Gadfly Bites 9/19/18 – Ctrl-Alt-Delete

  1. The state board of education met this week, and two big topics were on the front burner. First up: graduation requirements. Board members are said here to be considering a “menu of options” for changes to those requirements. Seems to me that it’s a menu like this that got Taco Bell voted Best Mexican restaurant in America. Fordham’s Chad Aldis is quoted within, seeming to have that same queasy feeling. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 9/18/18) Speaking of same, Jeremy Kelley has used a testy Twitter exchange as the basis of his piece looking at the difference between Fordham’s position on graduation requirements and State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria’s position. Classy. (Dayton Daily News, 9/19/18) Seems that the General Assembly may have a couple of objections to the menu items on offer as well. Maybe if it comes down to a chalupa or nothing, though… (Gongwer Ohio, 9/18/18) The other big topic was state report cards. Board members aired their various complaints this week. (Gongwer Ohio, 9/17/18)
     
  2. As we noted on Monday, schools and districts seem to have a limited set of responses to their report cards. Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eric Gordon – in his State of the District report this week – opted for the “there are some bright spots deep down in the data” response. He did, however, take a moment to ding the report cards as a reporting tool AND to lament social media users for their negative responses to CMSD’s results. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 9/18/18)
     
  3. In light of Dayton City Schools’ poor showing on state report cards this year, the clock has ticked that much closer to a declaration of academic distress. On top of that, a site review conducted by the Ohio Department of Education in early May (and presented to the board this week) added some new information to the ongoing challenges Dayton faces in trying to raise their outcomes. (Dayton Daily News, 9/19/18) One tool that will not be used to help spur improvements in Dayton is, apparently, crowdfunding. The board this week voted to put strict limitations on its teachers’ use of sites such as GoFundMe and the like. (Dayton Daily News, 9/18/18)
     
  4. The emerging theme of the day seems to be that education policy and the internet do not mix easily. One final case in point: Lorain City Schools CEO David Hardy says that he sought guidance online regarding how to deal with the delicate and difficult relationship between himself and the district’s elected board. Consensus seems to be that the situation remains touchy, although it also seems that some Lorain residents are losing patience in regard to the standoff. (Northern Ohio Morning Journal, 9/18/18) Some hope is expressed in the previous piece that the Academic Distress Commission in Lorain might be the proper means by which to mend fences between administration and board. And if that peace mission doesn’t come to fruition, perhaps their consideration of what changes could be made to boost high school students’ academic achievement—if implemented and successful—would suffice. (Northern Ohio Morning Journal, 9/17/18) Or perhaps Lorain’s police chief Cel Rivera will be the proper catalyst to bring everyone together. He broached the idea while addressing the topic of student fights at the high school during this week’s meeting of the elected school board. (Northern Ohio Morning Journal, 9/18/18)
     
  5. To end on a somewhat upbeat note: I always like reading about the Dads Walk their Kids to School event in Stark County. And not just because of the donuts. (Canton Repository, 9/18/18)

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