Gadfly Bites 10/17/18 – A depressing roster of stories

COMPILER'S NOTE: Bites will be on vacation for a few days. Back on 10/22/18.

  1. “Many fewer Ohio students would have access to a variety of school options without his long-term advocacy.” So says our own Chad Aldis, noting the recent passing of Ohio charter/choice pioneer and stalwart David Brennan at age 87. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 10/15/18)
     
  2. Ohio’s War on Knowing Stuff continued apace this week as the state board of education's achievement and graduation requirements committee unanimously voted out their new plan for getting diplomas to kids in bulk. These include multiple pathways to a diploma which require no real proof of numeracy, literacy, or science knowledge. Next up, a full vote of the board. (Gongwer Ohio, 10/16/18) Meanwhile ACT scores for the Class of 2018 suck, apparently. “In Ohio,” Jeremy Kelly writes, “55 percent of Ohioans in the Class of 2018 met the ACT College Readiness Benchmark in English, while 43 percent did so in reading, 38 percent in math and 35 percent in science. About 25 percent met the benchmarks in all four subjects.” Part of these appalling numbers are due to the fact that Ohio required all students to take the ACT this year, but another part is the fact that those taking the test don’t know a ton about the subjects being tested. Hey, state board: you got a capstone to fix this? (Dayton Daily News, 10/17/18)
     
  3. Finally today in our roster of depressing news, officials in Mansfield City Schools are sounding the alarm about budget problems in the near future. What’s the issue? The district has “lost” the funding for at least 92 students from last year to this year; money they were counting on to stay in the black. While there is much discussion here of the implications of losing so much funding, there is zero discussion of where the students might have gone or why. As you might, depressingly, suspect. (Richland Source, 10/16/18)

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