Gadfly Bites 10/12/18 – Enter the Tech Ninja!

  1. At this middle school in Dublin, Ohio, students get tech help from their fellow students. The introduction of one-to-one Chromebook use in the school has brought out the nerd herd in these 11- and 12-year-olds. (ThisWeek News, 10/10/18)
     
  2. While there is ongoing grumbling in some corners about state report cards AND ongoing litigation to nullify the state’s Academic Distress Commission law, it is somewhat pleasing to note that some folks may actually start taking both things seriously. To wit: Columbus City Schools, hoping to avoid a declaration of academic distress (and all that goes along with it) is focusing on efforts that could boost this year’s report card above an “F”. And these efforts may even help kids learn more, which some may think is a bonus but is actually the point. Miraculous! (Columbus Dispatch, 10/11/18) In Dayton, a town hall meeting hosted by the DDN as part of their Path Forward initiative, drew 60 residents to discuss their views on how Dayton City Schools could improve. Residents seemed to be taking a bit of a longer view than is practical for the district given the ticking clock they are under. (Dayton Daily News, 10/12/18) And, while this piece is not included as part of the Path Forward series, the effort described here—adding career tech classes to every high school in Dayton City Schools—is probably actually part of the actual forward path. Weird. (Dayton Daily News, 10/12/18)
     
  3. But, the memo of seriousness has not reached everywhere. Editors in Toledo today opine nonsensically against the state report cards, using the state’s 2019 teacher of the year (a social studies teacher at Toledo Early College High School) as their sole evidence. “The Ohio Department of Education must stop the use of phony letter grades to shame the performance of public school districts that are only doing what they are directed to do by the state with the resources provided by the state.” What? (Toledo Blade, 10/12/18)
     
  4. Finally this week, in case you forgot, the state’s proposed strategic plan for education, which is a morass of non-academic nonsense if you ask me, has yet to be actually voted on and approved by the state board of education as the guiding principal for education in Ohio. But never fear, teachers in Lorain County (well, the tonier suburban districts of Lorain County) are already spending their PD days being trained on how to bring aspects of it into their classrooms. Wouldn’t it be just the tiniest bit embarrassing if the board ended up voting that plan down? But that couldn’t happen, could it? (Northern Ohio Morning Journal, 10/12/18)

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Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,