Gadfly Bites 6/4/18 – Latin system? It’s all Greek to me.

  1. The Dispatch dug more deeply into the issue of districts across central Ohio dropping GPA and class rankings in favor of the Latin system. Turns out that a 4.0 just isn’t what it used to be and it’s stressing everyone out. Everyone in high end suburbs, that is. Latin saves lives, y’all. (Columbus Dispatch, 6/3/18) Things are a little different in Akron City Schools, as you may have suspected. Here is more detail on the Akron students in the Class of 2018 using the state’s one-year temporary alternative paths to reach graduation—with the hand-holding help of the good folks at ACS. Excerpts from Chad’s ABJ op-ed denouncing these alternatives are included as well. But the main point here is the story of the two students highlighted. When a reporter takes this route—illustrating a larger issue by showing how the issue affects some regular folks—I always assume that she has done so specifically because those people most cogently illustrate the point and that other examples were discarded as being outliers. If that is the case, then I believe that the stories of the ESL student whose English proficiency level inhibited test passage (but who earned graduation via service hours tutoring fellow students in English) and the student whose vital capstone project took him two whole days to complete actually illustrate Chad’s point and not the district’s. (Akron Beacon Journal, 6/3/18) Mercifully, the Dayton Daily News repeats the assertion that these temporary non-academic (and pretty darn easy to attain it seems) graduation requirements are not likely to be extended beyond the Class of 2018. Thank heaven for small mercies. (Dayton Daily News, 6/3/18)
     
  2. Here is a nice profile of the Christ the Servant Teaching Corps, a homegrown teacher internship program in Canton. It is run as a partnership between Walsh University and Our Lady of Peace Catholic School and gives prospective teachers lots of hands on classroom time. As an inner-city Catholic school—with 85 percent of its student body using the EdChoice Scholarship—OLOP is doing its best to recruit the very best teaching staff it can muster. Kudos! (Canton Repository, 6/3/18)
     
  3. Finally today: Tiny Newton Falls Exempted Village Schools in northeast Ohio is in a financial mess and they have decided to try and cut their way out of it. Not cutting their budget, which officials say is at the bone after 27 straight years (!) of student population decline, but cutting down the trees on their property. School officials are currently taking bids from logging interests to harvest trees in the primeval forest owned by the district. There is no indication of how much one-time money they hope to get from the sale or what they’ll do with it. But if the protest from local nature lovers end up putting the kibosh on the plan, may I suggest they try and charge those trespassing dirt bikers a use fee instead. (Warren Tribune Chronicle, 6/4/18)
 
 
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,