Gadfly Bites 11/12/18 – “The advantage of being in our neighborhood is tremendous”

  1. We have discussed the Move to PROSPER initiative here before. It is an effort to improve the lives of families in poverty by moving them to “higher resourced” areas via subsidized housing and other supports. Here is a profile on one of the first ten families taking part in the program—folks who moved from the East side of Columbus to Gahanna. Things sound pretty good for them, which is awesome. Given that fact, I can only assume that life is less awesome for many/most/all of the thousands of families just like this one who remain living on the East side of Columbus. (Columbus Dispatch, 11/12/18)
     
  2. Speaking of things that are less than optimal, editors in Columbus opined this weekend about a “lack of leadership” from the elected board of Columbus City Schools in regard to their non-decision on right sizing district buildings and saving money. (Columbus Dispatch, 11/10/18) Continuing the theme: Columbus City Schools finally has a deal with its new supe, Talisa Dixon. It starts with one day of work per week from January through early March. Full time after that. (Columbus Dispatch, 11/10/18) Dr. Dixon’s scheduled departure before the end of the current school year is not sitting well with her current employer it seems. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 11/11/18)
     
  3. As we always say around here, open enrollment is a two-way street. If a district has opened its borders to allow kids to come in from other districts, those borders are open for resident kids to leave for other districts as well. Nowhere is this illustrated more clearly than in the suburbs of Youngstown. We’ve covered Liberty Local Schools’ OE issues for a while, in which the news coverage only illustrated one side of the problem (outflow so great that they needed to halt it, but only to one specific neighboring district). In nearby Austintown, it seems the problem may be the reverse but the media coverage is still one-sided. The historically-strong inflow of students from other districts into Austintown has begun to slow, and is projected to decline steadily for the next several years. Folks in Austintown are panicking, of course, because a decline in incoming students means a decline in incoming money, which means a giant budget hole on the horizon. However, just as with Liberty’s story, the other side of the equation is not properly explored here. Austintown’s treasurer hints that the “solution” is to attract and retain resident students, but without any discussion of how many kids are leaving, for what reason, or to what other districts. I’ll bet officials know this information fully, as do the folks in Liberty. We always say open enrollment is a two-way street, but I’m not sure anyone is listening. Media coverage of open enrollment has got to get smarter. (Youngstown Vindicator, 11/12/18)
     
  4. Here’s a piece lauding the SPARK kindergarten readiness program in use in a number of locations across the state. Unfortunately, the “success” that is touted here seems more anecdotal than causal to me. (WOSU-FM, Columbus, 11/12/18)
     
  5. The State Board of Education is meeting later this week. What’s on the agenda? Graduation requirement changes – both short- and long-term. (Gongwer Ohio, 11/9/18)

Did you know you can have every edition of Gadfly Bites sent directly to your Inbox (in case you want to strut on over and sign up for such a thing)? Subscribe by clicking here.

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