Gadfly Bites - 6/10/16

  1. If things go as planned, Cincinnati City Schools’ board of education will pass a resolution next week to authorize negotiations with Phalen Leadership Academies, a charter school network from Indianapolis, with an eye toward opening a district-sponsored Phalen school in the Queen City. The timing is important because formalizing the negotiation status will allow Phalen to apply for Ohio’s new charter school facilities funding, the deadline for which is fast approaching. You can read journalist Hannah Sparling’s pretty awesome description (if I do say so myself) of Phalen’s work in Indy here. But the three months since that piece was published seem to have soured Sparling on the idea. Or else it was her discussion with the leader of the Cincinnati Educational Justice Coalition that did it. CEJC leader Michelle Dillingham, also a candidate for city council, was quoted in yesterday’s piece vehemently opposing the district’s plan. She “doesn’t know enough about Phalen to rate the model one way or the other, but she didn’t see anything in Wednesday’s presentation that CPS isn’t already offering its students… ‘It’s not really clear what they’re innovating,’ she said.” There you have it. More developments next week, I’m sure. (Cincinnati Enquirer, 6/9/16)
  2. Up on Ohio’s other coast, Patrick O’Donnell takes a look at CMSD’s “unique” teacher pay plan as enacted in the Cleveland Plan. Four years after the plan, the district and the teachers union have yet to agree on how to define and reward "performance" and therefore the intended merit pay idea has yet to emerge. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 6/9/16)
  3. Anyone tired of hearing from new Youngstown CEO Krish Mohip yet? Me neither! Here’s a TV interview from earlier this week. A smart and judicious fellow, I must say. (WFMJ-TV, Youngstown, 6/8/16) NOTE: Mohip participated in an extended radio interview with Vindy staffers this morning. It was really interesting and informative. I’ll plan to include it – with links – in Monday’s clips.
  4. Finally today, editors in Canton opined favorably on the results of a performance audit of Canton City Schools conducted by Dave Yost (not tired of him either!), released earlier this week. (Canton Repository, 6/9/16) In general, Canton’s financial picture is greatly improved from a few years ago even before Yost’s recommendations are taken into consideration. Here are the details of the audit findings, as well as reaction to them from the district. (Canton Repository, 6/7/16)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,