Ohio Gadfly Daily News 6-4-14

  1. The K-12 education MBR bill emerged from a conference committee yesterday, reconciling some thorny issues between House and Senate versions. Coverage varied around the state. In what reads more like a foaming-at-the-mouth editorial than impartial journalism, the Akron Beacon Journal focuses on a funding boost for dropout-recovery charter schools (or, as the ABJ puts it, “dropout producers”). The Columbus Dispatch focuses more dispassionately on the tweaks to teacher evaluations. Fascinating legislative process it seems, and clearly impervious to having a Schoolhouse Rock song made about it.
  2. Another item making statewide news today was NCTQ’s report on teacher absences, noting that Cleveland’s numbers are the worst of all 40 metro areas surveyed, and Columbus is second. The Cleveland Plain Dealer, as usual, digs deep to try and understand the numbers and to relate it to steps already being taken to address the situation, which has actually been on the union’s and CMSD’s radars since October. The Columbus Dispatch also talks to the local union boss about her members' attendance numbers – and she is interested to understand those numbers of course – without noting that said union boss has about 25 days left in the job before she becomes the mayor’s education czar.
  3. Who the heck cares if the Columbus School Board decides to get involved in detailed budgeting for the district (“Actually I’m quite pleased that they would take an interest,” said Superintendent Dan Good mildly)?! The point of including this story is much closer to home for Fordham. To wit: “In other business, the board sold two school buildings...to a charter-school operator that currently leases them… The buyer, Columbus Collegiate Academy, already operates charter schools in them.” Yeah they do! (Columbus Dispatch)
  4. Speaking of charter schools, check out this headline: Charter school dream turns to nightmare. What this story is not: histrionic or sad or tragic in any way. What this story is: a fairly well-researched and detailed discussion of charter authorizing practices in Ohio through the lens of one school in Cincinnati who was notified of non-renewal and searched for a new sponsor without success and now the end looms. (Cincinnati Enquirer)
  5. We close today in the Ohio River town of Ironton, where editors opine on the topic of business involvement in education in Ohio. Presidents Coolidge, Reagan, and Carter are namechecked, as are Gov. Kasich, the Koch brothers, Bill Gates, and Fethullah Gulen. Entertaining read. (Ironton Tribune)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,