Ohio Gadfly Daily News 6-19-14

  1. I missed this piece in yesterday’s barrage of clips on third grade reading scores around the state: Fordham’s Chad Aldis gets the last word on the subject of what the passage rate numbers mean in Gongwer’s report. (Gongwer Ohio)
  2. Perhaps, though, I was really distracted yesterday morning by this wild ride of a radio townhall on the Common Core, in which Chad took a central role as literally the only person to have any idea of what the Common Core actually was. At one point there were a dozen open mics, Chad was asked for the sixth time (dared, really) to explain what exactly Common Core was, and got nothing but bashing for doing it. Some comments worth listening out for: “If Common Core will make kids ‘career-ready’, why doesn’t it require students to learn how to read a tape measure?”; “I know algebra, but my kids won’t need that stuff. Why put it in there if they don’t need it?”; “They’re reinventing the alphabet.”; and the inevitable reference to Communist Russia. This is long but a completely eye-opening view of what happens when Common Core haters on both left and right – with zero real information – get a wide open mic and a willing victim. The Common Core portion of the program begins at the 68 minute mark. (WSOM-AM, Youngstown)
  3. As we have to remind ourselves around here sometimes, there’s a governor’s race going on in Ohio. Sometimes education even comes up. Democratic candidate Ed FitzGerald yesterday proposed the creation of a college savings account for every Kindergartner in Ohio, with an initial $100 deposit provided by the state. Parents could add on over time. The point is to let children know as young as 5 years old that the state of Ohio is behind them and encouraging them to aspire to education beyond high school. (Toledo Blade)
  4. StateImpact had this story first – as we reported yesterday – but the PD had to take a day to get its spin in order. And here it is, as evidenced by the headline. Again, the Cleveland Transformation Alliance got a $3M grant to improve information about and access to public school choices for parents. The “mingling” is already a done deal, boys. Get over it. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
  5. Meanwhile, in Ohio’s biggest city (yep, said it again), Columbus City Schools has decided to go with full free lunch for all students, regardless of family income, starting next year. (Columbus Dispatch)
  6. Earlier this year, a non-profit group drew attention to the fact that Dayton Public Schools’ out-of-school suspension rate was four times higher than the state average. Yesterday, the school board approved a resolution that DPS “will make every effort to reduce out-of-school suspensions and alternative placements for all students.” Additionally, teachers will be trained next year in “cultural competency skills that can prevent problems from arising.” At least one group will be very happy about this. (Dayton Daily News)
  7. We have noted more than once that Mentor City Schools is big into technology to help improve its educational offerings. Well, that interest in technology extends to door security as well, as the district has purchased 500 new devices designed to be deployed quickly to secure classroom doors in the event of a lockdown. (Willoughby News Herald)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,