Gadfly Bites 6/18/18 – Rise of the Boogeyman

  1. A blog post by our own Chad Aldis is quoted in this piece looking at the future of funding and accountability for online schools in Ohio. The Education-Related Boogeyman™ that is ECOT’s thoroughly-beaten corpse is invoked here. Think I’m exaggerating this Boogeyman joke? Patrick’s reference comes complete with a vampire metaphor. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 6/17/18) Still think I’m exaggerating? Patrick includes the Boogeyman in this story about accountability changes for dropout recovery schools too. He notes that ECOT tried to be reclassified as a dropout recovery school prior to its closure – and would have succeeded, too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids! If you think that this reference doesn’t taint every quote from an actual dropout recovery school staffer that follows said reference, there’s a bridge I’d like to sell you. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 6/17/18)
  2. You will recall that our last sighting of the Education-Related Boogeyman™ was in reference to a request from homeowners in Jefferson Township Local Schools for annexation into a neighboring district. Jefferson Township officials invoked the Boogeyman and racism as the undoubted reasons for the request. With this deeper dive into the story – in which someone has the good sense to actually talk to the folks who want to leave – we hear the homeowners say it’s about educational quality and resale value of their houses. Jefferson Township folks insist upon the racism angle and also invoke the “what about the kids ‘left behind’?” defense. However, the Boogeyman has definitely left the building. (Dayton Daily News, 6/17/18)
  3. Four Toledo-area business leaders took to the editorial pages of the Blade to praise – and to list – the successes of Toledo City Schools in the last five years under the leadership of Superintendent Romules Durant. (If he does say so himself.) I say, please do take a look at those data. (Toledo Blade, 6/16/18)
  4. Folks in Lorain are looking at Youngstown’s latest ODE assessment and crying foul. Not because they think the report is wrong, but because they think it shows that Academic Distress Commissions don’t work and should be stopped forthwith. If you can follow that logic, I’ve got a Gordian Knot you can unravel for me. (Elyria Chronicle, 6/16/18) Meanwhile, the Lorain Alumni Association has made some astounding picks for its very first class of Hall of Famers. Loyal Gadfly Bites subscribers will recall the genesis of this project – and the shameless fundraising for it – over the last couple of years. Speaking of shame, sad to see that living legend Toni Morrison did not make it in the first round. Better luck next time, I guess. (Northern Ohio Morning Journal, 6/16/18)
  5. Here in Columbus, the I Know I Can program is celebrating 30 years of raising money and working to help kids access college. I’m sure they will continue that work far into the future. (Columbus Dispatch, 6/17/18) Not to be outdone: College Now of Greater Cleveland is celebrating 50 years of doing the same. Anyone besides me shocked at the increase in staff size at these places? (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 6/15/18)
  6. It is not at first clear whether our last clip is journalism or editorializing, but I think that when you venture on to the sports page, much as on the education news page, the line blurs substantially. In the end, I think that this piece about the rising cost of youth sports both in school and out must be an opinion, despite being authored by a sports reporter. Why? Because it includes the quote “Sometimes I wonder why it costs so much to play baseball” and includes much complaint on this topic without taking a single step toward actually answering the question raised. A sure sign of placement as an editorial. (MyTownNEO, 6/15/18)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,