Ohio Gadfly Daily News 7-10-14

  1. A little-noticed provision in the recently-passed education MBR bill allows up to 10 school districts or other entities to obtain waivers from parts of Ohio’s accountability system (testing, teacher evaluation, etc.) if they are members of the Ohio Innovation Lab Network. The waivers, requiring alternative assessments/accountability to be approved by ODE, will likely be written in 2014-15 with implementation for those whose waivers are approved beginning in 2015-16. The list of ILN members thus far (i.e. – eligible for waiver consideration) is a mixed bag of high-flyers, known innovators, and question marks. (Gongwer Ohio)
  2. The K-12 education subcommittee of the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Committee meets again today. Expect some more thoroughly efficient fireworks. (Dayton Daily News)
  3. Homeschoolers, by definition, have opted out of the traditional education system as far as their states will allow. In Ohio, it’s pretty hands-off, so surely the Common Core shouldn’t bother homeschooling families that much. Well, the Midwest Homeschoolers Convention is going on in Cincinnati this week, and Common Core is apparently a big topic, at least to this one mom who was interviewed. Why? The impending alignment of college entrance exams – which even homeschoolers need to think about – to the standards. (Cincinnati Enquirer)
  4. Youngstown City Schools’ superintendent had his annual evaluation recently, and the results are pretty much right down the middle – 3 out of 5, or Satisfactory. Good on teamwork, needs improvement in communication, etc. But interestingly the article is mostly taken up with describing the change in the evaluation process between last year and this. Last year, he got a 5 out of 9, or Satisfactory. But the board thought that the 9 categories were “too broad” and so refined them down to 5. But really this is neither here nor there, because as one board member puts it: “If we got all A’s, he would have all 5s.” Interesting parallels to student evaluations in there probably. (Youngstown Vindicator)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,