Ohio Gadfly Daily News 6-9-14

  1. A couple of last week’s topics have continued in dicussion through the weekend. First up, NCTQ’s report on teacher absences. The Enquirer published a commentary pinning at least one third of teacher absences reported in that survey on "state mandates" and the training time required for teachers. Common Core, new Kindergarten assessments, OTES, third grade reading, and a number of other buzzwords are also blamed. (Cincinnati Enquirer)
  2. Next up, the Beacon Journal takes on the new “3 paths to graduation” set out by the education MBR; specifically, the path that gives $5 million to dropout recovery schools. There are tons of questions still to answer, but the ABJ seems staunchly opposed at this juncture. (Akron Beacon Journal)
  3. In other news, the only piece of Columbus’ failed reform levy from last fall to get a toehold into reality - $5 million for preschool programs – is moving forward already, but the preK plans appear to be baffling even folks on the inside. I have to ask: is this supposed to be education support or job support? And how on earth – and why on earth – is the program going to limit its support to folks who plan to send their kids to Columbus Public Schools? More may be known after this morning’s kickoff event. (Columbus Dispatch)
  4. A commentary in the Enquirer brings back to our attention the proposed removal of the term "thorough and efficient" from the Ohio Constitution by a subcommittee of the Constitutional Modernization Commission. The subcommittee will meet later this week and this topic will be on their agenda whether they want it to or not. (Cincinnati Enquirer). The same piece also ran in the Mansfield News Journal this weekend, and the link here includes a nifty “comment-o-meter” feature. (Mansfield News Journal)
  5. At least one person is namechecked in both the previous story and in this story, about a group of Lorain County Superintendents (remember them?) who now have a website lamenting local government cuts that affect school districts. (Elyria Chronicle-Telegraph)
  6. The outgoing chair of Youngstown’s Academic Distress Commission spoke to the Vindy this weekend, espousing strong belief in the ability of students in Youngstown to succeed, but casting doubt on the district's willingness and ability to provide them the opportunity to do so. Fascinating. (Youngstown Vindicator)
  7. We finish in Cleveland, where editors opine on the need to combat illiteracy in Northeast Ohio, starting right now. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,