Gadfly Bites - 8/18/14

  1. Editors in Columbus have checked out Fordham’s new Hidden Half report, and opined favorably upon it. (Columbus Dispatch)
  2. Sticking with the realm of opinion, lots of editors and commentators weighed in on the coming legislative battle against Common Core in Ohio. Check out the arguments of editors in Cleveland in favor of Common Core (Cleveland Plain Dealer), commentary from a Cincinnati resident against the Common Core (Cincinnati Enquirer), and editors in Akron in favor of Common Core (Akron Beacon Journal). Gonna be a crazy couple of weeks around here
  3. In other news, echoing a question we’ve been debating around the office, the alternative tests being used in Ohio this summer to assess third graders’ reading track third graders’ reading scores have come under the microscope of the Big D. (Columbus Dispatch)
  4. This is a fascinating article on the state of competition among public schools in Toledo at the start of the 2014-15 school year. There are fewer charter schools in Toledo this year than last and only one new startup opening its doors. What this might mean for TPS’ enrollment numbers is parsed, as is the effect of the last two decades of “competition”. An interesting read, as much for the questions asked and answered as for the questions left unasked. (Toledo Blade)
  5. Staying in Toledo for a moment, this is essentially an innocuous little story noting that Toledo Maritime Academy has named a new superintendent. What is worth noting is what is not said in this piece: that Maritime Academy is a charter school, and that it has had substantial help and support from local labor unions, as we told you back in January. Combine this with the above piece and with last month’s story about TPS reaching out to work with certain charter schools in the city and perhaps we’re starting to see politics step out of the way in Toledo in favor of what might work best for students. But, I could be overthinking it because I’m essentially an optimistic fellow. (Toledo Blade)
  6. Speaking of charter schools and politics, we told you last week that some Democratic state legislators were using the VLT Academy saga as a jumping-off point to call for a full rewrite of charter school law in Ohio. “It’s not a political thing,” says Sen. Schiavoni in this more in-depth discussion of his views. You’ll have to read it to see what his Republican counterpart Sen. Lehner has to say in response. (StateImpact Ohio)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,