Ohio Gadfly Daily News 6-23-14

  1. Round 2 of Ohio’s Straight A Innovation Fund grants were awarded on Friday. You can check out a description of the final determination process here. (Gongwer Ohio) There were 37 projects awarded funding statewide and we'll be covering a number of them through the week I'm sure. First out of the gate is a list of Franklin County-specific winners, courtesy of the Big D. (Columbus Dispatch)
  2. I think the headline pretty much says it all, but the story is entertaining nonetheless: “Anti-Charter Groups Crash Community School Info Session, Rail Against ECOT.” Yikes. It’s all-out war this summer in Ohio, methinks. (Gongwer Ohio)
  3. In the above story, charter school opponents give lip-service to school quality being of issue to them, but it really is just about money – money following children from district schools to charters. Here is a more detailed version of that same issue around the topic of open enrollment in the Hancock County area. Bottom line: net financial “winner” districts are fine with the system; net financial “loser” districts are not. And it has very little to do with why the students are moving. In fact, most district officials don’t even seem to care why large numbers of their residents are opting to go somewhere else when given the chance – even when that “chance” requires waiting in very long lines. As the headline implies, it’s just business. Fascinating in-depth look. (Findlay Courier)
  4. Governor Kasich says that former NY schools chancellor Joel Klein is coming for a visit to Ohio soon and that Klein needs to see the Cleveland Plan in action, up close. "I told him he needs to understand what we did in Cleveland," Kasich said. That should be fun. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
  5. Speaking of Cleveland, the district’s school construction program is at a crossroads. At about the half-way point, more new building space has been built on the East side of the city than on the west side. CMSD CEO Eric Gordon says that’s the way west siders want it – keeping and renovating their old buildings rather than building new ones. Traditions of all types die hard in the CLE. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
  6. Some old traditions will have to go by the wayside in tiny Bettsville in Northwest Ohio. That’s because the cash-poor district is merging with its long-time sports rival Old Fort. Bye bye Bobcats. RIP. But I’m sure the combined high school will find a new nemesis soon enough. (Toledo Blade)
  7. We’re still parsing the statewide numbers here at Fordham, but a Dispatch editorial from Sunday declares victory over the third grade reading test on behalf of Columbus schools. (Columbus Dispatch)
  8. We end today with a guest commentary based on the story from Butler County (“graduation from Children Services custody”) we told you about on Friday. Seems like a few folks are campaigning hard for that bill to extend support for young people through age 21, rather than ending at age 18. (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,