Ohio Gadfly Daily News 5-6-14

  1. It's more of the same investigation into "high-stakes testing" today in Middletown. As noted yesterday, quotes from the interview subjects do not fully support the thesis of the piece: that standardized testing is too stressful for students and has little value.Said one ODE data boffin, echoing several teachers featured in the story: “Each piece of data tells its own story.” Yes indeed. (Middletown Journal-News)
  2. We’ll file this one under Search Engine Irony. ODE has revised the 2010-11 district report cards for those districts found to have scrubbed attendance data. Hardest hit was tiny Northridge Local Schools in Montgomery County, whose district grade dropped from an A to a C for that year after data was de-scrubbed. The irony comes when you use the Dayton Daily News’ search feature to find this story by typing in “Northridge”. Today’s sad story came up sandwiched between two stories from 2011 where the superintendent responds to the initial A rating. Those “tears” and “chills” and “phones blowing up” definitely take on a new meaning now. (Dayton Daily News)
  3. If you want to see the revised report cards for all of those data-scrubbing districts, the Big D has them all for you. (Columbus Dispatch)
  4. Back in the real world, the Enquirer has a nice guest column opining upon the moral imperative for ending the high school dropout epidemic in Ohio and in the U.S. (Cincinnati Enquirer)
  5. My sense is that Berea is a relatively well-off little Cleveland suburb so perhaps this piece on the Third Grade Reading Guarantee isn’t as illustrative as I might like, but here are two points that jump out at me: a) With 66.5 percent passing the test on the first attempt last fall, Berea is at the state average so what happened between the fall test and the spring test could be a bellwether of what others can do; in that case, I cringe at the reference to district officials “hoping” for a good outcome on the fall test. Either you did it or you didn’t, and I’ll bet most of those third grade teachers know which it is even without official results. b) The name of the school featured in this piece is Grindstone Elementary, and I know my erudite readers can fill in their own commentary with that. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
  6. The meat of this story is good: a primer on the disposition of closed school buildings in Columbus. The framing device referring to the Clinton Elementary Annex building is less useful. The district wants that thing down and it’s going to go, no matter what my neighborhood’s “activists” say. You heard it here first. (WOSU-FM, Columbus)

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