Ohio Gadfly Daily News 6-12-14

  1. We start in Cincinnati today with a guest commentary extolling the virtues of some very fine charter schools around Ohio...but mostly in Columbus. Weird. (Cincinnati Enquirer)
  2. The revolving door at the state Board of Education may be slowing down. Governor Kasich has already appointed a replacement for the member who resigned earlier this week. Interesting note here about this being the “rural seat”. That leaves only one more to fill, although that one’s been open longer. (Columbus Dispatch)
  3. The largest of Ohio’s teachers unions is urging Kasich to "drop kick" a provision in the MBR that would provide more money to dropout-recovery charter schools. The story goes to some pains to explain that not all dropout-recovery charters are run by White Hat Management (perennial union whipping boy) and that not all are in the graduation-rate basement, but to quote the OFT president: “Why would we give funds to something that has already proven to be worse than effective?" Why indeed? (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
  4. Speaking of teachers in Cleveland, the CMSD board met late into the night on Tuesday and one of its big agenda items was hearing final appeals for teachers identified for termination by their principals. The PD has been following this story all along, and we’ve been paying attention. From the initial 68 staffers identified, it came down to 12 teachers who appealed all the way to board. All 12 were terminated. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
  5. So that “bus driver gambling ring” alluded to in yesterday’s Education Insider column blew up all over the pages of the Dispatch this morning. The investigation seems to be in the early stages, but honestly it doesn’t appear to be that big a deal at this point. The “whistle blower” apparently did so because she felt she was owed a cash prize that wasn’t being provided; drivers were running “little stores” out of the office that included nothing worse than snacks and drinks; and big envelopes of cash held in file drawers were proceeds from the gambling and the stores that were typically donated to charities! Hardly Al Capone-level stuff. But the description of the transportation department's little fiefdom is fascinating. More to come, I’m sure. (Columbus Dispatch)
  6. Another twisty story here, this one about school buildings and “deed restrictions” that goes all the way back to 1849. You really should read it all (including comments, which add some important details) but the short of it is: private school closes, charter school wants building, funeral home bids higher, charter school loses, the whole thing ends up in front of a judge because of a 164-year-old restriction that the land be used “only for education”. (Newark Advocate)
  7. A small final note. I told you all back in May that the Columbus school board would tear down the long-disused Clinton Annex building, regardless of what my crunchy-granola neighbors wanted. The demo crews took care of business yesterday. (ThisWeek News/Clintonville Booster)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,