Gadfly Bites 5/10/17 - Move (out of Columbus right now!) to PROSPER

  1. I was remiss in not clipping this Monday. We have discussed the incipient “Move to PROSPER” project before. It is an effort to help low-income families in Columbus – with education being among the highest priorities – by moving them from their current locations to “higher-opportunity areas”. That minimal description, as given previously, begged a lot of questions. And now we have a few answers. Yes, this does mean generating funds from private sources to move families out of the City of Columbus and into the suburbs. In fact, the locations are described by the school districts which serve them. They are: Hilliard, Dublin, Westerville, Gahanna, and Olentangy Local school districts. The project is a long way from getting off the ground, but support appears to be building, and the statistics for success in the Columbus area are pretty clear indicators of the existing need, say project leaders. Especially sobering for those of us who live here, I daresay. (Columbus Dispatch, 5/1/17)
  2. Speaking of Columbus City Schools (were we?), here is a report on the recent Service Above Self Fair, in which students from all district high schools and two middle schools presented details of the service projects they created and carried out this school year. I imagine this is the sort of thing folks are thinking about when they suggest project work instead of test scores as criteria for a high school diploma. (Columbus Dispatch, 5/9/17)
  3. One final stop in Columbus – for a report on the previously-mentioned Statehouse rally in support of Ohio’s largest online school. Held yesterday. Voluntarily. With Dr. Steve Perry as a guest speaker. (Columbus Dispatch, 5/9/17)
  4. After Monday’s mammoth look at education in Toledo’s suburbs, you might think there was nothing left to say. Wrong! Sylvania schools are trying to decide on a redistricting plan but are getting so much community push back that they had to delay a planned board vote this week. The reason why redistricting is needed is not articulated here, but I’m sure Sylvanians know. Ditto for the push back. (Toledo Blade, 5/9/17) Meanwhile, inside the geographic donut, a teachers strike seems to have been averted in Toledo City Schools. (Toledo Blade, 5/10/17)
  5. The chair of the new Lorain Schools Academic Distress Commission will be named on May 26. That will start the 60-day clock for the commission to find a CEO to run the district. (Northern Ohio Morning Journal, 5/9/17) Whoever becomes CEO in Lorain will need to have a surfeit of “intestinal fortitude”, if the pattern of events in Youngstown is anything to go by. At nearly the one-year mark, some folks are still impervious to the charms – and the hard work and results – of district CEO Krish Mohip. Or perhaps it’s the structure rather than the person to which the good reverend objects. Who can tell? (Youngstown Vindicator, 5/10/17)
  6. Normally, school visits from local legislators are feel-good photos ops with kids and teachers and administrators. Perhaps some finger paint. Not so this event at Malabar Intermediate School in Mansfield. As reported here, much of the visit seemed serious and contentious. But maybe that’s just my interpretation. It’s been one of those days. (Mansfield News-Journal, 5/8/17)
  7. Congratulations to the newly-chosen superintendent of Cincinnati City Schools. She is current deputy supe Catherine Laura Mitchell, a ten-year veteran in the position. Pros and cons from both sides are contained in this piece. Mitchell herself says she “feels pressure” in succeeding the retiring Mary Ronan. (Cincinnati Enquirer, 5/9/17) Columnist Byron McCauley does not seem interested in lessening that pressure level for Ms. Mitchell. (Cincinnati Enquirer, 5/9/17)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,