Gadfly Bites 1/10/18 - "What is the purpose and what is the outcome?"

  1. Editors in Akron opined in favor of revamped state report cards for schools and districts, opining in favor of Fordham’s recent report on same along the way. (Akron Beacon Journal, 1/8/18) Our recommendations for changes to those report cards are enumerated in this news story on the topic as well, although I’m not too keen on being lumped in with the mass of “critics” in the headline. I rather like to think that we “came with solutions”, as a wise man recently wrote. (Columbus Dispatch, 1/10/18)
  2. Speaking of that wise man, Chad Aldis is quoted in this lengthy piece on charter school sponsor evaluation in Ohio and possible changes thereto which might be coming down the pike. Not surprisingly, school report cards are involved in the discussion. (Gongwer Ohio, 1/8/18)
  3. But the big news so far this week is regarding the state’s graduation requirements, as we’ve talked about briefly already. The state’s War on Knowing Stuff, as I like to call it, took another step forward when the state board of education voted 16-1 to extend the already-lowered grad requirements for the Class of 2018 to the Classes of 2019 and 2020. Chad is quoted explaining why this is such a mistake. I am not bothered in the slightest by being classed as a “critic” on this topic. (Columbus Dispatch, 1/9/18) Also classed as “critic” of the move, board member Kara Morgan, the only “no” vote. Chad is quoted in Gongwer echoing her sentiments as to the inadvisability of removing all competency-based graduation requirements. Also quoted, in support of the move, is Senate Education Committee Chair Peggy Lehner. The next step for the recommended change is the legislature. (Gongwer Ohio, 1/9/18) Chad’s stance as a critic is referenced in this brief piece, which also notes that further extensions and even permanence are still on the table. Good grief. (WHIO-TV, Dayton, 1/9/18)
  4. Also from the board this week, a recommendation to tweak the reporting of end-of-course exam scores based on first attempt vs. retakes. Seems OK. (Gongwer Ohio, 1/8/18)
  5. Back in the real world, Cincinnati’s 149-year-old St. Aloysius on the Ohio Catholic School may close as early as this year due to financial woes. Families are rallying to try and avert this outcome. (Cincinnati Enquirer, 1/8/18)
  6. Finally today, Lorain City Schools CEO David Hardy says he has narrowed down a very wide field of applicants for the district’s seven “chiefs” jobs. (Northern Ohio Morning Journal, 1/8/18) In addition, he is looking for three other new high-level administrators to help carry out the Lorain Promise plan. Hopefully he’ll get a ton of great applicants for those positions too. (Northern OhioMorning Journal, 1/8/18)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,