Gadfly Bites 10/8/18 – “Almost every urban area in the U.S. needs better schools”

  1. The topic of the week appears to be “state takeovers of school districts”. Or, if you’re less into incendiary terminology: Academic Distress designation for long-struggling districts, and all that goes along with it. First up, a roundtable of Plain Dealer editorial board members weighs up the case against a “state takeover” of East Cleveland City Schools. They seem divided, the way I read it, but with terms like “stealth heist” thrown in there, the rhetorical deck appears pretty well stacked.  (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 10/5/18) The Path Forward for Dayton City Schools may or may not be via an Academic Distress Commission. The clock is ticking and so the Dayton Daily News sent a reporter to Youngstown to see what might be ahead of them on that path. A lot of words here, mostly discussing the path behind them for some reason. (Dayton Daily News, 10/7/18) And how is the public perception of the Academic Distress Commission in Youngstown currently? Well, the guest speaker at the local NAACP chapter’s Freedom Fund banquet over the weekend seemed to want things both ways. He acknowledged the importance of students leaving school with the education they need to be successful, but made no mention of how that circumstance does or does not come about. He also noted his opposition to ADCs generally, but said that Youngstown City School should probably go ahead and work with the state since the ADC is already in place “…because it’s all about children. We need to concentrate on their education.” Um. Yes. Quite. (Youngstown Vindicator, 10/6/18)
     
  2. Cliff Park High School, a nationally accredited dropout recovery charter school in Springfield, is on the grow! New space will mean new programs and room for new students. Nice! (Springfield News-Sun, 10/8/18)
     
  3. Our title quote today comes from the co-founder of the IDEA charter school network. The network’s efforts sound fantastic and IDEA is on the grow also. Could the Queen City could be on their radar for expansion? (Chalkbeat National, 10/4/18) Perhaps the folks at the Enquirer have gotten wind of the above possibility. How else to explain this editorial diatribe against charter schools published today? The old boy throws everything and the kitchen sink at them. (Cincinnati Enquirer, 10/8/18)
     
  4. We end today with validation. A couple of weeks ago, I told you about the results of a survey of student access to art classes in Ohio’s schools. At that time, I surmised that this looked like good or even great news and that folks could stop starting sentences with, “In a time when access to arts education in schools is declining…” Today, we hear corroboration for at least the first part of my statement direct from the horse’s mouth: the folks who commissioned the survey and some Franklin County area educators. I fear it may be a little bit longer before some folks amend their long-cherished conversation starter. (Columbus Dispatch, 10/8/18)

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