Gadfly Bites 5/9/18 - Probably wise to leave the cowboys out of it this time

  1. Chad’s recent blog comparing the education reform paths taken by Florida and Ohio through the lens of NAEP scores became news this week in Cincinnati. Justifiably so, given its quality and depth. Seems like just yesterday that I was picking Chad up at the Columbus airport on his first ever visit to Ohio. And just look at him now: a full-blown Buckeye expert. I suspect it’s my influence that did it really. (WVXU Public Media, Cincinnati, 5/7/18)
  2. Another bill has been introduced related to graduation requirements in Ohio – specifically, to extend the current, “temporary”, lowered, non-academic pathways (or, “hand-holding diplomas” if you will) for two more school years. Here’s hoping it has as much substance as those diplomas it wants to keep handing out. (Gongwer Ohio, 5/7/18)
  3. We have talked extensively about the possibility of the Say Yes to Education program locating in Cleveland. But each news story seems to indicate “one more step” that needs to be done before anything can be decided or actually move forward. The latest: Say Yes wants to know what’s already being done in the CLE to support poor students in school and toward graduation, college, and career. (Don’t let ‘em get wind of that bill to extend the “hand holding” diplomas whatever you do!) Hence, an asset mapping project. Luckily, the Say Yes folks don’t seem to be asking about academics at all so that’s good. But this is just an RFP at this point. No mapping work will begin until at least July and it could last through November. Who knows what the next preparatory step will be after that? (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 5/9/18)
  4. We have also talked extensively about the big changes afoot for the high schools in Toledo as they all become different themed academies starting next year. Here is a bit more on what was once plain old Jones High School, is currently Jones Leadership Academy, and will soon become Jones Leadership Academy of Business. You can check out the piece for all the deets provided, but I was suddenly struck while reading it by just how frickin’ long I’ve been doing this work. I can actually remember the last time Toledo tried this: the Cowboy Academy of Business back in 2007. It was part of a highly-touted small-school-within-a-large-high-school movement in the district. It died a death when the Libbey High School building in which it was housed closed in 2010. (Toledo Blade, 5/7/18)
  5. Here at least is something new under the sun: Heartland High School, the only school in Ohio designed to support students recovering from substance-abuse disorder, is moving toward its opening in Columbus this fall. It has a board in place, an interim leader, and now, a location. How the private school will fund its work still seems to be a work in progress, but support does seem to be growing. (Columbus Dispatch, 5/8/18)
  6. Sticking with the topic of money to end the day: Dayton City Schools’ administrative staffers are going to be next in line to get more of it soon, it seems. Increases in the pay scale across the board have been cued up and, if approved by the board, will be retroactive to the beginning of the school year resulting in quite a windfall. Apparently a move to self-insurance has saved the district millions and now that the union contracts are all done and raises doled out there, it’s time for the nonunion staff to get theirs. (Dayton Daily News, 5/8/18)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,