Gadfly Bites 7/2/18 – Downbeat

  1. Remember what we were saying last week about the downbeat assessment of the passage of a bill that would, among other things, change many facets of e-school accountability? Well, “downbeat” appears to have given way to outright pessimism over the weekend, with editors in Columbus… (Columbus Dispatch, 6/30/18) …and editors in Akron opining strongly on the topic. (Akron Beacon Journal, 7/1/18)
  2. Conversely, laurels are in the offing in regard to recently-passed legislation making changes to the state’s teacher evaluation system. (Columbus Dispatch, 7/1/18)
  3. Speaking of teachers, contract negotiations are underway in Youngstown, for the first time since the district began operating under the aegis of a CEO-style Academic Distress Commission. Almost everyone interviewed in this piece expresses optimism for the process, including some folks whose opinion on the matter should probably not be included. Here’s hoping for a good process and outcome despite that. (Youngstown Vindicator, 7/1/18)
  4. Here’s a nice look at what could be described as a behavioral health summer camp in Toledo – designed to help students with things like anger management and respecting boundaries. The most interesting part: the entire program consists only of charter school students. How’d that happen? Probably just an oversight. (Toledo Blade, 7/1/18)
  5. Things got a little testy last week during a meeting of the task force looking into possible school closures in Columbus City Schools. Several members had questions for the administration regarding the surprise purchase of ECOT’s former headquarters building, what it meant for their work going forward, and, you know, what the heck they were thinking there. Administration folks declined to answer after a while. Nothin’ to see, I guess. (Columbus Dispatch, 6/29/18) Meanwhile, the school board was busy approving big tax breaks for two proposed development projects, including that one we talked about a couple of weeks ago that will benefit everyone except Columbus City Schools. (Columbus Dispatch, 6/29/18)

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Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,