Gadfly Bites - 8/15/14

  1. As if the protracted will-they-close-or-won’t-they hasn’t been bad enough for the families of approximately 600 students at the now-closed VLT Academy in Cincinnati, now these poor families have to endure the opportunism of a new charter school looking to attract them when their own sponsorship contract is in question. And that despite the fact that there are district, charter, and even voucher options for most or all of the former VLT students. Oy vey! (WLWT-TV, Cincinnati)
  2. Speaking of opportunism, a couple of state legislators on the D side are pointing to the VLT Academy saga as proof that Ohio’s charter school law is broken – as if they think it’s sad that VLT didn’t stay open!  I do like this though: the senator in question “welcomed Republicans to introduce their own legislation to overhaul charter laws if that is what it takes to get a discussion started.” Don’t mind if they do, brother. See you at the table. (Gongwer Ohio)
  3. Not sure why this story didn’t get bigger (or more grammatically-correct) coverage, but a group of Dayton Public Schools teachers protested at the annual start-of-school convocation earlier this week due to contract issues over pay. The piece doesn’t really explain the current contract status except to mention mediation…oh and to drop the term “common core” like it’s a synonym for “nuclear waste”. I’ll see if I can dig up some credible journalism on this story elsewhere. (WDTN-TV, Dayton)
  4. Gadfly Bites doesn’t really have an educational remit, but allow me to step into that realm for a moment. Reynoldsburg, as well as being a lovely near-rural suburb of Columbus, is also the “Birthplace of the Tomato”. Alexander W. Livingston, credited with developing the “commercial tomato” we all know and love today, was born in Reynoldsburg in 1821. There’s a plaque and an annual Tomato Festival. The 45th edition of the festival starts today and supporters of Reynoldsburg’s teachers – whose 10-day strike notice has about five days left – have a booth there to rally the community in support of the teachers vs. the district administration. Let’s hope that none of those tomatoes are rotten or this could get ugly. (ThisWeek News/Reynoldsburg News)
  5. I’m not sure I entirely understand the issues at play in this story, but I think I am glad to know that Lima City Schools and the City of Lima have clearly solved all other pressing problems in their respective fiefdoms so that they can spend their time tussling over why a name change at the high school stadium may scupper the creation of a new park next door. (Lima News)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,