Gadfly Bites 9/15/17 - Report card palooza

  1. In case you missed it, state report card data were released yesterday. Among the things we were looking at: the new two-year value added ratings, charter/district school comparisons, and how schools with large concentrations of poor students fared in serving them. There were pockets of very good performance and pockets of very bad performance across the state, but “mixed bag” and “cautious optimism” at the broad scale were common themes in the first blush analysis. All of the following pieces feature quotes from our own report card guru Aaron Churchill. The big-picture view from the PD. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 9/14/17) Old-dog Doug Livingston’s take from the ABJ. (Akron Beacon Journal, 9/14/17) The Statehouse view from Gongwer. (Gongwer Ohio, 9/14/17) Aaron is joined by that other report card analysis veteran Howard Fleeter in the first take from statewide public media. (Statehouse News Bureau, 9/14/17) Finally, Akron and Cleveland are the main focus for this piece from Northeast Ohio’s public media outlet. They also note that no districts are in imminent danger of falling under the aegis of an Academic Distress Commission. (Ideastream Public Media, Cleveland, 9/14/17)
  2. To misquote an old adage, “all report cards are local”. Herewith, additional local takes on this year’s report card data from cities around the state. The PD’s first local analysis focuses on CMSD’s improved overall ranking compared to other very low-performing districts around the state. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 9/14/17) One of those low-performing districts compared to which Cleveland is doing better is Dayton City Schools. That fact is alluded to in the DDN’s first local analysis, but more attention is paid to the wide disparity in performance between certain Montgomery County districts – from the very top (Oakwood) to the very bottom (Trotwood-Madison). Interesting. (Dayton Daily News, 9/14/17) Most of the news for Central Ohio districts (and some charter schools too) was bad, as detailed in the Dispatch’s first analysis. (Columbus Dispatch, 9/14/17). Both the current and former heads of Lorain City Schools weigh in (awkward) on their report card – which was pretty bad across-the-board – including an interesting wrinkle in the value added measurement as regards end-of-course exams. The district is far from emerging from Academic Distress no matter how you slice it, but the starting point for new CEO David Hardy’s turnaround plan is now crystal clear. (Elyria Chronicle, 9/14/17)
  3. Finally today, a new-ish school year means a new-ish the same old conversation about open enrollment in Austintown schools. To wit: everybody seems to hate it and want it to go away…except for all the people benefitting from it. And that includes the superintendent who really does hate it. (Youngstown Vindicator, 9/14/17)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,