Gadfly Bites 11/30/18 – A day in the (work) life of Chad Aldis

  1. We start today with some very nice coverage of yesterday’s Fordham-hosted panel event on the topic of the Janus Supreme Court decision and its possible effects on education in Ohio. Good event with some important and interesting discussion. Full video forthcoming, y’all. (Columbus Dispatch, 11/29/18). Scant hours after our own Chad Aldis finished moderating that discussion, he was off to the Statehouse to testify on the topic of funding for online schools. Here is coverage of yesterday’s meeting of the Joint Legislative Committee on E-School Funding, including some quotes from Chad. His full written remarks are here, if you are so inclined. (Gongwer Ohio, 11/29/18) In between, Chad was on the phone with the Enquirer’s Jackie Borchardt, talking about his most favorite of recent subjects: Ohio’s War on Knowing Stuff. Here is her coverage of the state’s current efforts to lower graduation requirements to absolute rock bottom. (Cincinnati Enquirer, 11/29/18) And while the quotes used in this Canton Rep editorial on same topic came from Chad on another, equally-busy day, they are still as fresh and biting (and correct) as ever. Editors in Canton opined in agreement. Whew! (Canton Repository, 11/30/18)
     
  2. Here is a story about preschool providers which has some interesting parallels to Ohio’s War on Knowing Stuff. As you may know, there is a crap ton of interest in, support for, and money being thrown at expanding pre-K education in Ohio and elsewhere. Expanding the number of seats available, providing tuition support for families who need it, and increasing quality of sites are all in the mix. The latter item is covered in this piece from Cincinnati, in which a daycare operator has an unmitigated freak out (ably aided by the journalist) regarding an upcoming deadline for finalizing its quality rating. As it turns out, it was simply a matter of filling out paperwork to document the procedures already in place, but that revelation doesn’t end the freakout. The prospect of dead or damaged babies is lobbed toward the end of the story, wondering if other providers will be able to jump through all the proper hoops in time for the Massive Looming Deadline™…which is now more than two years away. (And, I believe, has been in the works for at least two years previous.) The test-based graduation requirements which Ohio’s schools are now trying to wriggle out from under had a lead time of nearly five years, and included an extra year when they were undercut for the Class of 2018 last year. Wonder what will happen if these daycares can’t make their very short Massive Looming Deadline™?  Link (WCPO-TV, Cincinnati, 11/29/18) Sticking in Cincy for a moment, another Queen City TV station reports that enrollment in Cincinnati City Schools is growing steadily. New students are arriving every week. Can you guess from where? (WKRC-TV, Cincinnati, 11/29/18)
     
  3. Part editorial, part journalism, part civics lesson, and all cranky, this piece looks at the still-undecided election for District 2 representative to the Ohio Board of Education. The author doesn’t seem to care much for the current front-runner, but it is her stunning victory via no-campaign campaigning that really rankles and he points in all directions for how this situation came to be. While the margin is currently too close to call and a recount continues, I think dude is remiss in not noting just how few ballots were actually cast in this race among seven candidates. Surely that is important? Additionally important: he makes an excellent argument for getting rid of the elected board seats and going full-appointed. Or maybe even eliminating the state board entirely. (Toledo Blade, 11/29/18)
     
  4. Despite it being too big, too expensive, and in need of a ton of deferred maintenance, Dayton City Schools is going to remain in its current administration building for a good while longer, despite repeated announcements of an imminent move. Why? Because their new digs also needs extensive and expensive refurbishing before it is properly habitable. It’s just money, right? (Dayton Daily News, 11/29/18)

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