Gadfly Bites 3/28/18 - Candor

  1. Well, well, well. Nothing official here, but it is nice to hear the President of the Ohio Senate say that Ohio’s current participation-trophy graduation requirements should not be extended to the Classes of 2019 and 2020. Without “a good reason”, that is. (Gongwer Ohio, 3/26/18)
  2. It is also nice—though somewhat shocking in its candor—to hear what really went on behind closed doors of the Columbus City Schools’ recently-suspended superintendent search. Hey guys, once you get your new search underway I hear there’s a dude in the Youngstown area looking for a new gig…although I think he might prefer someplace where it snows a lot. (Columbus Dispatch, 3/27/18)
  3. Staying in Columbus for a moment, Dispatch editors opined today on the now-discredited Education Trust evaluation of Ohio’s efforts to target school funding for the benefit of its poorest students. Sorry to inject my own thoughts into a clip about an editorial, but I fear that they are missing the actual point of the revised analysis in their conclusion. (Columbus Dispatch, 3/28/18) Dispatch editors also opined today on the Move to PROSPER program, which we’ve been following with interest here in the Bites for a year or so. Again, apologies for butting in, but I think there are actually multiple points being missed here. (Columbus Dispatch, 3/28/18)
  4. The City of Elyria thinks it can help the school district save nearly $300K on its construction project. You know, the project that was funded via a voted bond issue and now is in danger of going hugely over budget and is in danger of being shrunk severely. All this despite the fact that: a) That amount appears to be a drop in the proverbial bucket based on how far in the hole the district says it will be, and b) The fee waivers appear destined to hammer the budget of the city’s building inspection division if given. (Elyria Chronicle, 3/27/18)
  5. Speaking of money (when aren’t we, I ask you?), there is an eminent domain case afoot in rural Delaware County, and its particulars will be familiar to all of my dedicated Gadfly Bites subscribers. Buckeye Valley Local Schools wants to take the property of a couple who operate a long-running and fairly popular haunted house attraction across the street from one of their elementary schools and install a bus turnaround on it. From the sound of this piece, the district will not fail to obtain the property. How much money the couple will get for their loss is the only outstanding issue. (Columbus Dispatch, 3/27/18)
  6. It looks like Dayton City Schools’ Board of Education will not close its dropout recovery charter school, Dayton Biz Tech, after all. After deciding to non-renew the school’s sponsorship agreement back in December, the board voted 5-2 this week to instead give the school a second chance to continue operations in 2018-19. All that is needed is an acceptable comprehensive strategic plan to improve operations and a new sponsorship agreement. Simple. (Dayton Daily News, 3/28/18)
  7. No doubt the documentary cameras were rolling when the lottery drawing was held this week in Akron to find the members of next year’s third grade class in LeBron James’ new I Promise School. They were no doubt also rolling when those families lucky enough to win the lottery attended a meeting at a hotel in suburban Fairlawn where they got information about the school and ostentatiously signed contracts to accept their places in it. (Akron Beacon Journal, 3/27/18)
  8. Finally today – apropos of nothing, really – did you know that for the last 9 months or so, Ohioans without a high school diploma have had three equivalency test options to choose from? Neither, apparently, did anyone else. So the Ohio Department of Education this week decided to launch a reminder that the GED is no longer the only game in town for folks wanting to get a high school equivalency certificate. (Gongwer Ohio, 3/27/18)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,