Gadfly Bites 11/8/17 - CEO's balance sheet, supplemental

  1. Props to Columbus City Schools for this accounting control measure that likely saved the figurative bacon of dozens of district employees. Surprisingly. (Columbus Dispatch, 11/6/17) Why the surprise? For one thing, we heard two weeks ago that many data control measures are yet to be implemented around attendance data more than five years after the widespread tampering of that data was revealed. And then there’s this: a very casual attitude toward millions of dollars of taxpayer funded assets at the very top of the district hierarchy. (Columbus Dispatch, 11/7/17)
  2. Speaking of money, here is perhaps a clue as to why the Lorain Promise plan appears to be so light on academic goals: an archaic health trust system bleeding nearly a million dollars, a pay scale that appears to give more money to subordinates than to their superiors, and hundreds of thousands of dollars of “supplemental pay” for a small group of teachers with no explanation as to its purpose. All this comes from district CEO David Hardy’s presentation of the Lorain Promise to the Academic Distress Commission earlier this week. Yeah, he includes some scary academic data in there too, but he seems to be indicating that there are some serious structural problems that are actually more pressing. Yuck. (Northern Ohio Morning Journal, 11/6/17) Staying in Lorain for a moment—no one in the county, it seems, is more excited about the rapid expansion of the College Credit Plus program than are officials with Lorain County Community College. Just listen to them gush in this piece. In their excited data dump, they mention that students at Steele High School in Amherst lead all others in the amount of college credits earned and the amount of money saved by families in the process. Kudos, Comets! How about one more statistic for you, since we’ve been talking about money? The median household income in Amherst is 44 percent higher than that in Lorain. Just sayin’. (Northern Ohio Morning Journal, 11/7/17)
  3. Meanwhile, over in Youngstown, district and ESC officials talked to the Vindy about the new Multi-Tiered Support System for students with special needs. This is in response to criticism of both identification and services for those students leveled by a district counselor during a school board meeting last week. (Youngstown Vindicator, 11/7/17)
  4. Speaking of boards, the state board of ed is trying to come up with a new rubric by which to evaluate the state superintendent. A committee has some early recommendations and you can take a look at them – and some aspects of members’ discussion of same – in this piece. (Gongwer Ohio, 11/7/17)
  5. We end today with the only election story I plan to cover: The Lancaster high schooler whose unlikely mayoral candidacy we’ve been telling you about for a few months did not win his race last night. But hang around, dude. The last elected mayor lasted less than a year in office. You may still get your chance! (Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, 11/8/17)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,