Gadfly Bites 9/12/18 – How can news clips get any better than this?

  1. The Senate President weighed in again this week on the topic of graduation requirements. He wants a long-term, permanent proposal to consider, it seems, and remains uninterested in extending temporary options. (Gongwer Ohio, 9/10/18)
     
  2. It apparently took three reporters to craft this piece looking at various aspects of school report cards, imminently to be released. (Akron Beacon Journal, 6/11/18) A variation of this piece was also published in the Columbus Dispatch.
     
  3. I don’t usually clip blogs or press releases around here, but credit where credit is due: The Ohio Arts Council this week announced the launch of an online data widget that very thoroughly presents the state of arts education in Ohio’s public schools. And I mean every public school. It is a fascinating look, filterable by county, city, and district and it includes data on charter and STEM schools too. If you want to bypass the blog, you can access the widget itself here. I think this is proof positive that reports of the death of arts education have been exaggerated. (Ohio Arts Council blog, 9/10/18)
     
  4. The Ohio Mayors Alliance threw a shindig in Columbus this week. Lots of bigwigs from politics, business, and education were there to share, and Patrick O’Donnell covered it. The conversation reported is all about the skills gap between what businesses need and what students possess. There seems to have been very little discussion of K-12 education’s role in dealing with these important concerns. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 9/12/18)
     
  5. I have always thought I’d make a great newspaper headline writer (stop chuckling, you in the back!). It is with that self-possession that I offer that this article—ostensibly about student-involved fights at Lorain High School—has a fantastic headline. It says everything and nothing at the same time using one well-chosen word in just the right spot. The “eruption”, of course, refers to the concerns of the elected school board and not to the actual fights. And the story is more about the concerns than the fights as well. And yet, how did you read it when you first saw it? On second thought, maybe I’d be a terrible headline writer. (Northern Ohio Morning Journal, 9/10/18) Two days later, and in the newspaper of a neighboring community, the same story takes on a different tenor. Fascinating. (Elyria Chronicle, 9/12/18). Meanwhile, members of the elected board in Lorain will not be attending the upcoming fancy dress ball being held by the local chapter of the NAACP…at least not on the district’s dime. Hope the reason isn’t something silly. (Northern Ohio Morning Journal, 9/11/18)
     
  6. There is some thinly-veiled discussion in the stories above about the possibility of gang connections to the fights in Lorain. There is absolutely no veil at all in this story from Columbus, where everyone and her sister seems to acknowledge powerlessness over pervasive gang activity. So much so that many state categorically that closing a high school and moving students to another (as proposed by the school board) will result in violence and the death of children. I am speechless at their conviction and all that it says about the city and its school district. (Columbus Dispatch, 9/10/18) Meanwhile, Columbus City Schools has a new apple slicing machine that will change lives in the district. (Columbus Dispatch, 9/11/18)

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