Gadfly Bites 4/23/18—Very confident

  1. Regular Ohio Gadfly readers will already be aware of the education positions of the various gubernatorial candidates here in Ohio. But the Dispatch went right to the sources for the info instead of scouring papers like we had to and got some more thorough details by doing so. Here are the stated education positions of the Democrat primary candidates. (Columbus Dispatch, 4/22/18). And here are the stated education positions of the Republican primary candidates. (Columbus Dispatch, 4/22/18)
  2. As you may have noticed in the clips above, most of the gubernatorial candidates of both parties are campaigning on a promise to scale back standardized testing in Ohio. This is presumably so that the Buckeye State’s school children do not end up being “just a number in a chart”. Should one of those candidates win and that winner actually make good on that particular campaign promise, what then might replace testing to determine how kids are doing across the state? How about an “engagement index”? Here is a detailed examination of such an index of self-reported data from students. With it, one can plot the admitted degree of love for learning and admitted student academic challenge on a Cartesian plane, pinpointing every student on X and Y axes. One local private school here in Columbus—with which some of my more dedicated Gadfly Bites subscribers may be familiar—pioneered this scheme and has apparently licensed it out to other schools across the country. After reading this description, I can tell you for a fact that I would be nervous to think my child might end up just “a dot in a quadrant.” But it probably won’t happen. Probably. (Columbus Dispatch, 4/23/18)
  3. Speaking of innovative schools, here is what I think could be a leaked portion of the script for the new documentary on Akron City Schools for which we are all waiting on pins and needles—the creation of the new LeBron James-supported I Promise School. Specifically, this is the story of I Promise architect and principal Brandi Davis. (Akron Beacon Journal, 4/20/18) What will a day in the life of an I Promise School student look like when we see it in that documentary film? The ABJ gives a glimpse while the cameras are not rolling. By the way, can I put in my bet that the title of the documentary will be titled “We Are Family”? As long as Sister Sledge’s lawyers agree, that is. (Akron Beacon Journal, 4/20/18)
  4. We end today where we began—in the area of standardized testing. Specifically, how good does Trotwood-Madison’s testing season have to be to avoid the declaration of Academic Distress for the district? This is all in the context of discussing new interim superintendent Tyrone Olverson, who of course has had no input into the quality of teaching and learning in Trotwood this year but who may well be the one to reap whatever consequences arise from the district’s next report card. (Dayton Daily News, 4/20/18)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,