Gadfly Bites 10/3/18 – Not represented

  1. There was a rare show of solidarity in Lorain this week. What brought the CEO, the Academic Distress Commission, and the elected school board together in the same room with city and county officials as well as parents, students, and community members? Discussion of student safety at Lorain High School. Which is all good. (Northern Ohio Morning Journal, 10/2/18) This event was also covered in the Elyria Chronicle. Intriguingly, in both pieces district CEO David Hardy and at least one parent took pains to criticize the local media for their coverage of safety-related incidents in Lorain, especially to the exclusion of “all the good going on” in the schools. But where have we heard this before? Oh right! Those two LHS seniors who were quoted in the Journal two weeks ago said it too. Fascinating. (Elyria Chronicle, 10/2/18)
     
  2. Speaking of school districts operating under the aegis of an Academic Distress Commission, East Cleveland City Schools remains desperate to not join that list. Aside from, you know, the lawsuit, they are working up some serious umbrage while picking nits on the district’s most recent report card. To wit: “We walked 193 students across the stage between our spring and summer graduation. That's a tremendous boon for us. But that's not represented in this report card because the prepared for success measure and graduation rate are set to be a year behind.” A. I wonder what pathways their kids used to achieve those diplomas. B. I feel like even if there are some rounding errors in the report card data, an “F+” still seems pretty bad. (News5 Cleveland, 10/2/18)
     
  3. Finally today, we have something a headscratcher. If I read this piece correctly, the superintendent of a regional career center in Northwest Ohio is bothered because—he says—earning a diploma in the state is determined solely by “academically-based tests”, since all the state cares about is college readiness. A group of business leaders in the area seems to agree with this assessment and believes that they will not be able to recruit enough workers because the kids in the career center today are not earning enough points on those aforementioned tests to earn a diploma, regardless of what other skills and certifications they might be earning at the career center. But if fifty percent of his seniors are off track in their graduation points as he says, I think dude should know something about the CTE diploma pathway which already exists in the state. Shouldn’t he? I got two words one word for you, man: WorkKeys. (Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune, 10/3/18)

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