Ohio Gadfly Daily News 6-17-14

  1. Fordham friend and NCTQ trustee Tom Lasley wrote a guest commentary on the effect of excessive teacher absences on students which appeared in the PD over the weekend. He even contributed to the online comments section. Nice. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
  2. I assume that this number is a tip of the hat to the dear departed Casey Kasem: Top 40 Straight-A Fund project proposals advanced to the final stage of review. Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars. (Gongwer Ohio)
  3. Governor Kasich signed the K-12 Education MBR bill into law yesterday. There was no drop-kicking of the dropout-recovery school funding as many had wished. (Gongwer Ohio)
  4. Some folks have been lamenting the sausage-like creation of the MBR bills, but not Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. Two of three provisions he championed in the MBR – correcting language from the main budget bill a year ago – were included in the final bill. These restored much of the oversight over charter schools in Cleveland that he and his Transformation Alliance had won with passage of the Cleveland Plan back in 2012. The third? Well, we’ll see. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
  5. The OSBA/BASA/OASBO triumvirate is pleased with changes to teacher evaluation  signed into law by Governor Kasich in HB 362. (Hudson Hub Times)
  6. So far, all we’ve heard about the newest State Board of Education appointee is that she will occupy the “rural seat”. Luckily, journalism still exists in the hinterlands of Ohio. Here’s a nice interview with Ms. Flory.  (Logan Daily News)
  7. We read yesterday that Canton City Schools’ summer reading bootcamp is up and running to give a final boost to the 170 students who are at-risk of being held back due to Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee. Editors in Canton opined in approval of the district’s response and efforts in both the short and long term. (Canton Repository)
  8. Here’s another TGRG story, this one a holdover from last Friday, focusing on the use of alternative assessments to the traditional OAA tests which has dramatically shrunk the number of children who need summer work to avoid being held back. Says one Cincy school official: “Now we have no reason to believe we need to staff for hundreds of additional third graders.” That is fairly good news, but I am glad to see that at least one Cincinnati principal is still a bit concerned as to why her students can pass one of the tests but not the other. (Cincinnati Enquirer)
  9. And we conclude with the first look at spring reading test results in Columbus and South-Western City Schools. Nearly ¾ of third graders in both districts have either passed or were exempted from the hold-back rules. For Columbus at least, that’s a 26 percentage-point increase over pass rates from last year. And they’ve still got summer school, the community-based reading programs, and at least one more go at the test before school starts. Sounds fabulous to me! (Columbus Dispatch)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,