Gadfly Bites 9/26/18 – “The strangest case”

  1. A town hall meeting was held in Dayton yesterday to give the public a chance to weigh in on the somewhat nebulous (IMHO) plans for turning Dayton City Schools around. Kudos to the parent who said, “I want the administration to have the long view in mind to make policy decisions first and foremost with the students in mind, not with (the Ohio Department of Education) and what will pacify them.” The list of areas that the plan will address, also included here, seems to be decidedly not that. (Dayton Daily News, 9/25/18) Parents met with staff in Lorain last night for the first of a series of such events scheduled throughout the school year. They included some good news and some stuff that the Chief Family Office in Lorain needs to work on. (Northern Ohio Morning Journal, 9/25/18)
     
  2. The Dayton story, above, was incorporated as part of the DDN’s “Path Forward” series. For the latest installment of the PD’s similarly-named and similarly-themed “Pathways to Prosperity” series, here is a look at the “academies” model in use in some Cleveland Metropolitan School District high schools. That is, an effort to connect school work to the working world via immersion. This is a thorough look—including the origins, the goals, the way it works, and what kids and parents and teachers think of it. So thorough, in fact, that the bad (by which I mean the pointless facets, the apathetic handling by adults, and the complete lack of data) ultimately outweighs the good for me. But YMMV. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 9/26/18)
     
  3. A recent professional development day for teachers in Fairfield County (held in my old middle school!) covered a lot of territory and included a number of very special guests such as the head of the county’s Major Crimes division and State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria. Hopefully they didn’t repeat each others’ points. You know what’s really a major crime, teachers and journalists? That headline! (Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, 9/24/18)
     
  4. Here is an interesting look at the ongoing sore spot of student discipline in Akron City Schools. After streamlining the student code of conduct to focus less on consequences and more on restorative practices like the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS) program, it seems that the board is interested in reinstating some of the old consequences language into the code. The teachers union is unhappy with all the changes, it appears, especially the ones happening outside contract negotiations. (Akron Beacon Journal, 9/24/18)
     
  5. Not so fast! Part 1: Seems that Columbus City Schools’ newly-selected superintendent is in no hurry to pull up stakes and relocate from Northeast Ohio just yet. Talisa Dixon seems determined to finish out the current school year in Cleveland Heights-University Heights before she assumes the big chair here, contrary to the stated wishes of Columbus’ school board. (Columbus Dispatch, 9/25/18)
     
  6. Not so fast! Part 2: The putative high school football powerhouse known as Christians of Faith (COF) Academy has fallen afoul of the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) several weeks into the season. After “hearing reports” (oooh, ominous!) that COF had held no classes this school year, OHSAA sleuths looked into the matter and made the determination that they would no longer consider COF an “academic institution” and would not include them in rankings and point systems related to OHSAA-controlled playoffs. I think that’s the extent of OHSAA’s influence on the situation officially, but it is unclear from this piece for sure. It seems that COF could continue playing if other teams still want to do so, but its scheduled opponent for last weekend cancelled and others may follow suit. I am sure it has to do with points and rankings and playoffs. And only with points, rankings, and playoffs. (ThisWeek News, 9/25/18)
     

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