Gadfly Bites 6/22/18 – It’s deliberate

  1. As predicted earlier this month, Dayton Biz Tech – a dropout recovery charter school sponsored by Dayton City Schools – was this week saved from the chopping block by the school board. Biz Tech was granted a one year contract extension after a “successful” 2017-18 school year which overrode a couple of bad previous years. (Dayton Daily News, 6/20/18) No such luck, it seems for nearby Trotwood-Madison City Schools. Folks there seem fairly resigned to a third straight year of poor showing on state report cards, which would likely trigger a declaration of academic distress and the imposition of an Academic Distress Commission by the state. As all my loyal Gadfly Bites subscribers (hello, my lovelies!) will recall, Trotwood took a proactive step in this regard several months ago when they poached Tyrone Olverson from Youngstown City Schools to be their interim superintendent. Olverson is quoted extensively in this piece, explaining how he has hit the ground running in Trotwood. He seems to be implementing what sounds a lot like a turnaround plan akin to those in Youngstown and Lorain, as if he and the elected school board have realized that the district is actually in academic distress before the state does. Fascinating. (Dayton Daily News, 6/21/18)
  2. Speaking of schools digging out from under an academic distress designation, the highly-impressive new leader of Lorain High School this week made his introduction to the community. Seems like it went well. (Northern Ohio Morning Journal, 6/21/18)
  3. The new Cincinnati Waldorf High School struck out in its efforts to locate in historic Mariemont for its inaugural year, as everyone seemed to expect it would. So instead they will locate about a mile away in Madisonville. On the upside, the new location is apparently more conducive to school operations and so may persist longer than the originally-planned two years as the school grows by one grade level per year. Full speed ahead! (Cincinnati Enquirer, 6/22/18)
  4. Not a district we talk about much around here, but here is a story about the support foundation for Westerville City Schools. It is, apparently, rolling in the dough (even more than usual) thanks to a hugely-successful art-based fundraiser and so is ramping up its grant program for classroom teachers’ projects. Worth a look at what such a district gets up to in this regard, especially in these “unprecedented” circumstances. (ThisWeek News, 6/19/18)
  5. Finally today, LeBron James may have disappointed some folks on the basketball court this month (so I hear), but I’d say he’s knocking it out of the park for kids in Akron’s I Promise program. Here’s a look at a new effort to connect incoming 10th graders with Kent State University so they’ll be well-prepared to get to and through college. Touchdown! (Akron Beacon Journal, 6/20/18)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,