Gadfly Bites 10/23/17 - Gem City Funk

  1. CEO David Hardy yesterday released a draft of his turnaround plan for the district, dubbed the “Lorain Promise”. Seems a little light on concrete metrics if you ask me – the fluffy story from the MJ seems to support that – and a majority of the metrics that are included appear to be survey-based. (Northern Ohio Morning Journal, 10/22/17) There are some metrics regarding third grade reading, overall math achievement, and eighth grade honors readiness, but they are buried deep in that document and not even commented upon in the Chronicle’s piece. What is notable is that two further public input sessions are scheduled (and online feedback is being actively solicited) prior to a final revised plan being submitted to the Academic Distress Commission. Hopefully someone asks a question about what kids are actually going to be expected to learn and know how to do. (Elyria Chronicle-Telegram, 10/23/17)
  2. Back in the real world, we told you earlier in the month about Findlay Digital Academy’s report card and the district’s happiness about it. Now, Newark Digital Academy – also a dropout recovery charter school sponsored by a school district – reports happiness with their report card as well, having exceeded standards for the third year in a row. Sadly, the district has been rated “poor” on its charter sponsor evaluation and is in danger of losing its ability to sponsor both NDA and another dropout recovery charter. An appeal is pending with the Ohio Department of Education. Wonder if NDA’s report card will factor in? (Newark Advocate, 10/20/17)
  3. What do Dayton City Schools, the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit program, a charter school, the teachers union, tens of thousands of dollars, and the classic funk band Ohio Players have to do with one another? And why are they all part of a 17-month-long legal battle that has ended up in federal court? You’ll just have to read this trippy little Jeremy Kelley piece to find out. (Dayton Daily News, 10/22/17)
  4. In my never-ending quest to bring my loyal Gadfly Bites subscribers stories from the most obscure news sources, I give you the news site for the Cleveland Browns football team. You are both welcome. In this piece, there are a number of photos of adorable little kids and the news that the Browns organization is supporting and encouraging Cleveland-area families to participate in something called “the 2,000 Days Pledge” – where families sign their kids up for high-quality pre-K and promise to make the most of their child’s time before kindergarten. Interesting. (Cleveland, 10/22/17) In perhaps a more serious story about preschool, a statewide program run out of Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus has been providing remote and on-site support and training for preschool providers. The goal is to help the providers better deal with so-called “problem kids”, those whose behavior would in the past have gotten them expelled. Yes, expelled from daycare. The program seems legit and very helpful in this regard. (Columbus Dispatch, 10/22/17)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,