Gadfly Bites 3/5/18 - The “full range” indeed

  1. new statewide online school is launching in Ohio next school year. Great news for families looking for a choice. (Columbus Dispatch, 3/2/18)
     
  2. Incoming kindergartners in Montgomery County not only did not improve their readiness scores overall in the 2016-17 school year, but those scores actually declined from the previous year. This is “despite efforts” (as the DDN piece puts it) such as the Dayton-wide Preschool Promise program. I wanted to say there was a “multi-million-dollar effort” re: Preschool Promise, but the actual amount of millions was not included in this piece for some reason. What is included is a suggestion that the kindergarten-readiness exam might not be necessary going forward. But given this news, maybe those folks were only joking. (Dayton Daily News, 3/5/18)
     
  3. Speaking of money, editors in Columbus today opined on the recent Ed Trust report lauding some important aspects of Ohio’s school funding system. And especially as those findings relate to Columbus City Schools. (Columbus Dispatch, 3/5/18)
     
  4. Two members of Youngstown City Schools’ Academic Distress Commission – including its current chair – resigned last week. You know what that means, right? Exactly! Now there’s only one Benyo brother currently serving on an ADC anywhere in Ohio. (Youngstown Vindicator, 3/3/18) I jest, of course. What it means is that Something Big is happening in Youngstown. Just ask anyone. Judging from this editorial in yesterday’s Vindy, I’m going to guess that that Something is teacher contract talks which appear to be getting underway soon. Taking place inside a clear glass box in the middle of Main Street, if the Vindy had its druthers, I think. (Youngstown Vindicator, 3/4/18)
     
  5. We end today with some state government-level housekeeping from Friday’s edition of Gongwer. What could be better? First up, the previously-noted proposal to consolidate K-12, higher ed, and workforce development agencies in the state is going to include some public input along with all the workgroup input already provided and the legislative testimony which will likely happen over the next few months. But I must say I was taken aback to learn that there are to be 11 public meetings on this. Seems like a lot to me. (Gongwer Ohio, 3/2/18) Meanwhile, some folks want the payment structure of the popular College Credit Plus program – both course costs and, especially, textbook costs – addressed via amendments to the consolidation bill. And by “addressed”, I think they mean “changed in our favor”. But I could be misreading. I’m looking forward to the lengthy public input process for this item too. (Gongwer Ohio, 3/2/18)
 
 
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,