the framework of current economic realities.

By working with four real-life Ohio districts to test the impact of various funding scenaiors, we aimed to to help each district realign its existing resources and staff to implement a more effective and efficient instructional improvement strategy and to develop a method to help other districts across the state do the same.

A computer-based strategic budgeting tool was provided to help
districts better understand the organization of their schools and resources and to focus staff and fiscal resources on strategies to improve student learning. The Performance-Directed Funding tool uses some of the concepts of school improvement embedded in the OEBM to help schools rethink their strategies for boosting student performance and identify ways to reallocate resources to strategies that would produce greater student learning gains.