Ohio Gadfly Daily News 5-28-14

  1. Fordham’s Chad Aldis appeared on two radio stations in Ohio yesterday, talking up Common Core. First up - WKBN radio in the Youngstown area (Chad comes in about the 30 minute mark on this one). Second - WCIT radio in the Lima area (Chad comes in at the halfway mark). Enjoy!
  2. The Big D has gotten wind of School Choice Ohio's legal action regarding public records - which we reported to you last week - and provided an important update: the State Supreme Court has chosen to let a mediator look at the public records dispute first before they weigh in. Good luck to SCO and all those families who have a right to know that their children are eligible for a voucher. (Columbus Dispatch)
  3. The sustainability review phase of the second group of Straight A Fund projects has been completed, including an in-depth review of charter school projects to make sure that there was no bias against their submissions. 228 of 339 projects were selected to move on to the next phase of programmatic review. Gongwer has a nice overview of the projects and the process, with a special shout out to former Fordhamite Kristi Phillips-Schwartz. (Gongwer Ohio) The Big D discusses mainly Franklin County-based projects. (Columbus Dispatch)
  4. The presidents of Cleveland State University and Cuyahoga Community College addressed the CMSD school board last night. They urged the board and the public not to expect big gains on test scores this year. But does this mean the prezzes are pessimistic on the Cleveland Plan? Far from it. They are looking closely at other issues which they say show improvement or will lead to improvement in Cleveland, including third grade reading proficiency and college readiness of district graduates. They both agreed that improving a district with years of poor-performance is a "slow incremental slog." But clearly necessary work. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
  5. Also at that board meeting was some vehement protest against CMSD's efforts to fire a number of staffers including teachers. After the appeals process we told you about a couple of weeks ago, there are only around 17 more staffers whose fates remain to be decided by the June 1 deadline. Those 17 seem to be the focus of most of the public ire, although plans to expand TFA’s presence in the district also drew some fire. Fascinating. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
  6. There was a school board meeting in Akron this week too. At that meeting, board members heard from the parent of at least one student who is at risk of not graduating on time; despite passing her classes, she did not pass the Ohio Graduation Test in science and mom is not well-pleased. The discussion that follows in the piece is fascinating and disturbing at the same time. (Akron Beacon Journal)
  7. We finish in Akron also, where one of the paper's affiliated student journalists found a couple of online advertisements for ECOT and LifeSkills eschools and had those ads analyzed by one of her marketing professors. Not sure a word like “enticement” should be bandied about so casually in this context, but I'm no student journalist so what do I know? (Akron Beacon Journal)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,