Gadfly Bites 9/13/17 -- Seemingly random

  1. Editors in Columbus today opined in sunny approval of KIPP: Columbus (and a seemingly random list of a few other local charter schools). Nice. (Columbus Dispatch, 9/13/17)
     
  2. Staying here in the capital for a moment, a portion of Columbus City Schools’ rank-and-file teachers last night approved that ho-hum new contract offer we mentioned last week. Even though it was only a little over half the members voting (just the file, perhaps?) and the approval was a very low majority, color me surprised. While they were at it, the assembled gang unanimously approved a no-confidence motion in the school board. Now that’s more like it. Link (Columbus Dispatch, 9/13/17)
     
  3. Jeremy Kelley is apparently looking forward eagerly to the release of state report card data this week. Not only because he’s a data nerd disguised as a journalist, but also because he thinks that Dayton City Schools’ scores may have improved from last year. We shall see. (Dayton Daily News, 9/12/17) That same optimism does not echo through the halls of Akron City Schools, however. Folks there are pretty sure that their report card will be as bad or worse than last year. What they are happy about, it seems, is the state’s new lowered graduation requirements for the Class of 2018. Coincidence? I think not. (Akron Beacon Journal, 9/11/17)
     
  4. It wouldn’t be a Gadfly Bites edition without a mention of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, would it? Here is a look at how ECOT stacks up against other dropout recovery schools in the state – and how Ohio’s dropout recovery criteria stack up against other states – as it seeks to switch to that designation from its status as a run-of-the-mill online charter school. Nice data, Patrick. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 9/12/17)
     
  5. Quick trip to the CLE. The supply of high quality pre-K seats in Cleveland has expanded quite a bit over the last three years or so. However, there is still no utilization data even after all that time. Seems like that might be important. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 9/12/17) On the other end of the K-12 spectrum, here’s another update on the Say Yes to Education college scholarship program that folks in Cleveland are super desperate to attract to their town. An interesting question has arisen about whether it will exclude charter school students in favor of CMSD kids only. This is especially important to iron out because Say Yes programs in other cities have not only given lower priority to (or simply excluded from consideration) charter high school graduates, they have also given lower priority to kids who were in charter schools for part of their K-8 education as well. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 9/13/17)
     
  6. We end today in Lorain, where several more community meetings have been held ahead of the completion of CEO David Hardy’s new district improvement plan. First up was a meeting with local non-profits, philanthropy, and community organizations that focused a lot on organizational structure and culture. All good stuff, but the most interesting point I gleaned from this is that the local police chief seems to have turned a bit of a corner since the last time he was quoted in the paper about the CEO. Wonder what could have happened? (Northern Ohio Morning Journal, 9/11/17) A second meeting with citizens – parents, community organizers, etc. – focused mostly on school culture from the students’ and parents’ perspective. (Northern Ohio Morning Journal, 9/12/17) Interestingly, the Chronicle covered that second meeting and included an entirely different group of people and comments. The general message was the same – school culture must welcome and support both students and families – but who said it and how varied quite a bit. (Elyria Chronicle, 9/13/17)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,