Ohio Gadfly Daily News 7-11-14

There’s not a ton of stories today, but those few clips are pure gold:

  1. Let’s start with a sad and silly follow up to yesterday’s clip about the Youngstown Schools’ superintendent’s annual evaluation. Turns out that the copies of the evaluation given to reporters and the public omitted the written notation from the Supe that “I don’t agree with the evaluation”. Who knows how the intrepid journalist figured this out but when it was confirmed, she and others were quick to call public records foul. My favorite bits include: board members disagreeing about who did the copying, the description of the copier follies whoever it was encountered in trying to make the thing work (“We were all pressing print.”), and best of all is the fact that the evaluation form itself is for the “Younstown” City Schools. No wonder the Supe disagreed! (Younstown Vindicator)
  2. Let’s keep to the theme of the ridiculous for a minute and talk about the “Freshman Fresh Start” doctrine which is in force in Cleveland Metropolitan School District for the first time in 2014-15. This allows 8th graders with poor grades to regain eligibility for high school sports and other extracurriculars. Some genius in the comments estimates that the new rules mean a student with a .85 GPA will now be eligible for HS sports. The idea, says CEO Eric Gordon, is for students just entering high school to “have a chance to engage in school activities and become part of that school's life, rather than being shut out right from the start.” I was going to make a comment about lowering the bar, but I think the bar has been entirely removed in this case. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
  3. Dispatch editors opine on a new report from our friends at KidsOhio.org, looking at three Columbus high schools who have outperformed the state averages and many other urban, high-poverty high schools in the state. Yes, there’s a reference to sports here too, but a very different one than the above. (Columbus Dispatch)
  4. Efforts are underway to unionize a network of charter schools in the Cleveland area, causing the usual rounds of rhetoric. Summary of this particular version of the story: “This school sucks and I hated working there, but how dare they fire me.” I don’t get it. (WKYC-TV, Cleveland)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,