Gadfly Bites 10/2/17 - Euphemistically speaking

  1. I have said it before, but it bears repeating: the reach of Aaron Churchill knows no geographic bounds. Here he is commenting on standardized testing in a Pennsylvania news outlet. It appears from this piece that there is no one in all of the Keystone State who supports standardized testing—which is weird—and so the reporter had to go looking far afield for someone to “bless the tests”, as we say around here. But maybe it’s just that no one like that was in the reporter’s contact list. Thank heaven for Aaron’s misspent Pennsylvania youth. (Morning Call, Allentown, PA, 9/30/17)
  2. Speaking of lone voices, data analyst Howard Fleeter appears to be alone in his assessment that Ohio’s school report card data is valuable. At least that’s how it appears in this round up of opinion on report cards from a group of state office holders as compiled by Gongwer. (Gongwer Ohio, 9/29/17) Oddly enough, the PD has a similar story with a similar tone—albeit with a few less voices in it. This is coverage of a community event held in Shaker Heights last week in which some legislators and state board members talked about report cards. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 10/1/17) So it seems to your humble clips compiler that the “confusion” regarding report card data (if I can call it that euphemistically) as evidenced above stems mostly from the fact that the “confused” individuals do not see the data as accurately representing what’s going on in the schools. What, then, to make of this straightforward listing of the raft of generally low grades in Dayton City Schools’ data this year? Can we call it “objectivity”? Euphemistically. (Dayton Daily News, 10/1/17) And what do Catholic school administrators think of all this hoopla over testing and report cards? One such leader opined this weekend in favor of the “test scores are just numbers” mindset. Yes, Norwalk Catholic does accept students on the EdChoice Scholarship voucher program. Why do you ask? (Norwalk Reflector, 10/1/17)
  3. Switching gears a bit, all of my dedicated Gadfly Bites subscribers are aware of the “difficulties” (euphemism!) that Louisville City Schools has endured over the last year so. Neither of you will be surprised to learn, then, that these “difficulties” have resulted in some deep divisions there and a sizeable slate of candidates for the upcoming school board race. As it often happens. Here is a questionnaire of pressing issues prepared by the Rep and the answers given by those candidates. I am shaking my head in bewilderment upon learning that the number one question on folks’ minds is apparently about which athletic league to join. (Canton Repository, 10/1/17)
  4. We end today with an interesting bit of analysis—or perhaps it’s more like strategy. School districts in Lorain County have experienced ups and downs in terms of enrollment over the last few years, resulting in “adjustments” (euphemism!) needed annually in terms of programs, staffing, transportation and other areas. Interestingly, it seems that no one interviewed is assigning “blame” for the comings and goings. In fact, they all seem pretty OK with things. Amherst Schools—on a decade-long losing trend—is happy to tout its high flying report card data; Lorain Schools has a schmancy new-ish high school building and has actually engineered a boost in its enrollment despite being in Academic Distress; and Elyria Schools—facing a sudden dip in its high school population—actually seems happy to have more seats available in the local standalone Early College High School to which they can send some of their resident students thanks to Lorain pulling out of the ECHS partnership. Link (Northern Ohio Morning Journal, 9/30/17)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,