Gadfly Bites 8/10/18 – What has changed

  1. With so much great news this week, Ohio’s education reporters could be forgiven if they are not sure where to focus their time and effort first. Here is a very brief look at the departure of White Hat Management from the charter school management space in Ohio. (WOSU-FM, Columbus, 8/8/18) Luckily for the overtaxed reporters, Fordham’s Chad Aldis has prodigious capacity to comment on any and all important stuff. He is quoted in the above White Hat piece, and in this Gongwer piece which discusses possible next steps following the Ohio Supreme Court ruling against the remains of ECOT this week. (Gongwer Ohio, 8/9/18)
     
  2. Why would reporters still be picking apart the moldering corpse of ECOT? Heaven only knows. Especially when they could just step back, declare victory silently in their heads, and let their editors go for broke with the full freedom and poetic license present on the commentary pages. Cases in point, editors in Akron opined in full-throated approval… (Akron Beacon Journal, 8/8/18) …as did editors in Toledo. (Toledo Blade, 8/9/18) Rough indeed.
     
  3. Speaking of rough, the start of the school year can, apparently, be stressful for kids. “Kids carry a lot, they always have, but we’re seeing it a lot more,” said one retired school psychologist. (“Now more than ever.” ™) All the suburban folks interviewed for this piece seem to be in agreement on this point but provide no explanation as to what has changed to make the long-standing stressors show up just now. (Columbus Dispatch, 8/10/18) In the big bad city, kids in Columbus City Schools may have a possible additional stressor this year: sidewalk protests and demonstrations outside their schools. These have been made even more permissible than they already were thanks to the 1970s, the U.S. Supreme Court, a local professor of constitutional law, and a vote of the school board this week. (Columbus Dispatch, 8/9/18) What can be done by the schools to mitigate these stressors and help kids learn, you ask? Great question! If this piece is to be believed, the answer is colorful, comfortable, and flexible seating geared to the needs of each child. However, this piece is contemptible to me in multiple ways so I personally doubt that this is the answer. Honestly, I’m not even sure of the question any more. (Columbus Dispatch, 8/10/18)
     
  4. Returning to the city from the candy-colored suburbs, we end today in Dayton City Schools where perhaps I and others can find solace in the school library. The flush-with-cash district is “reviving libraries” in every building, going on a hiring spree to do so. Every middle and high school will have a full-time, daily, licensed library media specialist on staff this year, while every elementary school will have an aide working part-time in the library and part-time overseeing in-school suspensions. Now THAT’s efficiency. At the risk of being too “edgy”, I just hope those aides don’t mix up which gig is which. (Dayton Daily News, 8/9/18)
     

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