Gadfly Bites 6/16/17 - The "credit where credit is due" edition

  1. We start today with a feel good story of high schoolers beating the odds to graduate and go on to college. All have earned scholarships for that accomplishment. The main story is of a young Columbus woman who has, indeed, survived war and other hardships. Luckily it is she and her family who are getting the credit, as it sounds like it should be. (Columbus Dispatch, 6/15/17) Next up, a possible feel bad story about narrow slice of high schoolers potentially getting special treatment in regards to sports eligibility, thanks to the Ohio General Assembly. What? I said “possible”. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 6/15/17) And then there is this really feel really bad story about the continued employment and sometimes-quite-large salaries afforded to folks involved in the data-rigging scandal in Columbus City Schools. Sounds like they, too, have beat some stiff odds. (Columbus Dispatch, 6/15/17)
  2. Please don’t let that previous series of stories bum you out, OK? To balance things out, there’s this: Cruiser Academy, a dropout recovery school in Groveport, will go from charter to “regular” status (semantic analysis stat!) due to the state’s rigorous sponsor evaluation system. At least, I think it’s because of that. Good news, amiright?! (Columbus Dispatch, 6/15/17)
  3. Speaking of struggling students, I was remiss in not clipping this piece earlier. A college student who graduated from Westerville City Schools opined in recent weeks in favor of holding the line on Ohio’s higher graduation requirements. Among other things. (Cincinnati Enquirer, 5/30/17)
  4. In case you’ve missed it, Ohio has been experiencing a “baby bust” for nearly ten years now. The downstream effects – falling student populations across the state – are starting to be felt. Case in point: this interesting look at Dayton-area school districts who are somehow spending more money (often quite a bit more) while serving fewer students (often quite a bit fewer). The analysis is interesting, but I’ll be a tad bratty and pull out this nugget, courtesy of Beavercreek Schools treasurer Peggy Rucker: “If you’re in the tea party you have one perspective on that data and if you’re a teacher in negotiations you have a different perspective on it… I’m not saying it’s good or bad; I’m just saying what the data is.” Truer (and less appropriate) words have probably never been spoken by a district treasurer. It’s kind of like the difference in perspective between a vegetarian and a wolf over a loose steak. (Dayton Daily News, 6/15/17) Staying in the Miami Valley for a moment: the proverbial other shoe has dropped in Dayton regarding the next career move for at least one of the incumbent school board members not interested in running again….for that particular seat. (Dayton Daily News, 6/15/17)
  5. It was announced this week that the search meetings for Lorain School District CEO will be open to the public. All of you planning to attend are advised to try and ignore that little voice coming from the corner saying, “Pick me! I’m locally-sourced! You won’t be sorry. I promise.” (Northern Ohio Morning Journal, 6/14/17) The very next day, in a surprise to neither of my devoted Gadfly Bites subscribers, that little voice in the corner got quite a bit louder. (Northern Ohio Morning Journal, 6/15/17)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,