Gadfly Bites 7/9/18 – It’s de Souza, it’s DeVos, it’s de-lovely

  1. Noted newspaper nabob Bertram de Souza opined this weekend in support of the Youngstown Plan. (Youngstown Vindicator, 7/8/18)
  2. U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is back in Northwest Ohio today, visiting Penta Career Center outside Toledo to observe its adult career-tech training programs. Nice. (Toledo Blade, 7/8/18)
  3. Despite endless verbal commitments from multiple entities and organizations to boost the quality and quantity of pre-K in central Ohio, at least one prominent source of funding for such work is in question. Seems that the usually-bottomless piggy bank of the City of Columbus’ Education Department may be dry and it may need to stop supporting its teacher education program at the end of this fiscal year. Couldn’t have anything to do with copious unwarranted tax abatements given by City Council to developers, could it? (Columbus Dispatch, 7/8/18)
  4. After making a giant fuss back in December to protest their sponsor rating – and winning their appeal – Newark City Schools has apparently decided to forego sponsoring any charter schools after all for 2018-19. Wonder what changed? Anywho, that’s bad news for students at the district-sponsored dropout recovery school, which is now permanently closed. Whether those students will find a proper landing spot in the district’s own new online program remains to be seen. However, this development is good news for the bricks-and-mortar Par Excellence Academy, which will not only remain in business (sponsored by the Ohio Department of Education) but will actually be able to grow. Despite the fact that Par Excellence families had apparently been begging for a sixth grade class for years, the school was forbidden by the district from expanding as part of the sponsorship contract in order to minimize “competition” and to make sure “their kids” were back in the district (in their coffers, I mean) as soon as possible. Thank goodness that foolishness is at an end. (Newark Advocate, 7/6/18)
  5. Speaking of good news, parents of students with autism will soon have a new provider of education services in Northwest Ohio. The Footprints Center for Autism has found a home, sharing space with the local high school in Perry, are will open up its doors (including to students using the Ohio Autism Scholarship) in September. (Willoughby News-Herald, 7/8/18)

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